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Career Development for Veterans - Recommendations for Counselors

The US Department of Labor recently published that 9.2% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are currently unemployed. The economic recession has made finding employment challenging for all sectors of the population, but veterans have maintained a higher level than most. The National Career Development Association explores research on student veterans’ career transitions and identifies higher education best practices to support student veterans. Dr. Sarah Minnis discusses recent research on veterans as well as her recommendations for treatment.

Research Conclusions

  • Veterans in higher education undergo shifts to their personal and professional power that force them to question who they are and how they relate to the environment around them.
  • Veterans must adjust the ways in which they relate to others and learn new strategies to engage the career development and civilian employment search processes.
  • New environments and information veterans encounter on campus and in the civilian employment search include the career motivations, job search strategies, and relationships with which they must engage if they are to be successful.
  • Veterans must find a way to incorporate the hope and fear they feel into their lives and find a way to manage these emotions as part of career development to pursue new civilian careers.

Recommendations for Practice

Participants in this research made recommendations for practice in higher education that aligned with my recommendations based on the data and conclusions drawn.

  • Early Career Services Outreach - Because veterans do not seek assistance unless necessary, school representatives should contact them preemptively so they are aware of resources available and how to access them.
  • Career Services Staff Training - Implement career development staff training on how to assist veterans with résumé development and interview preparation because staff are likely unfamiliar with the nuances of military work.
  • Military Cultural Competency Training - Implement military cultural competency training campus-wide, particularly for those responsible for teaching and advising activities to learn how to effectively educate and make thoughtful referrals of veterans to supportive resources.

For the full article click here:

Veterans Develop Career Confidence in Higher Education By Sarah Minnis

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