With the United States winding down operations in Afghanistan, many troops are returning home to find they might have some difficulty landing a job. However, a growing number of veterans are choosing to become teachers once they leave the service, and school administrators say they are well-suited for the profession, USA Today reports.
Unemployment remains high
While progress has been made over the last two years, joblessness is still somewhat high among servicemembers, especially those who joined the Armed Forces in the last 11 years. According to findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in November the unemployment rate stood at 10 percent for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. That figure is higher than both the overall veteran rate (6.6 percent) and the nationwide unemployment rate (7.7 percent).
The issue has not been overlooked by the federal government. Along with passing laws such as the Hiring Heroes Act, first lady Michelle Obama's Joining Forces initiative has enlisted the help of thousands of companies who have pledged to employ vets. Now, it looks like heading to the classroom should be a viable option.
Veteran teachers increasing
It's difficult to measure the number of former servicemembers currently employed as educators, but the non-profit organization Teach for America (TFA) says it has seen an increase in the number of vets applying to teach in urban and rural schools. In fact, since 2009, TFA has noticed a fourfold jump in the number of veteran candidates. The program is so popular, TFA recently launched a military recruitment initiative for the first time ever.
"We tap into this sector of folks who are used to working in high-stress environments," Shaun Murphy, a former Army staff sergeant and current employee for FRA, told USA Today. "I think it's a great fit."
Not just teaching
While some troops may be well-suited for the classroom, there are other jobs that have proven to be ideal for former service members as well. Last year, President Barack Obama called for a conservation program that was aimed at putting veterans to work rebuilding roads, trails and levees, which would help put skills they learned in the military to good use, according to The Associated Press.