Skills Training for Veterans

Free Programs for Training Veterans

Whether unemployed, underemployed, or seeking a career change, it’s helpful to know that some organizations offer free skills training to Veterans.

Such organizations respect the service and sacrifices made by Veterans, and the traits that make Veterans great additions to civilian work teams. They know the value that military experiences in leadership, technology, missions, planning, and workload management bring to civilian employers.

In addition to free skills training, these organizations provide support services, interview training, and job placement help. A few offer “earn-while-you-learn” opportunities.

In this article we offer information on six programs providing free training to eligible Veterans.

Onward to Opportunity (O2O)
Free career training program offers:

  • Online learning
  • Training in Business Management, Information Technology, and Customer Service
  • Help with recognized industry certification exams
  • Connection to Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) and private sector companies committed to hiring and training veterans and military spouses
  • Assessment tool to help align a training plan with skills, interests and professional goals

Available to:

  • Veterans
  • Active-Duty Military
  • National Guard and Reserves
  • Spouses of eligible Veterans, and spouses of all active-duty service members and Selected Reserve members

Refer to the Application page for complete eligibility details.

Fill out the Interest Form on the Application. An O2O team member will reach out to discuss training options and upcoming cohorts.

Microsoft Military Affairs
Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) training program funded by Microsoft offers:

Multiple learning paths that lead to Information Technology roles like:

  • Software Developer
  • Service Engineer
  • Support Engineer
  • IT/Helpdesk
  • Program Manager
  • Online training
  • Access for entry-level applicants as well as those with prior exposure to Information Technology
  • Opportunity to interview for a full-time job at Microsoft or one of their hiring partners

Available to:

  • Veterans – Honorable or General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions
  • Active-duty service members
  • Guard/Reserve

Applicants must be able to make a full-time commitment over 17 weeks, and able to commit to the instructional time zone for the cohort duration.

Eligible applicants must be willing to obtain, or already have, pre-requisite certification. For eligible applicants that do not have pre-requisite certification, MSSA provides training material and a voucher for the Pearson VUE ITS certification exam.

Refer to the MSSA-Core-FAQ for complete eligibility and other details.

How to Apply:

  • Joining a virtual brief
  • Selecting a learning path
  • Preparing an application
  • Satisfying prerequisites

Refer to the Get Started section of the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy page for complete information.

Career Forward
Google Certification program through Hiring Our Heroes, funded by Google, offers:

Online training for a variety of Google Career Certificates for jobs in:

  • Project Management
  • Data Analytics
  • UX Design
  • IT Support
  • Python (advanced program)
  • Flexible, self-paced training that can be completed in 3 to 6 months, part-time.
  • No experience necessary
  • Individual and group support
  • Opportunities to engage with fellow learners, program graduates, and professionals in the certificate fields
  • Access to job search support, like interview prep and career workshops
  • Opportunity to connect with ready-to-hire employers

Available to:

  • Veterans – Honorable or General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions
  • Active-duty service members
  • Guard/Reserve

Applicants must be able to commit to completing the program within 6 months of starting.

Complete the online application form.

Drive for 500 CDL Scholarship for Military Veterans
Driver training program launched in collaboration with Indeed, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, Transforce Group, and Troops Into Transportation offers:

Class A Commercial Drivers License training scholarships – currently limited to 500 scholarships – providing:

  • Coverage of all training costs, excluding meals and incidental costs
  • Sll required theory and behind the wheel training
  • Travel and transportation to the training locations
  • Lodging
  • All training materials
  • DOT physical and testing fees

Available to:

  • Honorable or General Under Honorable Conditions discharge Military Veteran
  • National Guard or Reservist
  • Military Spouse

Eligible applicants must be at least 18 years of age, pass a required drug test, and meet school admissions requirements.

Helmets To Hardhats (H2H) (earn while you learn)

This nationally recognized paid apprenticeship program offers:

  • Training in 14 construction trades
  • No experience required
  • 3 – 5 year programs teaching everything needed to work in a specialized skilled craft
  • Training provided by trade organizations at no cost to Veteran participants
  • Affiliate unions and partner contractors operate more than 1,600 U.S. training centers

Create an account to get started here.

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