coding program helps veterans find new careers
A technology-focused training program is helping Canadian veterans find new careers after leaving the military.
Coding for Veterans is an online program that trains people who have served in the Canadian military for careers in cybersecurity and software development.
This is a skill set that is in high demand, depending on the program. In a statement, Coding for Veterans said 30% of the federal government’s 21,000 IT jobs are currently vacant.
That was enough to pique the interest of student Johanna Wood, who said she didn’t leave the military in 2007 with very many transferable skills.
“I was in the armored core, so it’s the tank unit in Edmonton, Lord Strathcona’s Horse,” she said. “I don’t have a tech background, I don’t have a computer background.”
Wood returned to Winnipeg after leaving the military and had worked in communications before learning coding for veterans.
“I just cold called the program, and they connected me with a mentor, someone who actually worked in the United States, and I actually just found out about the industry through a mentor who sits on the board of Coding for Veterans,” says Bois.
She took an aptitude test and discovered that she would be a perfect fit for a career in cybersecurity.
Since signing up for the online program, Wood has found the asynchronous classes very flexible.
“I had a baby halfway through, and the program was able to support me through that, so I was able to stay enrolled,” she said.
The transition from military to civilian life is a struggle for many veterans, according to Wood.
“You start from a very connected environment and then go into a career where you’re really kind of working on your own,” she said.
But she added that Coding for Veterans keeps her in touch with her peers and the industry.
“They’ve done a really good job of keeping veterans together, communicating with each other, meeting industry professionals,” Wood said. They’re taking their classes, they’re talking with peers, there’s a good support system along the way.”
And with the program’s 90% placement rate, Wood said she’s optimistic about her future.
“It really gives me confidence to jump into a cybersecurity career coming from a non-technical background. It was very daunting at first, but they really make sure their graduates feel confident and ready to go. fill the need.”