Military spouses, we salute you! You play a crucial role in supporting your spouse and play a part in the freedoms we all enjoy. We recognize the challenges you face. It’s not easy frequently relocating, sacrificing time with your other half, and centering your family life on your spouse’s career. In addition, putting your spouse’s service as the priority likely creates a professional challenge for you. How do you pursue a career you love with all of the unknowns in your life? If you’ve asked yourself this question, you’re not alone.
Career Challenges for Military Spouses
In a ground-breaking report published by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families in February 2014 it was reported, “the majority of Armed Forces spouses believe that the military lifestyle—including frequent moves, deployments, living in areas with poor local labor market conditions, and long hours that keep service members from assisting with parenting—has negatively affected their employment opportunities.”
With more than 2,000 respondents, the study compared the career circumstances of military spouses and civilian spouses. The report states, “Military spouses have been shown to exhibit the effects of an economic disadvantage compared to civilian spouses with respect to unemployment, income and career advancement while at the same time possessing, on average, more advanced education than their civilian counterparts.”
Don’t Face the Battle Alone—Career Support is Available
While these findings may sound discouraging, there is hope. Military spouses can rise above the statistics and find fulfillment in their professional pursuits with portable, well-paying careers. How? Don’t face this battle alone—make use of Department of Defense funding and career counseling.
“The Defense Department is committed to investing in military families,” said Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness in the 2010 press release announcing the re-launch of the MyCAA program. “When we invest in the well-being of the family, we invest in the well-being of the force.”
As part of supporting families, the MyCAA program is intended to “help military spouses, with the greatest need, successfully enter, navigate and advance in portable careers.” Spouses of junior military members may obtain educational funding to pursue licenses, certificates, certifications, or associate degrees to work in high-demand, portable career fields. The program also offers complimentary career counseling services to help military spouses establish and accomplish goals, and identify and use federal education benefits.
How Jessica Conquered Career Challenges—And You Can Too
What difference can MyCAA funding make in a milspouse’s life? Meet Jessica Cumber. When Jessica’s husband joined the Air Force and their family moved to another state, Jessica wanted to find a job quickly. Jessica chose Career Step, a MyCAA-approved institution, took advantage of the MyCAA funding program, which completely covered her tuition costs, and took courses online at her own pace, which often meant late-night studying after work.
“I was able to do the course at my pace, and completely online—which fit in with being a military wife, employed full time, and a mom of two school-aged daughters,” said Jessica. “I finished the program in a little less than a month, got a 96% on my final exam, and graduated with High Honors.”
Jessica graduated from Career Step’s program prepared to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification exam. She found a local job as a pharmacy technician within weeks of graduating.
Specific Job Training—So You Get Working Fast
How can you quickly train to accomplish your career goals with an affordable, portable education? Check out MyCAA! The DoD has specifically designed the program to support military spouses and help them overcome the unique career challenges you face. You may also want to consider online education because the flexibility and other benefits it provides make it an ideal option for military spouses. Programs like Career Step’s MyCAA-approved online training courses can help you train for a new career at your own pace and on your own schedule in as little as 3 months.
Interested in learning more? Call 1-855-261-7366 to speak with our team or visit CareerStep.com/mycaa to learn more about the types of job training we offer.
Be sure to check back for the upcoming articles in this series, which will share more details on MyCAA eligibility requirements and what the funding will pay for. Curious now? Check out more details here.