- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

The Hottest Jobs for 2017

by Heidi Lynn Russell, Contributing Editor

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Article Sponsored by: The GEO Group

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Operations Management, Distribution and Logistics

Within the heavy manufacturing and food manufacturing sectors, veterans are highly sought for entry-level-to-mid-level management positions, says Hovendick, who is also the Founder and President of two career resource firms - Directional Motivation ( and Client Staffing Solutions (, both in Sioux Falls, SD.

Operations management duties include supervision of hourly workers and also supervising those workers’ supervisors. “In any type of manufacturing that you think of, there’s a real need,” he says.

If your military occupational specialty was in the logistics arena, you’re wanted for third-party logistics positions for manufacturers of product parts. “What they do is contract with the manufacturers and get it to the end-user assembly line,” Hovendick says.

One positive aspect to getting a job in this field is your ‘ramp up time’ into a new job is less than in the past, Hovendick adds. Because jobs are being left vacant by so many retirees, companies are anxious to fill positions with people who already possess leadership abilities and have experience.

“There’s a normal adjustment that takes place during the military-to-civilian employment transition. But veterans already understand the basics in leadership and are also going into this with an understanding of the particular niche. That could work well for them,” he says.

Hovendick says employers are more willing to engage services of non-degreed individuals.

“With the enlisted ranks, if they have industry-specific knowledge but not a degree, employers are forgoing that because of their need for people. They believe the military has given them discipline, and in many cases, that’s better than someone coming out of college,” he says.


The new Presidential administration taking the helm in January has pledged improvements to the nation’s infrastructure - highways, airports and the like, all which will need engineers and those with hands-on construction experience, Hovendick says. Keep an eye out for potential opportunities as Congress and the new President-approved projects.

“If (President Elect Donald Trump’s plans) come to fruition, there’s going to be a multitude of opportunities, building bridges and highways up from a crumbling infrastructure. And that will mean opportunities for veterans,” Hovendick says.

If you were in the Army Corps of Engineers or in logistics, there will be more pressure on contracting firms to find talent for these projects.

“That will play out nicely for veterans,” Hovendick says.

Heidi Lynn Russell writes about employment and business issues.

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