Nearly two-thirds of all new jobs created in the last decade require either high- or medium-level digital skills. Yet, one in three U.S. workers have very limited or no digital skills. To help military job seekers learn job-ready skills, Hiring Our Heroes launched Career Forward with support from Google.org a year ago.
Today, more than 3,500 veterans, military spouses, and service members are on the path to complete a Google Career Certificate with Career Forward.
“The overwhelming response shows there was a great need for a program for military spouses and veterans to learn in-demand skills quickly and efficiently,” said Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes.
Google Career Certificates
This program is the first to provide a career path for military community members via Google Career Certificates. Career Forward learners may earn a certificate by completing professional training designed by Google. Certificates are available in these high-growth fields:
- Data Analytics. Data analysts collect, transform, and organize data to make informed business decisions.
- IT Support. IT Specialists troubleshoot problems so computers and networks run correctly.
- Project Management. Project managers ensure projects within an organization are managed and completed with maximum value.
- User Experience (UX) Design. UX designers make digital and physical products easier and more enjoyable to use.
- Digital Marketing & E-Commerce. Digital marketers use online tools to reach customers. E-Commerce specialists grow online sales.
Additionally, upon completion of a certificate, participants may apply for a paid fellowship with a military-friendly employer. Completers also receive access to more than 400 employers in the Hiring Our Heroes network and the Google Career Certificates Employer Consortium.
“The overwhelming response shows there was a great need for a program for military spouses and veterans to learn in-demand skills quickly and efficiently.”Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes
In short, this program provides a pathway for military community members to start a new career in under six months.
These Career Forward learners are working to improve their current employment situation. This may be a salary increase, a promotion, or a new career path with more flexible or portable work options. Among the first 1,000 graduates are veterans, like Logan Winheim.
“Because of a Google Career Certificate, I was competitive for the job I now have”
Winheim served as an Army officer for seven years before deciding he was ready to separate from the military. He graduated from the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program in 2020. In his role, he helped perform audits and was drawn to data analytics. Soon, Winheim was looking for ways to increase his knowledge in this field.
While researching opportunities in the data analytics field, Winheim found the Career Forward program offered a Google Career Certificate in data analytics. He immediately enrolled in the no-cost training.
“The Google Data Analytics Certificate Course provided a foundation in skill sets I will use for the rest of my working days,” he said. “Because of this certificate, I was able to be competitive for the job I have now as a data visualization analyst.”
‘I Used the Fellowship to Get Back into the Workforce’
Army spouse Jordan Duray was a newlywed when she realized her goal of working in marine science was incompatible with land-locked Army posts.
She enrolled in the Career Forward program and completed the data analytics certificate. After obtaining her certificate, she enrolled in the Career Forward Fellowship Program. There she put her new skills into practice as an intern at SteerBridge.
“I am thankful I was able to use the fellowship to get back into the workforce after a prolonged break to support my husband,” she said. “Pivoting to data analytics isn’t too far of a career change, but it’s definitely a lot different than what I had originally thought I would be doing.”
SteerBridge hired Duray following her fellowship. Watch her story here.
Career Forward Provides Opportunities for Veterans, Military Spouses
Training and equipping military spouses and veterans for jobs is critical. But making sure the career pathways are inclusive, accessible, and flexible is even more important.
The long-term goals of the Career Forward program are to provide job-ready skills training for at least 8,000 military spouses, veterans, and service members through Google Career Certificates, with paid corporate fellowships for more than 1,500 graduates.
“We are committed to ensuring military spouses and veterans have equitable access to the opportunities created by the digital economy,” said Hector Mujica, Head of Economic Opportunity at Google.org. “We’re proud to support Hiring Our Heroes as they help those who have sacrificed much for our country access the digital skills and opportunities they deserve.”
Career Forward is one way the private and public sectors can work together to improve opportunities for veterans and their families.
“Hiring Our Heroes is pleased to continue to work with Google.org to provide training at no cost to the military community and connect Google Career Certificate completers with employers,” Eversole said. “I look forward to watching Career Forward’s growth and expansion in its second year.”