As thousands of troops prepare to head home from Afghanistan, many of them will face the sometimes-arduous task of transitioning to civilian life. While the emotional challenges often attract a lot of attention, a recent survey from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) found employment is the chief concern for vets.

The Veterans Employment Challenges study polled 1,845 veterans of the recent wars and revealed that about 69 percent cited finding a job as the most difficult part of the transition process. Researchers also found that 64 percent of respondents reported they had a difficult transition as a whole.

In addition to highlighting their biggest challenges, the study also revealed why veterans often find difficulty landing a job after returning home. Around 60 percent of respondents said it was hard for them to discuss how their military skills translate to the job market and 46 percent said it was difficult to compete with people who have been in the workforce longer. Furthermore, 43 percent said they lacked education for certain jobs.

"Veterans are loyal, disciplined and resilient leaders given the challenges they've faced at war and now at home," said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA founder and executive director. "These qualities uniquely define the New Greatest Generation – and they are values that any employer would want in a new employee. As thousands transition home, what these men and women need most are opportunities to deploy their proven skills and leadership in the civilian workforce on the home front."

Despite concerns about finding a job, the United States has made significant strides in lowering the unemployment rate among veterans as of late. In July, the figure stood at about 6.9 percent, which is not only lower than the general population but is the lowest rate for veterans in more than three years, notes The Huffington Post.

The improvement may be due in large part to the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law late last year. In addition to expanding job training programs, the bill also provides tax credits to businesses that hire veterans, according to CNN.

Along with the legislative push, earlier this summer Obama announced that the Transition Assistance Program was going to be revamped with a focus on employment training and career building.

AFBA has launched a career center for both job seekers and employers. As part of AFBA's commitment to supporting our members through important life events, the job board is ideal for servicemembers transitioning out of the service. Creating an account is free and we offer help critiquing or creating a resume, as well. Click here to get started.