Military Service: Training Not Always Transferable to Civilian Marketplace


The military's recruiting promise has often been that those who join acquire marketable skills. That's increasingly not the case, reports The Washington Post.

Veterans returning from service are encountering a brutal job market. At 10 percent, their unemployment rate is higher than the national average. That is the unfortunate reality, despite preference given them for certain positions. On 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' homeless female veterans told their tales of being unable to find work.

There are several reasons for these unfortunate circumstances. At the top of this list is the skill mismatch. The training provided by the military is not what's currently in heavy demand in the civilian workplace.

In addition, military service can be viewed as something of a background gap in work history. While veterans were serving in the military, others back home were building a track record of hands-on experience in civilian jobs as well as a growing their network of contacts.

One of the immediate solution might be for veterans to use their education benefits to be trained for the jobs that do exist and are in high demand. Longer term, the military might re-think promoting the promise of job marketability. It might also establish more sophisticated job-placement services for veterans as they prepare to return to civilian life.