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When it comes to helping people continue to learn after high school and earn credentials for career success, what can we learn from the military? As it turns out, a great deal.
A new report shows some important lessons from the military but also raises questions when it comes to the education and training of our nation’s veterans.
Lumina, Strada Education Network, and Gallup researched the experiences of veterans who hold certificates or certifications, but not college degrees. The study, which surveyed 340,000 U.S. adults, including 30,000 veterans, found:
As the data reveal, while many veterans prosper in the civilian world, there are still many who find that their skills and training don’t easily translate to civilian credentials and careers. As a result, many of them are forced to retrain, re-qualify or start over because the civilian and military systems don’t speak a common language when it comes to skills. It is this disconnect we need to address to push toward increasing the number of service members and veterans who attain valuable credentials beyond high school.
Here are a few steps that employers and educators can take to help veterans select pathways to credentials:
We must work with the military and post-high school credential providers to use more common language to describe skills. Military education and training produce knowledge and skills that cut across a variety of credentialing opportunities.
With that in mind, credential providers should partner with the military to build pathways connecting military skills with in-demand credentials. For instance, pathway partnerships between military service branches and postsecondary education and training providers already exist. Through the work of The American Legion Military Credentialing Advisory Roundtable, this group of experts will uncover strong working models of public/private collaborations that can then be replicated across a variety of industries and institutions.
Clearly, we have more work to do. Service members and veterans are a rich source of talent, leadership, experience, and expertise; they’re a vital part of today’s workforce. The post-high school ecosystem is working to increase the number and types of pathways learners can pursue, and we must build credentialing opportunities that allow for those credentials to be easily recognized, stacked, and transferred.
We at Lumina are committed to working with the military, policymakers, veteran service organizations, schools, employers, foundations, and communities to support recognition of military training and create effective, connected pathways for veterans. Together, we will help them keep learning and earning – in the military and beyond.Back to News