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Got Security Clearance? Former Military Service Personnel Have a Competitive Advantage for a Great Job!

Got Security Clearance? Former Military Service Personnel Have a Competitive Advantage for a Great Job!

Service men and women separating from the military and entering the civilian job market are often sought out by companies looking for reliable self-starters who are used to hard work and primed for leadership. In addition, former service members who have security clearance possess an additional advantage when competing for a job that requires this designation. Many civilian companies servicing government contracts have a variety of positions that require security clearance. Civilians seeking to gain this status must be formally sponsored by a company who pays for them to complete a long-term process, which includes a formal, in-depth background check. Since security clearance is expensive and most often takes over two years, it’s easy to see how valuable ex-military personnel with clearance can be.

Security Clearance Considerations for Those Separating from the Military

Joseph Townsend (SSG, US Army, Ret.) is the Military Relations Talent Acquisition Lead for General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) in Bossier City. Townsend emphasized that GDIT and other government contractors actively seek to hire veterans with security clearances.

“One important note is that a security clearance expires two years after separation from the military if you do not continue to a role where it is required. Job seekers are more marketable with an active clearance,” explained Townsend. “In addition, Active military should take advantage of earning certifications before their release date. Onward to Opportunity (O2O) is a free program to service members.” O2O is a comprehensive career training, certification and employment program designed to launch transitioning service members and veterans into a career. O2O offers over 30 industry-recognized career tracks and certifications in such areas as general information technology, A+ LINUX + and Security+, as well as Project Management Professional (PMP) for business management.

What Kind of Jobs Are Available That Require Security Clearance?

“There are a variety of opportunities that are open in the civilian world requiring a security clearance; however, to my knowledge there is no formal list,” explains Susan Stakes, Veteran Educational Services, Veteran Resource Center at Bossier Parish Community College. Stakes listed such companies as those that deal in government contracts, national defense, the cyber world, or areas that require the utmost discretion where sensitive information is involved. Security clearances and the specific level needed are dependent not only on what the company does, but on such variants as the job position, what information and access is needed to perform the position, and how that information is going to be used.

“If a person transitioning out of the military is seeking a particular position in a company, they need to do a little research to see if a clearance is required,” she explained. “Since there are different levels of clearances, it’s better for the service members to do their homework before they separate and know by whom they would like to be employed or in what field. Having a clearance of some type already in place and knowing how it will be used will get them into the job pipeline much quicker.”

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