Leaving active duty and returning to civilian life presents military members with a checklist of things to do, and prominent among these is the need to find good and rewarding career opportunities. Education, whether through full degree programs, skills training or anything in between, can help make the connection between military life and a great civilian job.

Fortunately for veterans today, government agencies, nonprofits and private sector organizations alike are starting to catch on to how vital education can be and offer programs that are not just specifically tailored to vets but highly relevant to the types of skills and fields that are popular and in demand right now.

Learning about 3D printing
When futuristic technologies come up in conversation, 3D printing is a hot go-to topic. Turning 3D models into finished products is a truly modern production method, one that has evolved rapidly in recent years. According to CNN, St. Philip's College recently served as the location for a pilot program called 3D Veterans.

Over the course of six weeks, veterans picked up valuable knowledge about up-to-date 3D printing methods, the news source stated. The class's aim is to help its students secure roles in a tech sector that is increasingly turning to 3D printing as a method of producing innovative, finished objects rather than just prototypes.

The single program is a good place to start, and it appears the government is pleased with its progress. According to CNN, there will soon be 3D Veterans camps in Los Angeles, San Francisco, El Paso, Philadelphia and Carson, California.

Some of the jobs veterans find with their newfound tech skills may herald a return to the public sector – as the source noted, 17-year Army Veteran Joshua Munch found work with the Department of Defense after taking the class. In his time in 3D Veterans, he worked on devices to help disabled veterans perform simple actions that may become difficult following the loss of a limb.

Entrepreneurship in focus
Some vets are likely eager to start their own companies rather than seeking out work for others. There are courses to help these individuals as well. Penn State's campus news outlet The Daily Collegian recently highlighted one such program, in which the Penn State Small Business Development Center offers entrepreneurial seminars for veterans. The SBDC's Michael Ryan stated that he hopes the program can become annual.

When service members return to civilian life, they may be uniquely well-equipped to lead their own companies, according to Ryan. He told the source that the skills gained in the military tend to translate well to business management. Problem-solving abilities and the ability to change plans on the fly are helpful in the entrepreneurial world.

The abilities that attendees get at the class are more focused on financial planning and business strategy, concepts that will be essential in helping them turn their skills to new projects. If these individuals can achieve success in their entrepreneurial efforts, it will be beneficial to their own prospects post-service and their communities, which will thrive with an influx of new businesses. The potential advantages of preparation and training are great.