Whether you’re newly separated from the armed forces, a veteran who’s been retired for years or a military spouse settling into a new community, looking for a career in technology can be a daunting task without the latest skills under your belt.
So we’ve compiled seven scholarships and free training opportunities which aim to give veterans and military spouses that extra experience to set their top-notch talents apart and make their resumes shine in the hunt for high-tech jobs.
During COVID-19, some programs that may have offered in-person tech training may be providing online assistance only to adhere to health regulations. Check with each program for its current status.
7 of the Best Veteran & Military Spouse Tech Scholarship
1. DraftKings’ Tech for Heroes Scholarship
One program that’s providing free, comprehensive, high-tech job training to current and returning veterans and military spouses is the Tech for Heroes initiative from DraftKings, a top daily fantasy sports contest operator in the U.S. The company’s Tech for Heroes initiative is giving back by offering online and in-person classes in high-tech skills to create pathways to employment or further potential careers. The program works in collaboration with VetsinTech and American Corporate Partners.
Kelly To, a U.S. Air Force spouse from Boston, said she’s truly grateful for the chance to get top-notch training with Tech for Heroes.
“It’s not often that spouses are given an amazing opportunity alongside their veterans to learn and gain a new skillset that can be beneficial in this technological day and age,” she said.
DraftKings’ program is funded by several of its charity fantasy sports contests held throughout the year, with all proceeds going to support veterans and Tech for Heroes. In 2019, the DraftKings player community raised an additional $100,000, which helped expand the reach of the program to train more veterans. Additionally, DraftKings held a special Thanksgiving Day charity campaign which raised nearly $130,000, which was donated to five veteran-serving charities in the cities DraftKings has employees or offices.
The Tech for Heroes program already has locations in Boston; Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and San Francisco — with more cities in the works. Although in-person training and mentoring is part of the Tech for Heroes program, physical training is currently on hold due to COVID-19. Instead, the initiative is currently focusing on offering more opportunities online.
Robert Wining, a U.S. Navy veteran who’s taken the company’s classes in San Francisco, praised the program.
“I have learned more about the vast world of tech in the past month than I have in my previous 35 years on earth,” Wining said. “This has been so incredibly beneficial to me. I wish this class was available when I got out of the service. Not only is this the best resource that has ever been available to me as a veteran, it’s a phenomenal way for employers to tap into veterans that are career and education oriented. This class is filled with people that never ever want to stop learning.”
Since its launch in summer 2018, the Tech for Heroes scholarship program has invested more than $1 million in providing free training to about 300 veterans through 12 classes hosted online and in person.
How to apply: If you’re interested in joining an upcoming training session, please email TechforHeroes@draftkings.com or visit the website here.
2. V School’s My Base Scholarship/Veterans in Tech Scholarships
How to apply: Click here to schedule an application with V School.
3. VetsinTech free online coursework
This company focuses on re-integration services by providing a tech-specific network, resources and programs for applicants interested in education, entrepreneurship and employment. Transitioning military, veterans and spouses of either can find free classes in tech coursework including Google Cloud certification, cybersecurity, Salesforce Admin training and more.
How to apply: Visit the VetsinTech website for more details, including requirements and schedules.
4. My Career Advancement Account Scholarship Program (MyCAA)
Through this workforce development program, military spouses can earn up to $4,000 in financial assistance for licenses, certifications or associate degrees to pursue a career in technology. The MyCAA website features career options in Information Technology and lists hundreds of educational certificates and licensing programs where MyCAA scholarships can be applied.
How to apply: Visit the MyCAA website to get started.
5. Federal Virtual Training Environment Cybersecurity Training
Managed by the Department of Homeland Security, this free online, on-demand cybersecurity training system is available to veterans. Participants in this program will receive more than 800 hours of training on topics such as ethical hacking and surveillance, risk management and malware analysis. Find out more about free coursework available to veterans from the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies here.
How to apply: Visit the FedVTE site to register and learn more about the application process.
6. Veterans Career Transition Program
Veterans and military spouses can learn business, technology and career skills in this program, which is free and entirely online. Provided by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, select courses are held each month.
- Access to program courses for up to one full year.
- Funding for one certification exam fee provided an individual completes the required coursework and practice exam requirements.
- An assigned advisor to help navigate the program.
- Comprehensive career coaching connections leading to interviews with companies committed to hiring veterans and military spouses.
How to apply: The IVMF application page at Syracuse University website offers more details about enrollment and advising.
7. National Military Family Association’s Code Platoon
This 14-week training program — available to veterans and military spouses — is a coding bootcamp that prepares beginners to become professional software developers. In-person sessions are based in Chicago, but a remote program can be attended online from anywhere. A free online tutorial is available for spouses who are completely new to coding. A variety of scholarships are available for this program.
How to apply: See which scholarships apply to your situation here.
Up-to-date training in technology fields can help veterans and military spouses put their best foot forward when looking for a new career. With these scholarships and free training opportunities, many if not most offered online, it’s easier than ever to build job skills that get your foot in the door — then a permanent seat — at any tech company.