Written By
Marissa Peretz

03.08.17

Amazon training veterans to excel in tech

Amazon and the U.S. Department of Labor have created a registered apprenticeship program that gives veterans the opportunity to earn a salary as they learn new skills required for tech jobs at Amazon. Why is this training particularly important now? 

A commitment to humans

We have seen a lot of recent headlines that emphasize the importance of tech jobs in America – even for companies that do not consider themselves to be “tech” companies. We have also heard the concern that AI will be able to replace humans in many jobs over the next few years. Even as technology improves, there is still a need for a human component to meaningfully interpret data, to plan the next strategic move, and to lead teams of other humans. 

Training for new career pathways

As we have mentioned previously, mid career internships can be a springboard to help people pivot to a new career. What makes Amazon’s program interesting is its commitment to veterans. This particular group often has career experience that trains them to think clearly in stressful situations, manage others with diplomacy, and judge people on their merits rather than ethnicity or socioeconomic status. These are all necessary qualities for good leadership. However, making a career change from a military career to a civilian one can initially be a daunting change of identity. The day to day environment, core job functions, and interactions with other employees are often significantly different. And while most military branches still adhere to a strict, top-down management structure, where most of the orders come from the top, civilian companies are increasingly empowering people at all levels of the organization to contribute and lead.

Forward progress

As we move into a future with increased AI and a potential commercial drone delivery service, it becomes increasingly important for companies to invest in education for current and future employees. This is a good way to keep moving forward and match highly skilled employees with the numerous jobs we already have.