A job search after leaving the military can be challenging. On the surface, jobs performed in the service seem highly specialized and specific to military life and many people may be living with the idea that they are best suited to certain careers. However, many of the skills developed in military careers actually translate well to high growth, technically advanced industries such as healthcare.
A recent event held outside of Atlanta focused on the many opportunities for military veterans in the life science and medical technology fields. The speakers, including U.S. Representative Tom Price, MD (R-Ga.), Dunwoody (Ga.) Mayor Denis Shortal and Mike Grice, board of directors, MVPvets (Lt. Col. USMC, Ret.) spoke about the highly valuable skill sets veterans bring to jobs in healthcare, including:
- Deep technical knowledge
- Ability to perform under pressure and successfully lead teams in stressful conditions, and
- A 360⁰ World View earned by working side-by-side with individuals from a variety of cultures.
A life sciences career may give you a chance to utilize your skills and realize what many veterans say they are looking for – meaningful and purposeful work.
Kenneth Morton served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years and is now a Product Support Specialist at Elekta, a company that manufacturers devices for radiation therapy.
“Today, I have a job that matters,” he said. “The skills I honed in the Navy as an aviation electronics technician translated well into my current role. During my naval career, I managed software systems and learned how to maintain, troubleshoot and repair sophisticated equipment. In my current career, I provide real-time, virtual technical support to leading medical institutions to ensure cancer patients get the radiotherapy treatments they need. Since 50 to 60 percent of people with cancer will need radiotherapy at some point during their treatment, this is a critical job.”
Engineers, information technology specialists, electrical and mechanical technicians are among the top 25 jobs for veterans, according to a recent survey conducted by GIJobs.com, and these are all positions needed by the medical technology industry. Veterans with skills in human resources, finance, logistics and the supply chain, among others, can also make valuable contributions to the medical technology industry.
As Mike Grice (Lt. Col. USMC, Ret.), a member of the board of directors of MVPvets commented at the event:
“The U.S. medical technology industry has led the world in innovation, quality and manufacturing excellence for decades, due in large part to its drive to serve the common good. Recruiting our nation’s veterans, who share this commitment and have dedicated their lives to something greater than themselves, is a natural extension of that mission.”