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Best Veteran Career Opportunities

It is no secret that the employment landscape in the United States has changed rapidly due to the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and technological advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI).

For veterans beginning to navigate the civilian workforce, the employment landscape can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding the current job market and employment trends, veterans can find rewarding and lucrative careers in their transition to civilian life.

Top Career Opportunities in the U.S.

A great resource for veteran job-seekers to gain insight into the top jobs in the country is published by the U.S. News and World Report. Their annual report on the top 100 jobs in the U.S. is released annually. It utilizes a rigorous methodology to rank the best jobs that enable them to provide new insights each year.

The publication determines their metrics by weighted calculation in the categories of prospects, wage potential, employment, job safety and stability, and work/life balance, which enables them to rank jobs adequately. This keeps in mind that while job satisfaction can be subjective, specific qualities are commonly desired across the full spectrum of the job market.

The top careers are primarily positioned within the healthcare and information technology industries. In addition to the top jobs, U.S. news correlates them with relevant information such as number or projected jobs, median salary, and education needed.

For example, at press time, Nurse Practitioner has a median salary of $121,610, 118,600 projected jobs and requires a Master’s degree, whereas a Financial Manager has a median salary of $139,790, 126,600 project jobs and requires a Bachelor’s degree.

U.S. News and World Report Top Jobs

The top 10 jobs according to U.S. News and World Report are as follows:

  1. Nurse Practitioner
  2. Financial Manager
  3. Software Developer
  4. IT Manager
  5. Physician’s Assistant
  6. Medical and Health Services Manager
  7. Information Security Analyst
  8. Data Science
  9. Actuary
  10. Speech-Language Pathologist

Another resource veteran job-seekers can use to determine the best career paths and jobs is Glassdoor, a platform commonly used to rate employers and a helpful resource for job seekers to gather employment related information on companies.

It is important to note that the Glassdoor list of the 50 best jobs in America has not been updated since 2022. This is likely due to their data collection and analysis methods and release schedule.

However, what this resource can offer is a glimpse into employment trends in the recent past, which can be helpful in any decision-making processes related to career paths. Glassdoor also offers other resources that can be helpful for veteran job-seekers, including their list of best places to work, top CEOS, best cities for jobs, and highest paying jobs.

Related: Insider Tips for Navigating Government Job Applications at USAJobs

Best Transition Jobs for Veterans

Skills and experiences gained during military service are valuable and translatable to civilian careers. Many service members move on to careers in IT, logistics, and business administration. Veterans can consider various career paths, such as Defense Contracting, Human Resources Manager, IT Security Analyst, Air Traffic Controller, Engineer, Project Manager, IT Specialist, and more.

What these jobs have in common is that they require common skills that people with military experience acquire, including time management, strategic thinking, leadership, self-discipline, and team cooperation.

Veterans may sometimes choose to work at the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Notably, the VA gives veterans hiring preferences for any available position due to the perspectives and real-life experience they can bring to their roles. Careers available at the VA include but are not limited to nursing, mental health, social work, administration, claims processing, and IT.

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AI-Proof Careers

AI is a hot topic that is being talked about everywhere. Often, these conversations are wrapped up in fears of AI being utilized to automate jobs traditionally done by humans. This technology is revolutionary in its potential to benefit society, but if not used properly, it can cause unmitigated disruption to the employment landscape.

The fear people, including veterans transitioning onto the job market, have surrounding this technology is certainly not unfounded and is causing many job seekers to consider AI-proof career paths.

In response to this discussion, the U.S. Career Institute created a chart of 65 jobs that are least likely to be replaced by AI. The occupations listed were determined to have a job automation risk probability of zero based on the abilities, knowledge, skills, and activities required to perform the job adequately.

The top 10 AI-proof careers include:

  1. Nurse Practitioner
  2. Choreographer
  3. Physician Assistants
  4. Mental Health Counselor
  5. Post-Secondary Nursing Instructors and Teachers
  6. Coaches and Scouts
  7. Athletic Trainers
  8. Physical Therapists
  9. Orthodontists and Prosthetists
  10. Occupational Therapists

Upon reviewing the list, you will notice that many of these jobs are based in health care, education, the creative arts, and personal services. The reason these jobs are AI-proof is because they encompass human qualities such as emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and social skills that are not easily replicated by artificial intelligence. This indicates the importance of soft skill building for job seekers across all sectors.

Related: Insider Tips for Navigating Government Job Applications at USAJobs

About the author

Sarah Tucci

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Sarah is a Philadelphia-based writer. She comes to CollegeRecon with an interdisciplinary background in international relations and cultural heritage with an interest in understanding the intersection of armed conflict and cultural heritage, particularly in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. When not writing for CollegeRecon, Sarah enjoys traveling, watching documentaries, and hanging out with her beloved Pitbull, Brutus.