5 Degrees Veterans Can Take for a Career Shift

5 Degrees Veterans Can Take for a Career Shift

Article written by Rosie Jenison

Despite the economic difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas’s economic landscape in 2021 continues to provide great opportunities for job seekers and entrepreneurs alike. Open roles in the booming construction, agriculture, and hospitality industries allow veterans to move back into the workforce without needing tertiary education.

However, for veterans that want to expand their career options, completing a college degree might be a smart move. The National Center for Education Statistics shows that the employment rate of college graduates is 86%. In comparison, the employment rate of high school graduates is only 69%. A college degree can open doors to better job opportunities. Through college, veterans can build specialized skills, cultivate professional networks, and increase their earning potential.

Below, we’ve listed a few degrees veterans can take to build new careers.

Business Administration

The values learned in military experiences — such as leadership, discipline, and stress resilience — make veterans well-equipped to succeed in business. Leadership skills help entrepreneurs guide and motivate employees, discipline keeps them focused on their goals, while a resilience to stress ensures that they perform well under pressure. Degrees in business administration can help veterans blend their military-instilled skills with business knowledge and strategies. Through these programs, students can explore deeper business subjects, such as management, finance, and law. From there, they can start their own businesses or use their entrepreneurial prowess in corporate settings.

Education

Teaching careers let veterans serve their communities in an entirely new way. Through teaching, veterans get to use their real-world experiences to pass down knowledge, provide guidance, and set examples to young students. Veterans that want to take degrees in education can even get support from the government. The Troops to Teachers program, founded in 1993, provides financial support and career placement assistance to veterans interested in teaching. Since the program’s inception, an estimated total of 23,000 veterans have built careers as educators.

Information Technology

As the country becomes more dependent on technology, the demand for skilled IT professionals increases. Through information technology programs, students get to deepen their knowledge of the complex tech systems humans use in their daily lives, learning subjects like electronics, programming, web design, and much more. Veterans with good logical reasoning skills are well-suited to pursue IT degrees, especially since military training prepares them to learn new skills efficiently. And because IT skills are extremely in-demand, veterans who complete IT courses can have a competitive edge in today’s job market.

Nursing

Healthcare settings need disciplined, collaborative workers who can remain calm in the face of adversity. Fittingly, military culture primes veterans to value teamwork, discipline, and fortitude. By taking degrees in nursing, veterans can combine their military training with lessons in anatomy, physiology, psychology, and healthcare and train themselves to serve their American brothers and sisters in a new way. Nurses are especially needed now, as labor shortages limit the country’s access to quality care. Researchers predict that the need for qualified nurses will exceed 3.6 million by the next decade.

When it comes to career-building, veterans have many options. The skills they learned from military service can make them efficient learners and employees. Those that want to take their potential even further can develop their skills through college degrees, such as business administration, education, IT, and nursing.

The Potential For Growth: How So Many Small Business Find Success In Texas

The Potential For Growth: How So Many Small Business Find Success In Texas

One of the main drivers of the Texan economy is the small business sector. The 3 million small businesses comprise 45.1% of employees, the equivalent of close to 5 million people, according to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Several factors facilitate the potential for growth in the state with micro-entrepreneurs in several industries. The sectors with the most prominent small businesses include Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services and Hospitality and Leisure. One of the most critical is the time it takes to register an LLC in Texas – 3 business days compared to seven to 10 business days in other states. Electronic filings with online incorporation services are often available on the same day.

LLC formation is one of the preferred legal structures for small business owners. The advantages include personal asset protection, pass-through taxation, and protection for the registered business name.

The potential for growth for small businesses in Texas is due to some significant factors, according to Incorporation Rocket, the experts in business formation services and Texas resources.

Economic and Business Advantages For Small Business Success in Texas

Overall, Texas is known for doing things big, and the state has won the title “Best State to Start a Business in the U.S.” for several years in a row. Here is why so many businesses in the thriving state continue to find success:

Young Growing Workforce

Texas is undergoing a population boom. Figures from the last census show that its population of 29 million is at an all-time high. Projected population numbers for 2040 are 45 million. The state also contains five of the fifteen fastest-growing cities in the U.S. The median age of Texans is 35.1 years, lower than the American average, meaning a continuing strong workforce.

Interestingly, 8 out of 10 people born in the state stay there, and it has attracted an influx of businesses and workers from other states.

Lower Taxes

There is no personal income tax or corporate income tax in the state, meaning higher profits and growth for businesses. Also, from the 2020 to 2021 tax year, small businesses with a turnover of less than $1,180,000 pay zero tax. In Texas, business tax is called franchise tax. The tax that small firms pay in the wholesale and retail sectors is just  0.375% of their total revenue. Small businesses in other sectors pay just 0.75% in taxes on their total income.

Fewer Restrictions. More Innovations

A diversified economy is one of the reasons the state continues to grow economically and, with it, the opportunities for small businesses. Innovative industries and big brands are making Texas their home, and alongside them, several smaller companies are creating a niche with their ground-breaking startups.

Affordable All-Round Costs

One of the major draw cards for industries that have sought to make Texas their home is what also makes the state ideal for small businesses to thrive. These include the lower cost of land and properties, cheaper energy, and more affordable living costs (meaning a better quality of life for employees and their families).

Ease of Doing Business

It is not only easy for business leaders to get in and out of the state and its more than 380 airports, but it is also easy to export goods globally and transport them to the rest of the U.S. It has received the title of first exporting state for the past 19 years, and this is thanks to the state’s excellent infrastructure and its central location.

Small and larger businesses in the state have added civil liability protections. There are few land restrictions which means it is easier to develop the required infrastructure to run a business smoothly.

Relocations of conglomerates to the state have also increased capital investments and amplified business investments in urban areas and rural areas. The state also offers financing and economic development that encourage existing and new businesses.

Last Word

Small businesses are major contributors to the Texan economy, ensuring a  thriving economy and booming cities. The state has concentrated on attracting businesses and enhancing their success, including supporting small minority businesses, affordable filing fees, and ease of filing for an LLC.

Finally, according to Texan law, every new Texas LLC must appoint a registered agent to ensure that someone is available to collect documents during regular business hours on behalf of the business. The advantages of a registered agent include the owner’s privacy, and they can also ensure a small business remains compliant.

Why You Should Consider a Tech Career to Succeed in 2022

Why You Should Consider a Tech Career to Succeed in 2022

The tech industry is the main space for global economic growth within the next few years. If you’re looking forward to innovation as a means to create great things for society, you might be on the right path. Providing solutions to people is the target and the essence of technology. 

In this article, we’ll explain the reasons you should familiarize your work and life with amazing technology. The emerging digitization era we’re getting in requires even more development on software and hardware. The training of more tech professionals will become a factor in the global educational system. Let’s see how the job market will move the most into the tech field. 

Why Do Future Professionals Decide to Pursue a Tech Career?

There are several reasons why professionals decide to pursue a tech career. According to Statista’s survey, these are the main factors why many people decided to pursue a career in technology.

AnswerNumber of Respondents
I was encouraged to do so by my school.47%
I was encouraged to do so by my college.44%
My parents pushed me towards a career in tech.28%
I was inspired by a high-profile person/person in the media, in technology.27%
I was encouraged by my friends.25%
It seemed an obvious choice as I have a natural inclination for Science/Math.23%
I completed a degree in a related subject.18%
I researched different industries and decided tech offered the best opportunities.15%

Top Five Reasons to Become a Tech Developer 

Tech Jobs Will Prevail and Grow Over the Years

The more the economy grows, the more we need tech professionals. Many of the services and production procedures we currently know are evolving to a higher development phase due to automation software. Companies need software engineers and experts in coding to program the algorithms that move production lines and machines. 

Programmers Have High Salaries

You must use several programming languages that demand analytical thinking and wide solving-problem skills. This is the main value of software developers in the market, reflected in the high salaries they can earn. According to Payscale, programmers have an average annual income of $65,395.

Professional Development Opportunities 

Many tech companies offer professional development programs and on-the-job training to allow graduates to reach their maximum potential. Focus on being part of a company that prioritizes human growth and educational development. These professional learning programs must comply with values like practical activities, team collaboration, tech skills, accuracy on services, and useful content. 

Work-Life Balance and Workplace Flexibility

The best way to land a good job and have a family and social life is to get into the tech field. Many tech companies offer a flexible work schedule to gain technical competencies, earn a high salary, and share time with your loved ones. Look for companies that value work-life balance and offer flexible working hours.

Challenges to Grow and Create High-Demand Projects

You can become a tech project manager to help a company promote and structure the development plan for a specific gadget or software launch. The best companies to build your career path in the tech area are Tesla, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple. Some appealing roles are focused on the fields of artificial intelligence, data science, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Practical Tips to Choose a Career in Technology

Below are some practical tips that’ll help you in choosing a career in the tech industry. These tips offer feasible advice that might aid you in your journey.

  1. Explore interests that align with different roles in various sectors of technology.
  2. Do some self-reflection and find out what kind of technical and soft skills you have that affiliate with the career you want.
  3. Leverage your skills to become an expert in a specific niche.
  4. Enroll in a coding bootcamp to gain effective skills to become a job-ready individual. A bootcamp like Coding Dojo can provide you with the aptitude to jumpstart your career.

Conclusion

Technology is becoming the main source of employment, economic growth, and prosperity worldwide in this modern era. That’s why you should study a tech career to get into the trend of the professional boom this decade. Opportunities are always available in the tech industry for those who know to use them the most. 

7 VA Loan Tips for Veterans

7 VA Loan Tips for Veterans

Homebuying Process: Getting Approved for VA Loan

One standout benefit of serving in the military, National Guard, or Reserves is your qualification to apply for a VA mortgage. Administered through a broad range of lending institutions, VA loans are guaranteed by the federal government. That’s why they usually feature lower interest rates and more flexible qualification standards. Many service members buy their homes through the VA with no money down. Overall, lenders consider VA loans less risky than conventional private mortgages.

To be eligible for a VA loan, you need to be an active or former member of the military. In general, you must have been honorably discharged, although there are rare exceptions to that rule. Additionally, surviving spouses of veterans can also apply for a VA loan unless they have been remarried. Depending on when you served and why you were discharged, there are service benchmarks you must meet in terms of time served. But to be clear just because you qualify to apply for a VA mortgage, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to secure one. Here are several tips for increasing your chances of being approved to take advantage of this useful benefit.

Don’t Let the Paperwork Get to You

Applying for any mortgage can be confusing and time-consuming. But VA loans come with an additional layer of complexity. Anything involving the government comes with red tape, right? First, you’ll need to secure a Certificate of Eligibility to be approved for a VA loan, which involves gathering a little more documentation than you would need to apply for a conventional loan. But you don’t need to have a certificate to begin the VA loan application process. In fact, most lenders will be glad to assist you in getting one. Remember that lenders want your business. And a good one will bend over backwards to get it.

Your New Home Must Be Eligible, Too

Here’s why working with a VA loan-savvy realtor can be a tremendous boon. The last thing you want to do is spend lots of time trying to purchase a property that won’t qualify for a mortgage in the end. The government doesn’t want to invest in properties that have major defects and neither do you. They’ve established a set of Minimum Property Requirements for homes purchased under the VA loan program. Your realtor or lender can explain these to you and help you steer clear of properties that don’t stack up to VA standards.

Get Familiar with Acceptable Use and Occupancy Guidelines

VA loans aren’t made for every type of property. Loans are only written for primary residences. Your new home can be a Colonial, a condo, a manufactured home, or anywhere in between but you have to live there. You can even take out a loan to build a home from scratch. But vacation homes and investment properties aren’t eligible for VA financing. In addition, the VA sets time limits around occupancy. Generally, you must move into your home within 60 days of closing. If you’re currently deployed, that rule can be challenging. A spouse can substitute for a deployed service member to meet the occupancy date, but single people may have a harder time fulfilling the requirement. It can be done, though.

Your Credit Does Counts

One important advantage VA loans have over traditional mortgages is that VA borrowers are subject to more lenient financial qualifications. Officially, there is no credit score bar you have to clear before you can be approved for a VA mortgage. But having good-to-excellent credit can help you secure a larger loan and/or a better interest rate.

Even a quarter-point difference in the interest rate you’re offered can amount to thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. That’s why getting your credit in the best possible shape before you apply for a loan is essential. Download a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus to see where you stand. Then do whatever credit repair that needs to be done. Make sure all of your credit accounts are current—and stay that way—while you’re applying for a mortgage. Close any accounts that you’re no longer using. If you find any negative remarks on your report that aren’t legitimate, dispute them. Fixing mistakes on your credit report can take some time. So be sure you attend to your credit well in advance of submitting a loan application.

Remember to Get Pre-Qualified Before You Start House Hunting

Today’s real estate market is very competitive. Nowadays, home sellers are inundated with offers and 43% accept one within a week of listing their homes. Sellers aren’t interested in wasting time and want to talk to serious buyers only. Prequalifying for a loan through one or more lenders—that is, securing a letter that states how much money a lender would be likely to loan you and at what interest rate—is one way to show home sellers that it’s worth their time to work with you. Many home sellers won’t even entertain offers from buyers who aren’t prequalified.

Getting prequalified also can help you set home price parameters for yourself and hone in on properties you can reasonably afford. It’s easy to do. And it won’t affect your credit score, even if you prequalify with more than one lender. As someone who has served our country, you’re entitled to the rewards a VA mortgage can provide. And you’re entitled to great service from the professionals you work with during the home buying process.

Article by: Genesis Walker / Money.com

From Combat to Campus

From Combat to Campus

No matter how many active-duty days you have seen, the prospect of going back to school as an adult and a veteran may be one of the most frightening challenges you’ve ever faced. But, it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. The Dallas-Fort Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce wants all of our veterans to succeed. With this in mind, today’s post is aimed at those who wish to go back to school before owning or operating a new business.

It Starts With Strategy

In the military, you learned all about strategy. It’s time to take that training and translate it into your education. Start by gathering as much information as you can about your G.I. Bill and other education benefits. The US Department of Veterans Affairs shares all you need to know about these, along with tips, links, and resources on how to do additional research and manage your education benefits. (If your veteran benefits don’t cover all of your tuition, you may need help funding the balance of your education. You may be eligible for scholarships depending on your hobbies, interests, or nationality)

The next step in your strategic move is to determine what degree to pursue. Many veterans choose law enforcement, but if you prefer to be in a more business-like environment, consider jumping headfirst into your MBA.  Earning your MBA can open up many professional opportunities as you will graduate with skills in research and statistics, marketing, and corporate finance. You may find a new career as anything from a facilities manager to an operations director or GM. You can go to school online as you acclimate to work and family as a civilian.

Going Back

Once you have decided on a degree path, it’s time to develop good study habits. Fortunately, you are already used to keeping a strict schedule and tight regimen. Keep your military training at the front of your mind here, and make sure to set a schedule to ensure that you have adequate time to devote to your studies.

More than just time for study, you have to make time for yourself and for your basic needs. If you start to feel overwhelmed, which is particularly prevalent among those who are also working and raising a family while going back to school, Mental Health America suggests going for a walk or stepping away from your responsibilities for a moment. You can also try and schedule your working hours so that you have time to eat dinner or visit with your family and friends before hitting the books.

Keeping Yourself Well

Although we previously mentioned managing stress, something that many veterans don’t consider is how previous trauma can rear its ugly head when going back to school. Although, on the surface, going back to school seems like a mundane event. The reality is that you can begin to feel the same type of anxiety that you felt during combat, and you have to take care of your mental and physical health. Task & Purpose recommends enrolling with your local VA and being a self-advocate as it pertains to school. Make sure that both the administration and your professors understand that you are a veteran recovering from a physical or emotional injury. Remember, your college can’t discriminate against you based on a disability, but you may be required to show proof of need if you require accommodations, such as additional time to complete assignments.

Going back to school is intimidating, there’s no doubt about that. But, you have faced greater challenges. Earning your degree now may not be easy, but this is one hurdle that will make it much easier to earn an income and care for your family as a civilian.

If you want to start networking now, consider volunteering at the Dallas-Fort Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce. The organization is always looking for people to help with maintenance, videography, graphic design, and other basic business functions. Article by Adam Evans

Hiring Veterans for Your New Business: A Quick Guide

Hiring Veterans for Your New Business: A Quick Guide

When you think of the perfect employee, what attributes come to mind? Discipline, dedication, problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability might be a few. And your best chance of forming a team of people with these qualities is by hiring military veterans. If you’re a new business owner looking to build a team that will guide your company to healthy growth, then check out this guide on hiring veteran candidates, courtesy of the DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce.

Why Hire Veterans?
There are more benefits for hiring veterans for your business than we can list here, but we will cover a few of the most prominent ones. For one, veterans are used to having to improvise and overcome challenges, and no one needs to tell you the importance of adaptability in organizations. Former military members tend to show uncompromising dedication to their teams as well and are used to solving problems and developing relationships with people from all backgrounds. And, of course, veterans have a reputation for maintaining unmatched discipline.

Another reason to consider veterans for your organization is that they often possess a variety of transferable skills. You could fill almost any role with a qualified veteran—from business development manager or project manager to database administrator or security guard.

Both new and established businesses should consider the financial benefits of hiring veterans as well. As Debt.org points out, while hiring a veteran is a noble gesture, there are several tax incentive programs that are a boon to employers. From the Wounded Warrior program to the IRS’s WOTC program, your company can enjoy practical gains from hiring qualified veterans.

Where to Look for Veteran Job Candidates
These days, you have plenty of resources for finding top-notch job candidates who have served in the U.S. military, and there are local events that can help with everything from networking to information gathering. But before you start hitting the job sites, ask around for referrals. And if you have any current veteran employees, enlist them to reach out to any military buddies they know who are looking for work.

You can post job listings on several websites that cater to veteran job searchers. Some of the top job posting sites include HireVeterans.com, VeteranJobListings.org, HotJobs.vet, Military.com, and Vets.gov. Be sure to personalize each job listing to appeal specifically to former military members to increase your chances of attracting the right candidates. You might even consider using a DBA to better personalize your outreach to veterans.

How to Land the Best Recruits
Along with knowing where to look, you need to develop and execute a good strategy to bring veterans into your organization. Start by making sure your company is well-organized and making identifiable steps toward growth. And foster a healthy work culture and environment. After all, you want to present your business as a promising place to work.

Moreover, you will want to make it clear that you are a veteran-friendly employer. If you have not done so already, think about implementing mentoring and support groups for veterans, and fine-tune your employee benefits to accommodate mental health services for people who suffer from various post-service disorders. Finally, make any modifications necessary so that your workplace is suitable for those who live with disabilities from combat.

If you are trying to build a dedicated, adaptable, and disciplined team of employees who can work cohesively, hiring veterans should be a top priority. Check your professional and employee networks, and use the best military job sites to connect with qualified candidates. Also, make sure your company is appealing to veterans at every turn. The U.S. military is one of the most well-trained workforces in the world, and your company can reap the benefits of the skills and expertise of these veterans!

For networking opportunities, veteran related information, career and education fairs, and much more, join the DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce.