The transition from military duty to civilian life can be difficult even in the best of circumstances. The ServiceNow Veterans Program aims to ease that passage and put veterans and their spouses in the driver’s seat of careers in the IT sector.

The program launched in 2018 and provides training that allows veterans to succeed on day one in entry-level IT and programming positions. It graduated its first class and the second class is in session. Available certifications include Certified Application Specialist, Certified Application Developer, and Certified Implementation Specialist-IT Service Management.

The team works closely with Philadelphia-based IT recruiting firm Nelson Frank to coordinate IT training for veterans that recognizes the value of their experience in military services. Veterans earn a minimum of three tech certifications upon completion of the 10-week program.

Brian Parks, IT Director, United States Automobile Agency (USAA) discussed the program’s benefits at the ServiceNow Knowledge 2019 Conference in May. The program offers an option for veterans who don’t want to go back to traditional brick-and-mortar schools to continue their education, Parks explained. And, it takes advantage of vets’ familiarity with military training and considers how their sense of purpose may change once they are out of the service.

USAA also offers a veteran training program. Parks, a U.S. Army veteran said these programs replicate the military’s approach. “They hired you up front; they paid you, put you through perfectly good training with benefits … That’s essentially what we’re doing.”

Along those same lines, the ServiceNow Veterans Program is a full-immersion program that gives veterans the opportunity to gain high demand IT skill sets, without taking any unnecessary classes.

“The program is 10 weeks long, and eight-and-a-half weeks are a very comprehensive program around strictly ServiceNow training,” Nelson Frank Strategic Alliances VP Sue Persichetti said at the conference.

The program features one-and-a-half weeks of other relevant training to round out the 10-week total, to ensure trainees are not pigeon-holed into one area of expertise.

Initially, organizers faced difficulty finding veterans that were software engineers. Program administrators had to undertake a very focused hiring process. In the end, the program took just three months to put together.

Program applicants need a strong IT background, among other attributes. Nine veterans earned admittance to the inaugural program class. All nine completed the program and gained their credentials.

The ServiceNow Veterans Program is searching for its next cohort to begin its training. The program is also seeking military spouses, whose unemployment rate stands at about 16 percent. “I would argue that they have an even bigger challenge than veterans in most cases,” Parks said.

“So that is something that we’re talking about and it is definitely something that we’re trying to make happen. The [administrators] have opened my eyes to just how hard it is on military spouses,” Persichetti added.

Parks encourages companies to reach out to existing infrastructures that are in place – American College of Physicians (ACP), USAA, the George W. Bush Institute – to hire veterans and military spouses.

“Get out there, learn what those firms have done, learn what’s already in place today, and incorporate some of it within your own organization,” he urged.

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