);
Tag

Veterans

The Natural Healing Properties of Thalassotherapy for Veterans – by Alicia Leos

By Health No Comments

In 2011, I was spending my days on a hill in Khowst, Afghanistan. Thanks to the training, I was always ready, “To deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat,” (The Soldier’s Creed of the United States Army). Whether I was inside or outside the Concertina wire that covered the tops of our HESCO barriers, I accepted that our two platoons of the 870th Military Police Company were surrounded with people who wanted to kill us. I experienced how the war changed the way I viewed the world, the judgment I gave myself, and how it changed the service members who haven’t touched their boots on bloodied soil. All veterans served, spent owned time with a Drill, (Term for cadre of boot camp instructors), and are taught in any military basic training a rule with no name which brands warrior hearts to be in it for each other till the end, and it goes like this; ‘Nobody, gets left behind.’

Today, a lot of our discharged armed forces members suffer through a deficit of assurance when it used to be there in abundance of benefits while they were in the service. A lack of purpose can crash over as waves of regret and resentment to the ones who wander the halls of the V.A. In a different time, they had a special type of confidence the moment they swore an oath to become an active member of a force that assigned them a duty to protect and defend the people of the United States of America. This duty is a job that was bestowed on them by the right of the ink above a dotted line that follows behind a legacy of those who sacrificed with blood, tears, and nightmares. Instead of finding glory for the fight of freedom, they discovered flags impaled in the backs of the dead before them. Once upon a time, the friends and families out there who once prostrated before the squared away heroes they thought they knew didn’t question a thought such as, ‘Yeah, they would kill, or even die for me.’ It’s not long after the dust settles that those veterans are fighting to unlatch the demons that followed them home from work. These vets suffer a serious disconnection from people who were once familiar in their pre-military lives and have some others questioning if they are safe to be around at all. These circumstances are a few of many reasons why the wounded brave can easily give up all hope that one day they will know what it’s like to feel a connection to their world, that will lead to a meaningful life once again. My brothers and sisters at arms, our veterans, (Status: discharged, active, combat, and non-Combat,) signed their freedoms away. It is long overdue that they have more opportunities to feel the spirit of freedom present once more. That opportunity is within Thalassotherapy.

Thalassotherapy literally translates to, Sea Therapy because ‘Thalasso’ is Greek for the sea. In 1867, Dr. La Bonnardiere gave the ocean healing a name. He also observed that seawater is a therapeutic conduit that can prevent all sorts of ailments because it revitalizes and cleanses the system. Although he “coined” the term, he did not invent it. The esoteric Ancient Egyptians and Greek philosophers (Euripides, Hippocrates, Plato, and Herodotus) recognized the oceans held special properties that improved physical and mental health as early as 484 BC. They recorded the effects of the revitalizing results that came with those who were submerging themselves in seawater. One more example of how our veterans are guaranteed to receive some therapy within the ocean’s waters comes from an article published by Massage Magazine, “Not only do both of these fluids contain all trace elements and minerals, the quantities of minerals are nearly identical. Seawater is so close to our bodies’ internal environment that if white blood cells are removed from the body and placed in a sterile seawater solution, they are able to maintain normal cell function for up to five weeks; this is the only solvent that will accommodate continued cellular activity…” (Angela Eriksen-Stanley, the author). The benefits our wounded warriors can get from this vital source of minerals and trace elements are within every type of Thalassotherapy application. The Thalassotherapy benefits found within being submerged in its waters include Being with nature, improved range of motion, sleep, cognitive attention skills, mood, well-being, motivation, reduced mental, and physiological fatigue, and a heightened quality of life.

This sea therapy is the answer to a lot of the veterans who are suffering from PTSD, pain in their bodies, insomnia, depression, and fatigue. There are many forms of Hydro Therapy or water therapy. Thalassotherapy is the most beneficial to veterans who struggle with stress-related symptoms today. The ways Some of these fighters decide that they do want to take a step toward getting better, but don’t know where to start. For example, The Wave Academy helps guide veterans toward this holistic approach with the support of organizations and Veteran rehabilitation centers like VVSD (Veteran’s Village of San Diego). The Wave Academy utilizes the practice using a form of aquatic massage called, Watsu, and their goal is to enrich the lives of veterans who suffer from their wartime injuries. These are real testimonies written by veterans who took part in The Wave Academy’s program is proof that Thalassotherapy works. “I have been experiencing very real flashbacks recently and am on the verge of crying at any moment. Today was the first time I have felt safe all week and that overwhelms me with gratitude.” (Waves Academy, Post-911 Veteran, MTS and PTS, Session 7)
“ I was anxious upon arrival with racing thoughts. Had bad night terrors/sweats. In the water…it all melted away. Marcia is an angel healer. Thank you.”
(Waves Academy, Vietnam Vet, Session 9)

“After the 1st session: The experience is hard to explain…very comfortable, maternal, relaxing, unencumbering, free. One of the nicest experiences I have had in many years.” (Waves Academy, Post-911 Veteran, survived a suicide bomber, Session 1) Thankfully, there are organizations out there that are poised to help them adjust to life after the military. Another example of sea therapy experienced, but a sad one is of Navy rescue swimmer James Bizzle. He was suffering through his PTS and addiction and became homeless. Once he graduated a rehabilitation program for homeless veterans, he found his bearings. The first thing he did after that was to get a group of fellow vets to go snorkel with him because “It feels natural to go back to the water. It’s like I get to know myself all over again. It starts with the shock of the cold that says, ‘Wake up!’” (James Bizzle, The Snorks, Facebook Messaging Group). If there is something out there that can quell the symptoms of trauma experienced by a combat veteran, and it’s in the ocean. Motivation and a newfound sense of wonder can greet candidates that you would think did not fit the qualification of liking the ocean at all. This testimony comes from an original member of The Snorks group that expanded and made a Meet-Up in San Diego. “Shane Yost was terrified of the water. His ankle bears a tattoo of a line with the words Do not fill above this line. He wasn’t comfortably exceeding that depth, and he lived by those words. But on a day out from the Aspire Center, a veteran residential rehabilitation treatment program based in San Diego, he put aside that fear when a girl meekly asked if someone could join her boogie boarding. ‘One of my weaknesses is when someone asks me to do something,’ says Yost. So he crept into the ocean — and stayed there. Thirty minutes passed, and the post-traumatic stress disorder survivor realized he’d started having fun. Next came an invite from a friend to go snorkeling. One taste of swimming with seals and sea lions and Yost was hooked, devoting every weekend to his newfound hobby.”

Thalassotherapy doesn’t alter the inner workings of the brain that makes a person who they are. Instead, this holistic approach will be an experience that will quiet the mind and give the key back to the wounded soul. Two years after James stopped our regular Sunday 9 am Snorkel Session off La Jolla Cove, he lost sight of other commitments and became homeless again. I saw him at Operation Stand down San Diego this year. I asked if he snorkels anymore, and he said, “Man it’s been a while since I’ve gone out there. I miss it a lot.” The smile was proof to me that ocean therapy works. With just the memories of his time in the ocean water, he still can experience the happiness he felt, and flashback to the sense of relief it brought him.

To conclude, water has a healing power altogether and it comes in many different forms of therapies. Thalassotherapy, Balneotherapy, and the Chinese practice of taking in water. “Thalassotherapy faded away in the Western world when philosophers embraced Aristotelian logic, which was then nurtured by Galileo (1568–1642) and Descartes (1596–1650)… The decline may thus well be due to the adoption by the great minds of the time of stricter scientific viewpoints, and rational reasoning by the Renaissance researchers and thinkers.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535692/)Thalassotherapy is a method of healing while using properties of the sea life (i.e. seaweed), ocean water, and climate to help give our veterans restoration of health, and energy which is creating within them an environment where they can feel at peace.

The Effects of Complimentary Alternative Medicine for the Poor – by Lindsey R. Hyde

By Health No Comments

By definition, ‘accessible’ means being reached or is within reach, as well as the capability of being used, seen, understood, or appreciated. A few common examples of this applied in society include ramps for individuals that navigate the world in a wheelchair, iPhone’s VoiceOver screen reader for people that have a vision impairment or color blindness, and vibrating street crossing buttons to alert those with both hearing and vision loss. Accessibility creates an environment where being an able-bodied individual is not the only standard from which the universe operates. It is all-inclusive, modifying what is already available and always expanding to give everybody the best chance at a successful life not determined by their disability or circumstances. Massage and bodywork, alternative medicine, body movement therapies such as yoga or Tai Chi, and self-care practices and education should be accessible by everyone. In the case of those who are homeless, living in poverty, or are low income, there are many barriers that can stand in the way of them receiving this care, cost, and knowledge being at the top of the list. This paper will discuss the physical and mental effects of being homeless or living in poverty, the positive effects of complementary alternative medicine in this population and why it is vital they receive it regularly, as well as what actions are currently being taken to address the issues of accessibility of this care and why it should matter to you.

According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2017 thirty-nine million people (12.3%) in the United States were living in poverty and almost four-hundred thousand of those people were San Diego residents (11.9%.) Poverty is measured by the U.S. Census Bureau using set income thresholds that vary based on the composition and size of a family. If that family’s income totals less than their threshold value, they are considered as living in poverty. In 2017, the computed poverty threshold for one person living in the United States was 12,488 dollars. With the average population per household being 2.54 that same year, two adults and one child, the poverty threshold was 19,515 dollars. In stark comparison, the median household income of the U.S. in 2017 was 61,372 dollars. Poverty is not just struggling to pay bills or missing a meal, chronic poverty puts physical, emotional, and mental stress and pressures on millions of families each year. The effects of poverty are generational and cyclical, and they extensively impact individuals of all ages, races, and ethnicities nationwide. The basic necessities of survival such as food, shelter, and clean drinking water become such a struggle to secure that things like healthcare, education, and entertainment are seen as frivolous luxuries. Children born into and developing in poverty have higher rates of delinquency, depression and anxiety disorders, lower academic scores, and higher prevalence of cognitive, attention, and behavioral problems. Poverty in adulthood is host to the development of numerous mental health disorders, physiological and psychological stress, and higher rates of suicide. Where there is poverty, there is a lack of education, crime, joblessness, and poor physical and mental health.

In a study published in 2015 done in partnership between San Francisco State University’s Institute for Holistic Health Studies, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, and Texas Tech University Health Science Centers, a direct correlation was found between level of education/income level and knowledge or lack of knowledge of 4 common complementary health practices. A correlation was also discovered between the level of education and ‘lack of need’ being a reason for not utilizing those complementary health approaches. During this research, a survey was used to poll people who have never used acupuncture, chiropractic work, supplements, and herbs, or yoga and their reasoning why. Those who did not graduate from high school were 29-58% more likely to have selected ‘lack of knowledge’ as a reason for non-use across all categories polled. Individuals with higher income levels polled less likely to select ‘lack of knowledge’ as a reason of non-use, for example, this bracket was 37% less likely to choose ‘lack of knowledge’ as a reason for not using chiropractic care. On the basis of education, voters with a higher level of completed education were significantly more likely to choose ‘lack of need’ as a response to non-use of complementary health. Those who attended college were 22% more likely to select ‘lack of need’ in response to non-use of chiropractor and acupuncture care. In conclusion, this data coincides perfectly with the sentiments mentioned above. Living in poverty drastically diminishes the opportunity for affording educational opportunities and utilizing healthcare services. It can be inferred from above that having a higher income equals better healthcare, less labor-intensive work, and potentially fewer injuries, thus creating less need for complementary health approaches.

A study published in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Center for Health Statistics further prove the disparities between income level, access, and use of complementary health approaches. Families with incomes over one-hundred thousand dollars had four times more out-of-pocket expenses ($6.2 billion) paid for visits to complementary health practitioners per year than those families making less than twenty-five thousand dollars (1.3 billion.) Natural products and supplement sales paid for out-of-pocket per year were twice as much for families with incomes between fifty and ninety-nine thousand dollars ($4.1 billion) than for those making less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($1.9 billion.) Furthermore, individuals in two of the highest income brackets spent significantly more than half of all the out-of-pocket expenditures for complementary health approaches ($21.1 billion/70.2%.) Those families were also willing to spend almost one-hundred and sixty dollars more on average per occasion while receiving complementary healthcare services or purchasing health products. These studies draw two main conclusions, higher-income individuals, overall, are either spending the most amount of money on alternative healthcare or have the knowledge and means to use it but do not feel the need to. While those with lower incomes and/or living in poverty contribute significantly less money to the purchases of alternative healthcare, the population even more vulnerable and most often forgotten in the world of complementary health services is homeless.

According to The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, over half a million people nationwide experience homelessness on any given night. Half of all homeless individuals reside in the top five states with the highest rates of homeless populations. California has the most total people experiencing homelessness at almost one-hundred and thirty thousand homeless individuals any given day, followed by New York, Florida, Texas, and Washington. 2019’s WeAllCount, point-in-time-count, San Diego results show at the very minimum, just over eight-thousand San Diegans live on the streets or shelters on any given night, making it fourth highest on the list of major cities with the most occurrence of homelessness. Thirty-six percent, of the homeless population in San Diego, report being physically disabled, twelve percent are under the age of twenty-four, ten percent are veterans, and three percent are families with at least one child. The effects of homelessness are much more extensive and physically dangerous than those effects of individuals living in poverty. The homeless experience more serious health conditions such as skin diseases due to decreased hygiene habits and access to clean running water, cold or heat injuries by constant exposure to the elements, nutritional deficiencies due to poor diet and/or starvation, drug dependency, alcoholism, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, and much higher rates of mortality, among many others. Psychological effects of homelessness include loss of self-esteem and self-worth, loss of ability and will to care for oneself, increased danger of abuse and violence, increased risk of taking part in or witnessing criminal activity and being incarcerated or otherwise being institutionalized, and development of behavioral problems including substance abuse.

The homeless population and those living in poverty are subjectively in the most need of massage and bodywork, alternative medicine, body movement therapies, and self-care instruction and education, but are least likely to have access to it, let alone be able to engage in it. These types of therapies have the potential to be highly effective for reducing stress and anxiety, increasing blood flow and lymphatic drainage, lowering blood pressure, and soothing neuromuscular pain and discomfort. Such treatments are less expensive long term due to the focus being preventative, this can lead to fewer injuries and illnesses, fewer doctors’ visits and less reliance on prescription medication. High prices and the fight of getting insurance companies to cover complementary health prevents access to these alternatives for many low-income Americans and most of the homeless population.

A 2008 issue of Healing Hands, a publication of the Healthcare for the Homeless (HCH) Clinicians’ Network, explored the use of complementary and alternative therapies in homeless healthcare. HCH Manchester in New Hampshire developed an eight-week long training program working to educate and teach the homeless population ‘Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction’ (MBSR.) The program consists of two to three hour-long sessions once a week focusing on mindfulness meditation and yoga practices, with a full-day retreat scheduled in week six. Also on staff are a psychologist, social worker, and substance abuse counselor that are available at any time to better assist the participants. To track results, they use a quality of life survey before and after completion of the program to document perceived improvements. Outcomes include reduced pain and increased ability to cope with chronic pain, increased abilities in dealing with stressors and being able to relax, increased sense of well-being and enthusiasm for life, and improved self-esteem, clarity, and awareness. In addition to this program, HCH Manchester also offers clinic services including medical and mental health care, addiction counseling, health education, social services, assistance with food stamps, Medicaid, and disability services, and dental and eye care. For those who are homeless or living in poverty, you are always in fight-or-flight and survival mode. Getting a chance to think clearly, feel safe, cry, laugh, and feel emotions, and even just a kind word or gentle touch can mean the world to them. Everyone deserves the opportunity to feel human and to feel cared for.

Many organizations across the nation are realizing the need for alternative health for the homeless, low income, and improvised populations. New York Harm Reduction Educator works to put drug users and sex workers on the path of recovery, by providing syringe exchange, education, and outreach services. Other services include overdose prevention, counseling and family stabilization services, STD testing, support groups, sex education, as well as holistic health services. NYHRE provides meditation, reiki, qi gong, breathing exercises, and ear acupuncture throughout the city at several of their street-based syringe exchanges. The Care Through Touch Institute in San Francisco, California gives free chair massage at various shelters and churches, to the community of people who experience homelessness or are marginally housed. They also have a program called Comfort, Care, & Companioning Program that targets homeless and marginally housed seniors. This program provides a companion to give comforting massage, caring conversation, and companionship to support these individuals dealing with isolation and physical and emotional pain related to conditions arising from the aging process or illness and injury. Last but certainly not least, Everytable, a restaurant with a fast-food style twist, makes healthy foods quick and accessible to underserved communities in Los Angles, California. The meals are priced according to the neighborhood they serve, making them affordable to lower-income individuals and those living in poverty. The meals are healthy, fresh, and made from scratch and provided to communities with limited or no access to affordable healthy foods and sold at discounted prices.
While there are people out there doing great things and making big strides in creating more accessibility of complementary alternative medicine to vulnerable populations such as the poor and homeless, we still have a long way to go. Education and advocacy are the most critical aspects. Education of the health professionals and practitioners and education of those in need, as well as continually advocate for affected individuals and striving to make positive changes.

Works Cited
Allen, DMD, J., Carlson, APRN, BC, T., Colangelo, LSW, B., Orman, S., Rabiner, MD, M., Rodriguez-marzec, MS, FNP-C, PMHNP-C, R., . . . Bredensteiner, S. (2008, June). Healing Hands: Use of Complementary & Alternative Therapies in Homeless Health Care (P. Post, MPA, Ed.). Retrieved July, 2019, from www.nhchc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/jun2008HealingHands.pdf
Burke, A., Nahin, R. L., & Stussman, B. J. (2015, June 17). Limited Health Knowledge as a Reason for Non-Use of Four Common Complementary Health Practices. Retrieved July, 2019, from www.ncbi.nlm.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4470691/#_ffn_sectitle
Care Through Touch Institute. (n.d.). Carethroughtouch.org. Retrieved July, 2019, from www.carethroughtouch.org/welcome
CMC Catholic Medical Center. (n.d.). Health Care for the Homeless Program Manchester. Retrieved July, 2019, from www.catholicmedicalcenter.org/care-and-treatment/community-health/health-care-for-the-homeless
EVERYTABLE. (n.d.). Everytable.com. Retrieved July, 2019, from www.everytable.com/mission/
Fontenot, K., Semega, J., & Kollar, M. (2018, September). Income and Poverty in the United States:2017. Retrieved July, 2019, from www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2018/demo/p60-263.pdf
Henry, M., Mahathey, A., Morrill, T., Robinson, A., Shivji, A., & Watt, R. (2018, December). The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) To Congress. Retrieved July, 2019, from files.hudexchange.info
Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H., R. L., National Institutes of Health, Barnes, M.A., P. M., National Center for Health Statistics, & Stussman, B.A., B. J. (2016, June 22). National Health Statistics Report: Expenditures on Complementary Health Approaches: United States, 2012. Retrieved July, 2019, from www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr095.pdf
New York Harm ReductionEducators. (2019). Nyhre.org. Retrieved July, 2019, from nyhre.org/programs-services/holistic-health-services/
Simon, MD, K. M., Beder, MD, M., & Manseau, MD, MPH, M. W. (2018, June 29). Addressing Poverty and Mental Illness. Retrieved July, 2019, from www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/addressing-poverty-and-mental-illness
United States Census Bureau. (n.d.). Poverty: How the Census Bureau Measures Poverty. Retrieved July, 2019, from www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/poverty/guidance/poverty-measures.html
United States Census Bureau. (2010-2018). QuickFacts San Diego County, California; California. Retrieved July, 2019, from www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/sandiegocountycalifornia,CA/PST045218
United States Census Bureau. (2017). Poverty Thresholds for 2017 by Size of Family and Number of Related Children Under 18 Years. Retrieved July, 2019, from www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps/tables/time-series/historical-poverty-threshold/thresh17.xls
United States Census Bureau. (2018, November). Average Population Per Household and Family: 1940 to Present. Retrieved July, 2019, from www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/demo/tables/families/time-series/households/hh6.xls

4 Questions to Ask Yourself as a Military Veteran Beginning a New Career

By IT No Comments

The reality of beginning a new career after serving in the military may feel exciting, enthralling even, particularly if you have found a job sector that you are actually passionate about. Nevertheless, one must not jump in too fast; although landing a job interview can be thrilling, it is best not to let the prospect of a bright future blur the clarity that is needed when making such a massive life choice. Let’s be frank; transitioning from military life to the civilian workforce can be quite the adjustment, and not everyone will be suited for certain companies or even the corporate lifestyle.

As a veteran, it is vital to assess your own needs, desires, and goals, so that when you do finally land a job, it is a career path that you actually feel ready for and are genuinely looking forward to being a part of. Not only does carefully thinking any decision through protect you in the future, but it also helps out recruiters who are responsible for assisting veterans with company culture assessments and job placements. For this exact reason, it is so important to be honest with yourself and how you actually feel about certain job interviews, and whether or not you actually believe it is the right path for you to take. Remember, your command is there to help you, offering support and guidance when necessary so that transitioning back into civilian life goes as smooth as possible. As a military veteran, entering a new career does not need to be a stressful or frustrating undertaking, and to make the process even easier, here are four questions to ask yourself when deciding upon your next steps.

The 4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding on a New Career

In order to ensure that you end up with the most fitting career possible for you, here are the questions you may want to ask yourself either before or after a job interview or employment opportunity has arisen. It is potentially worthwhile also to share your thoughts and feelings with your recruiter so that they can better be of assistance.

  1. Are the other employees dedicated and do they consider this opportunity a career or is this simply a temporary job for them?

If you are looking to begin a career that potentially will be a lifelong opportunity, when you show up for an interview, observing how other employees interact at the workplace can say a lot about the company’s overall environment.

Do the other employees look dedicated to their work or is this simply a temporary position for them? If they seem as if they are not satisfied with their job or if something just feels a little off, this opportunity may not be the right one for you, especially if you intend to join a team that works together in a career setting.

Examine your own goals. What is it you want to get out of your next place of employment? Is this opportunity in line with your own personal work-related desires?

  1. Is this the right place for me? Am I in agreement with the company’s principles and attitudes?

Considering that humans spend one-third of their lives at work, it helps to find a setting that is fulfilling. For many, a satisfying career includes room to grow and develop not only professionally, but oftentimes personally as well. When assessing a potential work opportunity, see if the company you might end up working for is in agreement with your own principles and attitudes.

For example, say you are passionate about protecting the environment and the company you are applying for is an oil firm. Although this example is quite extreme, it would be challenging for someone in this position to feel happy showing up to work each day with their best foot forward. When deciding on your next career, evaluate if the place of employment is the right place for you.

  1. What does my gut tell me about this opportunity?

Although not all individuals are driven by intuition and gut feelings, for many the initial instinct you have can be especially foretelling. If you are the type of person that relies upon inner instinct, when you show up to a job interview listen to that inner guidance carefully and witness what it is saying.

If you do not feel comfortable at a job interview or if you simply feel that it is not a rightly suited option for you, do not worry about whether or not other interviews will show up. Instead, honor your own decision and move on to greener pastures. Trust us, you will be a lot happier in the long run. Sometimes the right opportunities take time to come into fruition.

  1. What type of opportunities does the company provide? Is there room for promotions and growth?

Promotions, salary increases, new responsibilities, career growth; these are terms many military veterans want to hear of when they are about to enter into the civilian workforce.

Imagine accepting a new job, only to find out that you will remain stagnant in your position for the entirety of your career? Sounds rather limiting, right?

Before agreeing to work for any company, be sure to discuss with them what their possibilities are for promotions and growth. You want to guarantee the commitments you make will be wise decisions for your future, so as tempting as it can sometimes be to accept the first decent-paid job that comes your way, stick to your guns and consider the long term impacts of any of your decisions. Only you can determine what is best for your life.

Questions to Ask Yourself as a Military Veteran Entering a New Career: Conclusion

As it goes, transitioning from military service to the civilian workforce can be quite a big change, so to make the process simpler, consider asking yourself these four aforementioned questions, so that you can score a career you are truly satisfied with.

At the end of the day, a little soul-searching might be necessary to become crystal clear on what it is you want to get out of your new career. Remember, your recruiter is there to help you and so are many others. Use all of the resources available to you in your search, keep persistent, and do not give up.

Searching for career colleges in San Diego that offer benefits for veterans? ICOHS is a non-profit, accredited vocational college and school of IT,  also offering courses for those searching for massage schools or holistic health practitioner programs.

We do all we can to provide veterans with learning opportunities to support them on a path towards finding a new career they are passionate about. Reach out to us today and request more information.

Outstanding IT Career Options for Veterans – Make your Transition From the Armed Forces as Smooth as Possible

By IT No Comments

Have you just left the armed forces or have a scheduled plan to separate? Transitioning back into usual civilian life might bring up some fears, anxieties, and worries. It is not always easy to go back to how things used to be before you joined the military, but the change does not need to be a source of stress or concern if the right preparations are set into motion.

One of the biggest concerns for veterans is beginning a new career after serving, and thankfully opportunities do exist with G.I. Benefits. Although this article won’t go into depth about the benefits offered from the incredible Forever GI Bill, we will talk about outstanding IT-related career options for veterans.

Why information technology? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a job outlook of 28% growth between the years 2016 and 2026. This is remarkably much quicker than average, which means that IT-related occupations are on the up and up.

With such an incredible growth rate, it is safe to say that entering into a career in IT would be a smart decision, especially if you are passionate about information technology to begin with.

Furthermore, ICOHS’s school of IT offers benefits for veterans, which means you’ll be able to study IT to your heart’s content with our non-profit vocational school and still save big while receiving a thorough, personalized education experience.

We are passionate and dedicated to being an affordable school for IT and aim to provide veterans with a comprehensive learning experience that will set them on a path towards success and fulfillment of career goals.

 

IT Career Options for Veterans: The Top Contenders

If you are a veteran and your objective is to begin a career in information technology, here are some outstanding options:

 

Software Developers

With an expected 24% job growth outlook between 2016 and 2026 and an average yearly income of around $105,000, it’s safe to say that becoming a software developer is an excellent choice for those who are interested in such a career.

Software developers are responsible for:

  • Designing, maintaining, and developing software for a variety of organizations, projects, and companies.

This can be an especially versatile and creative career choice, serving as a good fit for those who enjoy variety from task to task and opportunities to work on a project to project basis. Additionally, software developers play an extremely important role in developing applications that allow individuals to complete specific actions on computers and other smart devices. Without these professionals, our capabilities as digital consumers would greatly diminish.

 

Web Developers

Web development is reportedly expected to have a 15% increase between 2016 and 2026 with an average yearly salary of around $69,000. The money may not be as sizeable as it could potentially be for a software developer but website development can, in some ways, be a more fulfilling career.

Web developers are responsible for:

  • The creation and design of websites and web pages.

For those who would like to be able to work from home and on a variety of projects, web development is ideal because it allows for flexibility and offers opportunities to work on fun, exciting assignments. Additionally, you can specialize in web development for a specific field or industry, further narrowing down your passions and interests so that you can show up to work with a spark in your heart on a regular basis.

 

Information Security Analysts

This career choice has a projected job outlook of 28% between the years 2016 and 2026 with an average annual income of approximately $98,000.

Information security analysts are responsible for:

  • The planning and organization of a company’s or business’s systems and networks to ensure that their servers are as secure as possible.

As cybersecurity becomes an even more pertinent challenge in this day and age, the need for security specialists is greater than ever. Information security analysts play a vital role in protecting networks from cyber attacks and security breaches, which is what keeps this occupation so relevant and in-demand.

 

Computer Support Specialists

Possessing an expected job outlook increase of 11% between the years 2016 and 2026 and an average yearly salary of around $53,000, computer support specialists play an important role in a company’s IT team. Compared to many other information technology-related careers, this option requires significantly less education and training making it a quintessential choice for those that would like to enter the IT career field as soon as possible.

Computer support specialists are responsible for:

  • Advising and assisting organizations as well as computer users, typically in the form of technical assistance, especially when problems arise that need to be fixed.

Although working as a computer support specialist is not normally a job with stay-at-home flexibility, it does entail versatile work hours. Most organizations require 24-hour in-house support, which is why many computer support specialists work full-time schedules with varying shifts. With that being said, typically it is required that nights, evenings, and weekends are sometimes covered; therefore, this would not be an ideal choice for those who would like a more consistent 9-5 occupation.

 

Database Administrators

With an expected job outlook of an 11% increase between 2016 and 2026, database administrators contribute to the overall structure, organization, and flow of a company or business. The average salary for this occupation is around $90,000 per year.

Database administrators are responsible for:

  • Running and monitoring software that collects data, typically in the form of customer records (i.e. shipping records and financial information.)

Just imagine for a minute an online shop that has not employed a database administrator. Simple tasks such as processing customer payments and getting their ordered items shipped would become especially challenging, particularly if the shop has grown sizeably and can no longer keep track of its patrons. Database administrators typically work efficiently with computer programs and are good with organization skills and running numbers. Most database administrators work full-time and often need to show up to a physical office. For those who would prefer to be able to work flexible hours or from home, this may not be the right career track.

 

Tips for Choosing a Career

There are so many options to choose from that are favorable in terms of the information technology industry. When it comes down to making the best decision for you, here’s what you may want to keep in mind:

  • Passion comes first, but paying your bills is important too. We all want to show up to a job that we love, so that is why it is so vital to select an occupation that tailors not only to your financial goals but to your personal intentions as well. It’s all about balance, so if you can find a path that you not only enjoy but can also pay your bills, definitely consider sticking to it.
  • Choose the right source of education and utilize their resources as much as possible. The school or institution you receive your education from should offer you valuable resources so that you may go on to be fully prepared for entering the workforce. Make sure you utilize any opportunities your place of education has to offer; they could be of great use later on in your academic or professional path.
  • Know your rights with the Forever GI Bill. Many changes have recently been made to the Forever GI Bill and veteran rights have greatly improved and will continue to do so. Thoroughly research the opportunities that are available to you and talk with your school about what they offer for veterans in terms of support.
  • Get in contact with potential employers to see what requirements they have so you can prepare accordingly. Have a company in mind that you would like to work for? Get in contact with them and pick their brains a bit so that you can prepare ahead of time for any potential opportunities in being employed for them. Master your resume and find out which skills can be of benefit to your employability.

 

Final Thoughts on Outstanding IT Career Options for Veterans

At the end of the day, it is so important to not only choose a career that you can project will grow more in-demand over time but to also select a path that you are passionate about. At ICOHS we want our students to feel personally fulfilled throughout their studies, so that they may go on to work in a field they admire.

If you have been searching for IT schools in San Diego or career colleges in San Diego that offer tech programs with benefits for vets, we offer a variety of education trajectories including Computer and Networking Technician Certification, IT Network Specialist, and IT Systems Administrator options.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, reach out to ICOHS today and request more information so that together we can get a jump-start on your career goals and intentions.

 

Stay in the Loop

Sign up to receive exclusive content and updates.