Google’s new search tool sounds like a game changer for transitioning Veterans. Does this new initiative actually function as advertised? The Post-Military Professional’s author Adam Braatz investigates.
Earlier this week, Google Cloud Program Manager (and Air Force Veteran) Matthew Hudson unveiled a new civilian job search tool for veterans. Matthew wrote in the Grow With Google Blog:
Starting today, service members can search ‘jobs for veterans‘ on Google and then enter their specific military job codes (MOS, AFSC, NEC, etc.) to see relevant civilian jobs that require similar skills to those used in their military roles. We’re also making this capability available to any employer or job board to use on their own property through our Cloud Talent Solution. As of today, service members can enter their military job codes on any career site using Talent Solution, including FedEx Careers, Encompass Health Careers, Siemens Careers, CareerBuilder and Getting Hired.
Furthering their investment into our Veteran community, Google simultaneously announced a $2.5 million grant to the USO to help them provide training and career support in the IT realm. Clearly Google is interested in helping Veterans find more than just a job, which is exceptionally encouraging. In addition to unemployment, underemployment is a huge issue facing Veterans — a vast majority of them leave their first civilian job within the first year.
Translating skills gained from military experience and applying them to the civilian workplace is a serious challenge for both Veterans and civilian hiring managers alike, so clearly this initiative is groundbreaking. How does the tool actually work, though?
When I left the Air Force, my AFSC (or Air Force Specialty Code) as a Military Training Instructor was 8B000. According to Hudson, all I would need to do is search “jobs for veterans 8B000” in Google, and I would be provided with a list of relevant employment opportunities nearby. Let’s see how it worked:
Google found over 100 jobs in education, training, and related fields nearby for 8B000. Some of the opportunities were as far away as Chicago or Indiana. I live in southeastern Wisconsin, so these options aren’t necessarily relevant for me, but for the most part many of the listings were spot on. One can further sort by category, title, location, posting date, type, company type, or employer.
Depending on your MOS/AFSC/etc., Google will also list the median income for your employment category. Veterans, be careful here. Too often transitioning service members are fed unrealistic salary expectations from a variety of sources, to include the Department of Labor briefing during the requisite Transition Assistance Program. For example, I tested this theory using the AFSC for someone in the Air Force Regional Bands (3N151):
Not to say that this data is entirely inaccurate, but I would manage your expectations if you are planning on garnering $72k a year as an Art Professor in your first post-service job. Additionally, it should be understood that landing a $100k+ job right out of the military is like finding and catching a unicorn. Unless you are an O-6 or above and have secured a lucrative lobbying or contractor position (which is still not a guarantee), it would be foolish to expect this.
An Army Infantryman (MOS 11B) will find a wide variety of potential careers, though a search for a Marine Sniper (MOS 0317) will yield the exact same results:
I would be very interested in seeing the comprehensive list of skills associated with each job code.
Overall this is a fantastic, one-of-a-kind search tool. Any criticisms I may have about it are minor, and I am sure the software will improve as time goes on. This tool is a groundbreaking advancement for Veterans, and I would like to send along my personal thanks to Google for investing so much into the Veteran community. Don’t take my word for it; give it a try and let us know how it works in the comments section below.