98. How to Get Your Next Career Cert Paid For

Show Notes | April 5, 2021 | Episode 98

This episode is sponsored by our military spouse employment partner Stay at Home Profit

Are you hesitating to pursue your next career certification due to cost or confusion about how to qualify for the exam? We’ve been there!

You may be thinking how am I going to fund my next career advancement in the middle of a PCS, raising my kids or figuring out how to pivot my career?

While certifications come with a fee, they are worth it! Certifications are an investment in your future. They often have a direct correlation to your next salary bump or promotion.

Today we are talking about how you can get your next certification absolutely free.

Onward to Opportunity (O2O) provides no-cost training and one free certification to members of the military community. They will also pay your exam fee.

Between transitioning service members, veterans, spouses and guard/reservists O2O helped more than 14,000 people get certified last year.

To be eligible for O2O there are four categories:

  • Transitioning service member with at least six months of service left
  • Veterans with at least an honorable discharge
  • Guard or reservists
  • Spouses of all those individuals

Certs are very important to pay attention to because employers value them. If you present as being certified it shows the employer you have gone through a training and testing process so the employer knows you are prepared.

As a jobseeker you can be assured that when you take on training your skill level will come to a competitive level that is valued by employers who are looking for top performers.

Certs are a lot faster than getting a four-year degree, and they give you more confidence and more options in your career development.

For most of the certs you must have coursework credits to sit for the exam. O2O front loads you with the coursework you need to pass the exam, provided through free online training set up by the certifying agency.

Each O2O cohort has virtual study groups for support, so students can chat about the challenges of the coursework.

You have 180 days, or six months, to complete the course work and pass three practice exams with an 80% or better for O2O to cover the exam fee. Of all the certifications in O2O’s repertoire the most expensive is nearly $1,000.  

If a milspouse wanted to get the most out of O2O, they could potentially use the first three months to go through coursework get an exam scheduled, and then spend the last three months studying for another cert.

Before you finish the coursework someone from Hire Heroes USA will contact you about your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and conduct practice interviews. They also have 900 employment partners across the country.

If you are moving, they will contact their corporate partners to see if they have a branch in that location or even better a remote opportunity.

Every graduate becomes part of the 14,000-member alumni program where you can network and complete additional training. Graduates are also alumnus of Syracuse University.

O2O currently offers 30-plus certs you can get for free, listed on its Learning Pathways website.

Knowing which cert to get requires you to do a deep dive to figure out what you want for yourself, your next job and your career. You should take a free self-assessment online or consider talking to a career coach.

O2O never lets anyone go down a wrong pathway. If your background does not have all the qualifications, you need for the cert you selected you will get a counseling or coaching session call about other options that are more in line with your qualifications.

Programs like O2O enable milspouses to get the careers they want. They aren’t stuck working at the BX or commissary if they don’t want to.

Certs shows employers you are committed to a career path and you are committed to getting the necessary training.

Milspouses sacrifice a lot through PCSing and taking care of their families, certs are a way for you to take back control of your career and your future.

Tune in to learn more about how you can get the training and exam fee for your next certification completely paid for.    

If you are a new listener to VirtForce podcast, we would love to hear from you. Please email support@virtforce.wpengine.com and let us know how we can help you today.

Links and Resources

Learning Pathways 

Onward to Opportunity Application

Syracuse University Institute for Veterans & Military Families

Kimber Hill LinkedIn

Karen Santiano Francis LinkedIn 

Karen’s email: kesantia@syr.edu

Sandra’s email: sgsmith@syr.edu

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Resume Boot Camp
Freemium Course (Episodes 47-60): https://bit.ly/RBCEp47
Premium: http://bit.ly/vf-bc

Join the Conversation

Our favorite part of recording a live podcast each week is participating in the great conversations that happen on our live chat, on social media, and in our comments section.  

VirtForce on Facebook

VirtForce on LinkedIn

VirtForce on Instagram

Check Out Recent Podcast Episodes:

VirtForce Podcast on Apple Podcasts 

VirtForce Podcast on Spotify

VirtForce Linktree

About Our Sponsor

Stay At Home Profit provides education, consulting, scholarships and career opportunities for military spouses and veterans in remote work through virtual assisting & digital marketing in an authentic and transparent environment. Stay At Home Profit spent 4 years developing and perfecting multiple certification programs that enhance military spouse’s and veterans’ skill sets and experience to get hired remotely in the digital workforce.

Join the Stay At Home Profit family today and check out our 5-week RVAC Remote Virtual Assistant Certificate program at bit.ly/vf-profit.