The Obama administration this week teamed with Cisco, Microsoft, HP and others to roll out what it called an "IT Training and Certification Partnership" designed to get thousands of service members into the information technology world.
Specifically the program will target about 161,000 service members to gain industry-recognised, nationally portable certifications necessary for 12 high-demand technology professions, including computer programmers, quality assurance engineers and IT security analysts. The technology professions targeted through this partnership are expected to generate more than 1.8 million job opportunities by 2020, and have an average annual salary of more than $81,000, the White House said.
The White House said using the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have worked with Cisco and a consortium of IT corporations and credentialing associations to expand the availability of certifications to military personnel with skills in high-demand areas such as computer programming, information assurance, network administration, and program design.
"Service members will be able to partake in a gap analysis of their IT skills and then test for and earn civilian credentials above and beyond those required for their military occupation. Additionally, during the pilot phase of this program, service members will be able to participate in bridge training programs, free of cost, if the gap analysis indicates it is needed for the service member to obtain his or her civilian credential. This partnership targets service members who are in the process of transitioning out of the military and into the civilian workforce as well as service members at early- and mid-stages of their military careers. Participating service members who are in the process of transitioning to the civilian workforce will be connected to resources that can link those service members with employers ready to hire by state and region." the White House stated.
The companies involved in the program are offering a variety of programs including:
- Cisco, along with Futures, Inc., developed the IT Training and Certification Program that will match Military Occupation Codes with private sector core technology career paths. In an effort to leverage the unique skills, experience, and qualifications that military personnel possess, Cisco also worked with its partners, Global Knowledge and Pearson VUE, to provide ANSI-accredited Cisco training courses that will allow transitioning military personnel to prepare for Cisco CCNA certification exams and other globally recognised industry certifications at no cost to participants. Through the opportunities provided by the training program, participants will receive fast track training and IT certifications that can help address the nation's workforce gap in IT jobs. Cisco is also one of several IT companies that have agreed to send a letter to its more than 15,000 U.S. channel partners and suppliers encouraging them to hire and train veterans.
- Microsoft, in partnership with Global Knowledge and Prometric, will donate 500 exam vouchers and partially underwrite the cost of training for service members to receive Microsoft official skills training. Service members participating in the program will have the opportunity to attain the skills needed to get hired in today's competitive IT job market. The training and exam vouchers are designed to help service members meet the criteria and pass the exams to achieve industry-recognised Microsoft Certification credentials that can help support a transition from the military to frontline jobs in the field of Information Technology. By earning a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) credential, service members will have access to MCP benefits, such as MCP job boards, networking opportunities and certification credentials.
- Oracle will work with community colleges across the United States to help service members transition their skills for integration into the civilian IT workforce. Through its Oracle Academy and Oracle University Workforce Development programs, Oracle is committed to delivering technology, courseware, career-readiness and computer science resources for Database Design, SQL, and Java. Service members may participate in these Oracle education programs in a variety of formats, including online and in-class training, as stand-alone classes or as part of degree-granting programs. For transitioning military, Oracle University is also providing support for its industry-recognised certifications and career pathways. In partnership with Cisco and Futures, Oracle is contacting its more than 20,000 U.S. channel partners and suppliers encouraging them to hire and train veterans.
- As part of the IT Training and Certification Program, CompTIA is donating vouchers for certification exams, such as CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Security+, to program participants. This continues CompTIA's longstanding commitment to the Department of Defense and the Armed Forces. CompTIA participates in the DoD Information Assurance Program and contributes to the Wounded Warriors Project through its foundation, Creating IT Futures.
- NetApp is offering Web-based training and a storage certification to military service personnel. The NetApp Certified Storage Associate certification (NCSA) is an entry-level certification designed to familiarise participants with storage technology and terminology. Via its Academic Alliances Program, NetApp will provide veterans and service personnel with NetApp Learning Accounts, access to Web-based training classes, the ability to complete hands-on lab exercises through a virtual lab environment, and test vouchers for a local Pearson Vue testing center.
- HP has collaborated with the White House and the military services to assist U.S. service members in their transition to civilian IT jobs. Through the HP ExpertOne program, U.S. service members can earn industry-recognised certifications and achieve job-ready IT skills through hands-on experience. HP ExpertOne working with HP Education Services, an approved US military services training provider, will be contributing HP Web-based training and exam vouchers targeting Cloud or Converged Infrastructure administration to the IT Training and Credentialing Program. Additionally, HP ExpertOne will provide community memberships for the pilot population, giving service members access to free learning opportunities, personalised certification recommendations, and a global community of IT professionals and HP experts.
- Futures Inc. is providing the IT Pipeline platform that will be the centralised hub for matching and connecting transitioning and Reserve Component personnel with civilian training, certification, and employment opportunities. IT Pipeline is designed to address the assessment, training, credentialing and hiring challenges faced by our military personnel as they transition to civilian employment. The IT Pipeline platform will also let employers match their jobs with transitioning personnel based on their military training, experience, education, and credentials.
- Global Knowledge is providing training scholarships to exiting military, enabling them to obtain the gap training needed to gain the industry-recognised IT certifications civilian employers value and often require. The program courses are mapped to the most in-demand IT jobs such as application development, network security, and IT project management.
- GogoTraining is providing access to their online self-paced Information Technology training platform to help transitioning military personnel prepare for careers in the private sector. With the help of GogoTraining's learning platform, experts bring their classroom courses to life online enabling service members to fit training into their schedule while still receiving the same high quality classroom content and support. GogoTraining courses and programs will help exiting personnel prepare for careers in computer programming, database administration, software and mobile application development, and obtain key certifications in areas such as CompTIA and Oracle.
- SANS Institute and Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) are helping to train and certify service members returning to the civilian workforce. SANS and GIAC are providing training and certification scholarships to the pilot program. SANS is the largest source for information security training in the world and GIAC is the leading provider of technical, job-duty-specific information security certifications and its exams validate the hands-on ability of practitioners around the world.