The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Educational
Benefits for Military & Spouses
- As of December 2019 -
There are numerous educational tools & skill building opportunities out there that offer full and partial discounts to active duty and veterans. Some help you learn language or hobby skills, and many others are tailored to help transitioning service members and spouses to civilian careers. We hope this growing article helps you find some options outside of the traditional military education or university paths.
A few popular topics found in this article:
Allstate Joining Forces for Good Program
The Allstate Military Veterans and Spouses Program is designed to support honorably discharged veterans, active duty, Reserves, National Guard and their spouses — the only requirement to qualify! You don't need a college degree or even sales experience to get started. Their Virtual Licensing Program Includes:
Heavily discounted pre-licensing virtual course from ExamFX to prepare for the state P&C exam (up to a 58% discount)
Connecting you with regional recruiters for potential job placement
The opportunity to qualify for up to $1,000 in bonuses for licensing and retention
Veterans & spouses - earn & learn at the same time! Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential. Apprenticeship.gov offers a portal for job seekers, employers, and educators to connect.
BMW Military STEP
BMW offers the Military Student Technician Education Program (STEP) for those transitioning out of the military within 180 days of a class start date. They offer a 16-week technical training course that can give you both hands-on training as well as workshop-based training. Once you graduate, BMW actually gets a hold of you and helps you find a job as an automotive technician at an authorized BMW dealership. Candidates of the program should have an MOS (military occupational specialty) or prior civilian career in automotive, wheel vehicle mechanics, technology or avionics. The program is currently located on Camp Pendleton in California.
To learn more about applying to MSTEP and class start dates contact BMWSTEP@bmwna.com
Computers & IT
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate
Chances are you've probably heard of Amazon, one of the most valued companies in the world, and a major technology trend called 'cloud services'. Amazon's cloud platform is called AWS (Amazon Web Services). It provides on-demand cloud computing & web services to individuals, companies, and governments. Learning to work with AWS would be a very valuable skill and Amazon offers a few benefits to veterans & spouses through AWS Educate:
AWS Educate provides U.S. Veterans access to credits, training, and the option to choose their desired cloud career. AWS Educate delivers a personalized path that includes content, knowledge checks, and badging that guides them through the learning process. AWS Educate is available to veterans, transitioning military personnel, and their spouses residing in the United States:
$50 in AWS promotional credits for use of AWS or, alternatively, access to a no credit card required AWS Educate Starter Account with $40 AWS credits.
Access to AWS Educate’s cloud career pathways, with 30+ hours of content, assessments, and projects personalized to your chosen career path.
Access to micro-credentials as AWS Educate Certificates of Completion and AWS Educate Badges.
Access to AWS Educate Job Board with jobs and internships from Amazon and partners.
Access to AWS Business Essentials and AWS Technical Essentials online training courses ($600 value).
Breakline is an immersive educational program for veterans transitioning into new careers in the nation's top tech companies. Breakline works with veterans and transitioning service members who are interested in mid-level management or mid-level/senior technical roles in major U.S. tech hubs, including the Bay Area, Austin, Denver, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and New York.
IBM Veteran Employment Initiative
(From their site) IBM’s Veterans Employment Initiative provides software training, certification and job placement assistance to veterans pursuing careers as data analysts. IBM experts lead five-day training sessions at dozens of locations each year, featuring IBM i2® Analyst’s Notebook® software. Part of our Impact Grants portfolio, the initiative works with Corporate America Supports You (CASY) and Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCNN) to host sessions and recruit qualified participants. The program has certified hundreds of veterans in the United States. Veterans interested in learning how their skills and experience may fit at IBM can use the Watson Candidate Assistant, which matches credentials from your resume to open IBM positions.
You can learn about employment and training services, and how to participate, at CASY and MSCNN.
Microsoft Software & Systems Academy
Microsoft Software & Systems Academy provides active duty and veterans an 18-week (or two 9-week terms) training for high-demand careers in cloud development, cloud administration, cybersecurity administration, or database and business intelligence administration. Program graduates have an opportunity to interview for a full-time job at Microsoft or one of our hiring partners.
Location of Classes:
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC
Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI
Joint Base San Antonio, TX
Fort Campbell, KY
Fort Benning, GA
Fort Bragg, NC
Fort Carson, CO
Fort Bliss, TX
Jacksonville, FL, serving the communities of NAS Jacksonville and NAS Mayport
San Diego, CA, serving the communities NAS San Diego, NAS North Island and MCAS Miramar
NPower is a national, nonprofit organization that provides technical education to veterans and their spouses. It offers tuition-free training in technology basics, coding, cybersecurity and other aspects of tech. NPower currently operates in New York, Texas, California, Maryland, Toronto, New Jersey and Missouri.
Salesforce is the world's #1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution and fastest growing enterprise software company. Trailhead Military is their program to increase the number of veterans and spouses in cloud computing careers. The Trailhead Military program offers active duty military, veterans, and military spouses access to Salesforce training course preparation classes and exam vouchers.
SAS Training Discount
Did you know that the national average salary for a Data Scientist is about $113,000? In short, a Data Scientist helps an organization make sense of all their data with graphic design, mathematical analysis, business forecasting, and operations research. SAS is an integrated system of software solutions that enables you to learn how to be a Data Scientist. The company offers a great discount package to current active-duty service members, veterans who previously served in active, guard or reserve capacity, and spouses of active-duty service members or veterans.
To help those who served develop an analytics career using SAS, they offer
free e-learning available 24/7 to accommodate your schedule
free SAS learning software: SAS University Edition
free certification exams to validate your knowledge
50% off classroom training
50% off Live Web virtual classes with live instructor
50% off SAS Academy for Data Science (classroom and e-learning offerings)
50% off e-Learning Self-Study packages (denoted on course title)
50% off e-Learning subscriptions (denoted on course title)
50% off e-Learning Virtual Lab products (denoted on course title)
50% off SAS books.
USO + Skillsoft
USO has partnered with Skillsoft, the global leader in corporate learning, to offer FREE access to their Percipio™ intelligent learning platform – including a vast array of business, digital and IT skills content.
Whether you want to pursue a career in cyber security, or advance in your project management certification, or just become a more effective leader, Skillsoft has the tools to help you.
Active duty service members (up to 12 months before leaving the military), military spouses, and veterans up to a year after they leave military service are eligible for this program.
Program participants commit to active participation in the program.
Program participants must have their own computer/device or access to one in order to complete online training modules.
Program participants may be contacted by a USO Pathfinder™ Scout to offer support and facilitate connection with additional tools and resources.
Vets Who Code
Launched in 2014, Vets Who Code is a non-profit dedicated to filling the nations technical skills gap by connecting and training veterans remotely in web development in order to ease career transition for military veterans and to give military spouses skills to provide stability as they move to support their families.
VA Vet Tec Program
We wanted to include this program in this article, even though it's government sponsored. The VA Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program is a tuition and housing assistance program to help veterans (no active duty or spouses) to launch a new career, hit the ground running during your transition to civilian life, or improve your business. In short, you will have your classes and training paid for by VA and will receive a monthly housing stipend during your training without touching your GI Bill entitlement.
Helmets to Hardhats
Helmets to Hardhats is a national, nonprofit program that connects National Guard, Reserve, retired (veterans) and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. The program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry. Their website offers connections to various programs such as:
The SMART Heroes Program
SMART Heroes provides sheet metal industry training through an accelerated seven-week program for enlisted U.S. Military men and women who plan to enter civilian life within the year, assisting with their successful transition to the civilian workforce and satisfying lifelong career in the sheet metal industry.
The Millwrights Veterans Program (MVP)
The Millwrights Veterans Program (MVP) offers a Free 8-week veterans program specially designed to take specific military experience matched with innovative millwrights training for a rewarding career
The Veterans in Piping (VIP) program
The Veterans in Piping (VIP) program offers high-quality skills training and jobs in the pipe trades to US veterans and active duty military personnel preparing to leave the service
ID.me is a valuable online recourse to verify your military status and qualify for online discounts. We will cover more of the general discounts in another article. The following are the educational discounts offered via its shopping portal:
30% of Udemy (World’s largest marketplace for teaching & learning)
Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Though is not specific to military, we wanted to include it for all military families to be aware of.
Khan Academy offers free coursework in:
Mathematics: algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, calculus, recreational math, math contests and much more
Science: biology, physics, chemistry, cosmology and astronomy, health and medicine, discoveries, engineering and projects
Economics and finance: microeconomics, macroeconomics and finance and capital markets
Arts and humanities: history, music, art, government and politics and more
Computing: computer programming, computer science and coding
Khan Academy also offers preparation for the following tests:
Linkedin Premium & Learning
Linkedin offers active service members or veterans of the U.S. military 1-year free Premium Career subscription. This premium subscription will help you get noticed by recruiters, build out your network, stay in the know on new jobs that fit with your skills, and easily apply for new opportunities. In addition, they include a free year of unlimited access to over 10,000 courses in business, creative, and technology skills, all taught by industry experts through our LinkedIn Learning platform (previously known an Lynda.com).
Military Learn More & Apply Here
For spouses, Linked in offers one-year Premium Career subscription with each permanent change of station, career change or job loss. Additionally, eligible spouses also get access to our library of more than 12,000 business, technical, and creative courses. This includes a LinkedIn Learning Path built specifically for military spouses to help you manage issues like job portability, remote work, and freelancing.
Spouses Learn More & Apply Here
Onward to Opportunity (O2O)
Supported by grants from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Schultz Family Foundation, Onward to Opportunity – formerly known as the Veterans Career Transition Program – utilizes an online learning platform to help active duty, selected reserve, veterans, and military spouses learn business, technology, and other relevant skills to accomplish their personal and professional goals. O2O combines industry-validated curricula, strong partnerships with leading veteran service organizations and private sector companies, and comprehensive career coaching services to prepare and match you with your next career.
Click Here for the List of Locations To Apply To
Military missions and exercises share the civilian definition of a project: a temporary endeavor undertaken to achieve unique goods, services, or results. Vets2PM mission: To help Military Veterans become Project Managers by: 1. Inspiring them with a clear, meaningful, lucrative end-state as a career Project Manager; 2. Train them to deliver project success and obtain project management credentials; 3. Prepare them for CIVDIV reintegration with professional resumes, interview skills, and social media savvy; 4. Place them into meaningful, lucrative proejct management careers. Membership is free. Courses run from $900 and up. Veterans have been able to use TA or GI Bill to help cover the costs. The real value is the community and network that the the organization is connected to.
They are a federally certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business that offer Project Management Professional (PMP) courses. They offer a 10% discount on all courses to all military veterans.
Century 21 Veteran Support
Affiliate with a local franchise office and they offer:
Up to 50% off online real estate pre-licensing course (in select states)
Up to 50% off continuing education courses
Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification Training - up to $130 value
First-year registration to the One21® Experience (CENTURY 21 Global Conference) - up to a $799 value
Long & Foster Scholarship
Long & Foster offers full scholarships for real estate licensing classes to military veterans, active duty personnel, and their spouses. P Wesley Foster Military Service Scholarships cover tuition and books for classes in DC, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia through the Long & Foster Institute of Real Estate and in Pennsylvania through the Foster Real Estate School. All classes are designed to meet the classroom hours of initial real estate education mandated by the real estate licensing agencies.
MetroBrokers Vet to Rep Program
The Veterans to REP program is specifically designed and open to all Military/Armed Service members as well as their spouses. This includes Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard, Reservist and National Guard.
Our program provides recruits with:
A full scholarship that covers the cost of Real Estate School
The first 6 months of real estate expenses with BHGRE Metro Brokers
In return, the recruit will sign a 24-month commitment to work with Better Homes and Garden (BHGRE) Metro Brokers and be enrolled in the company's X-celerater program.
PenFed Realty Real Heroes Program
The Real Heroes Program, offered through PenFed Realty, is designed to support veterans, military spouses, and active duty men and women in their transition from military to a civilian career in real estate.
The program covers up-front costs to secure a real estate license, up to $2,500.
Real estate training and licensing exams
Insurance (for real estate errors & omissions)
Membership in applicable real estate associations
A two-year commitment is required for the funding
SkillBridge is a DoD program that partners with industry to help transitioning military members get the best skills and experience possible to succeed in the civilian workforce. The best part about the program is that it permits you to use up to the last 180 days of Active Service, with standard military pay, medical, and all other benefits, to work and learn with an industry partner.
Any rank, enlisted or officer, may apply for SkillBridge. There are many industry partners with opportunities in a variety of fields, such as energy, information technology, manufacturing, retail, transportation, civil service and more. These industry partners have developed SkillBridge programs for separating Service members because they value your expertise, dedication and service.
Go to the SkillBridge Locations Map to learn about existing opportunities.
Also, please view our exclusive interview below with Capt Catherine Ferraro in how she utilized the program to go from a Space Officer to a Yoga Executive!
*Written in Coordination with Justin, Army Veteran*
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