How NPower Gets Veterans into the Tech Field for Free

NPower gives free tech training for veterans and spouses
Ivan Alvarado, an NPower graduate, is shown at its New Jersey campus classroom. (Photo courtesy of NPower).

Transition to civilian life was a bumpy ride for Marine Corps veteran Ivan Alvarado. He wanted a career in tech but lacked the financial resources to pay for college. That is, until a fellow veteran told him about a free tech training program, NPower, which eventually landed him a dream job as a support analyst with Deloitte.

"NPower offered me much more than I could have ever hoped for, and when they took me in, they made me feel as if my service to this country was truly appreciated," Alvarado said in his graduating class interview. "I got the tools necessary to start a promising career that would help financially secure my family's future. I feel indebted to the staff, as they have shown genuine love for what they do and the lives they touch. ... NPower saved my life."

NPower, a national nonprofit headquartered in New York and with training centers in five states, provides hands-on, in-class instruction in basic IT competencies, including an opportunity to earn IT certifications, plus paid internships with corporate and nonprofit organizations.

At the end of the program, each student receives job assistance to ensure they land a full-time job in the tech sector. And the numbers speak to the program's success.

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According to NPower, it has served more than 3,000 students around the country, 40% of whom are veterans. A whopping 80% of students who enroll graduate from the program, and 100% of those students earn an industry-recognized IT certification and a full-time job upon graduating from the program. Graduates leave NPower with the competencies of an IT professional with 1-2 years of experience.

Related: 3 Ways Veterans Can Get Free Tech Training

"Over the next five years, almost one million servicemen and women will return to the workforce," said Bea Tassot, executive director of NPower New Jersey and national liaison for military strategy and programs. "We at NPower are committed to helping them transition to civilian careers with the skills and insight they need to succeed in the fast-paced and rewarding field of technology. It is our honor to do so."

And it's not just veterans' lives that NPower is changing. Its training is addressing a serious tech worker shortfall and helping grow the overall economy. According to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study, as many as 1.8 million IT jobs could be unfilled by 2022. Further, another study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the growth of skilled jobs will continue to outpace the supply of qualified tech workers.

Veterans are uniquely positioned to do well in tech. They possess grit, are solution-minded, excellent team workers and are used to operating in high-stress environments with high-tech equipment.

For more information or to apply to the program, visit NPower.

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