Are you in the Military and thinking about pursuing an industry credential?

Today we have the privilege of hosting a second post from CPT Mitch Olson who recently began his transition out of the Army. His insight on credentialing is invaluable for anyone considering industry credentials for career-related skills or as part of a transition.

Whether you are a careerist or are a one term Service Member, you have the opportunity to utilize credentialing resources during your time in your respective service. 

First, if you are wondering “what is credentialing?” see the definition below from  

Credentialing is basically a certification that tells an employer that you possess the skills that are required in order to perform a certain job…The two primary types of credentials are:

  • A license, issued by a political entity such as the local, state or federal government, which allows an individual to practice a specified occupation.
  • A certificate, issued by private organizations that maintain skill-set standards, which documents an individual’s capabilities.


If credentialing sounds like something you would be interested in, then this article is for you! 

First, you should look at what credentials you may already qualify for based on your current job in the military. For example, when I graduated from a Professional Military Education school in the Army, I was eligible to apply for an industry certification based on my work experience. It wasn’t automatic, but I was awarded the designation based off of my work experience. This is as easy as asking a mentor, your Education Center, or a google search. 

When you can’t find what you may already qualify for OR you are transitioning and looking for a new career or new credentials,  check out “O Net Online,” which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. This site was highlighted in my Transition Assistance Program (TAP) coursework and is an incredible resource for both careerists and transitioning service members to research their current job description, outlook for that job/industry, and provide the tools and functionality to research new careers. To search careers, use the “Quick Search” bar in the middle of the page and follow the steps below: 

  1. type your current job title or MOS, which will provide you a list of occupations that match some or all of your current job’s duties and responsibilities. 
  2. From there, click on an occupation and scroll to the bottom of the page until you find the “Credentials” section of the page. 
  3. Click on “Find Certifications” link and you now have a list of all recommended credentials with information on the certifying organization and general information to get you started on your credentialling pathway. 

If you wanted to skip the “O Net Online” portion for steps 1 and 2 above (not recommended), the link for step 3 above is located at “Career One Stop; Credentials Center” which is an external link to “O Net Online” but is still sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Credential such as those for cyber security may prove invaluable in the transition process.

Quick Note for Service Members who are transitioning, if you get to Step 2 above, “O Net Online” provides information on your selected occupation that is crucial when looking for civilian employment:

  • Tasks
  • Technology Skills 
  • Knowledge
  • Skills 
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities 
  • Work Context 
  • Job Zone
  • Education
  • Interests
  • Work Styles 
  • Work Values 
  • Related Occupations 
  • Wages and Employment Trends 
  • Job Openings 
  • Sources of Additional Information

Regardless of when you plan to transition from the Military, “O Net Online” is a tool that you should go and bookmark on your web browser right now. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent online researching across multiple sources to find the data that “O Net Online” compiles on one site for you. This is a must have for Service Members to “put in their toolkits” not only for career progression inside the military, but outside as well. 

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