With over 1.8 million former service members, California has the most significant Veteran population of any state in the US. Yet a survey of 1,356 veterans residing in Los Angeles county found that eight out of 10 are unemployed after returning to civilian life.
If you’re one of them, you might be wondering which industry will fit your existing skills. Well, you’re in luck as the tech industry—also one of the biggest sectors in today’s economy—offers opportunities that require the skills you’ve built during your time in the military. These range from your ability to approach problems strategically, cope in a high-pressure environment, and work well with others.
Now, all you’ll need is the proper training and support to complete your transition. And you can find just that at Coding Dojo, a tech bootcamp dedicated to supporting everyone—including Veterans—in making a career pivot to tech.
Coding Dojo: A Tech Bootcamp for Veterans
Veterans can attend Coding Dojo’s Software Development Bootcamps in California cities, Burbank and San Jose, using their VA Education Benefits. The amount covered will depend on the benefit level listed on your Certificate of Eligibility. This means that eligible military veterans may use their education benefits to enroll at Coding Dojo, with no out-of-pocket costs.
Coding Dojo also offers Military Re-training Scholarships for Veterans. Jason Garcia, Ethics and Compliance Manager at Coding Dojo, highlights that you may qualify for the scholarship if you identify with any of the following:
- You’re at least 18 years old
- You’re an active or reserve military member
- You’re a Veteran using your VA Education Benefits
- You’re a Veteran but not using your VA Education Benefits
You can submit your application through Coding Dojo’s scholarship page if you meet the criteria. Note that the application will require you to complete a short essay answering questions such as:
- How has your military service shaped you into the person you are today?
- What would you do to encourage more Veteran representation in the tech community?
How Coding Dojo Supports Veterans
We spoke with Coding Dojo’s Admissions and Talent Management team members, who work closely with Veteran students to discover the challenges former service members face when breaking into tech.
Clayton Yeakley, School Certifying Official and Veterans Benefits Specialist at Coding Dojo, says: “The biggest challenge for a Veteran is getting started—whether that is learning the skills required to enter the industry or finding employment.”
Clayton, who also served in the Navy as an Aviation Ordnanceman for five years, adds: “Programming often requires people to restructure how they think and solve problems. This proves challenging, especially when learning the technical aspects of programming at the same time. Most Veterans have never been exposed to any of these ideas previously, and the learning curve, in the beginning, is oftentimes overwhelming.”
During the Program
For the reasons above, Coding Dojo’s Onsite Full-time Software Development Bootcamp programs start from basic training, which is vital for Veterans who are restarting their careers. The 14-week three-stack program takes you through the principles and main tools of web and software development.
The program encourages hands-on learning so expect to build projects during your training. While challenging, you’ll have the support of teachers and staff to help you stay on track.
Jim Reeder, Instructor at Coding Dojo, notes that many veterans are not willing to ask questions when they need help. “In order to combat this, it is helpful to let them know that asking for help or questions helps make the team stronger and ultimately helps attain the final goal…Sometimes I even tell my Veteran students that they need to ask at least three questions a day. Giving them a goal helps them get past not wanting to ask questions.”
After the Program
After graduating from the bootcamps, Veterans may face some common challenges in a job search. To help them navigate their job search with more ease and confidence, Coding Dojo grants all graduates and alumni lifetime access to the school’s career services.
“During the job search, the most difficult challenge is helping Veterans understand how to job search in today’s digital space and go beyond using just job boards,” says Clayton. “We introduce multiple strategies to help them discover opportunities that fit their skills and interests.”
“We focus on helping them become active job seekers, breaking down the job search so that alumni stay consistent with all the activities that go into a strong job search—balancing studying, coding, job searching, and networking.”
Break Into Tech with Coding Dojo
Thousands of Veterans are looking for ways to use their military experience to transition to civil employment. Coding Dojo offers various initiatives for Veterans to reskill and explore software development. To date, the bootcamp reports having trained over 300 Veterans into job-ready tech professionals.
Want to learn more about how Coding Dojo can help Veterans like you? Schedule a meeting with Coding Dojo’s admissions team and ask all the questions you have. You can also contact a Coding Dojo Veteran Benefits Team member, who will examine your application and confirm your benefits eligibility during the process.
Once you’ve decided to join the bootcamp, apply for Coding Dojo’s Software Web Development Bootcamp in Burbank or San Jose and kickstart your career in tech.