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Dec 31, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Millions of women all over the world serve their countries. Not only do they boast higher levels of educational attainment compared to their non-military peers, according to the Women Veterans Report, but they also offer unique skills making them well-suited for a breadth and depth of jobs. If you’re returning to civilian life after a military career, the government is a natural fit, but it’s far from your only option. These five industries are also worth a closer look.

1. Oil and gas

While oil and gas may have traditionally been the domain of men, the number of women being hired in this booming field is on the rise. So if you are a woman -- especially one with government clearance -- you may have a very bright future in the oil and gas sector.

TerraFina Energy President and Chairman Marsha Hendler told ClearanceJobs.com, “The oil business is wide open for women. This is a growing industry. They’re looking at talent, not the sex of the person.”

2. Market research

Planning and problem-solving skills are among the many soft skills honed during military careers -- and prized in the growing field of market research.

Market research analysts study market conditions in order to determine potential sales of products and services; this means monitoring and forecasting marketing and sales trends, measuring the effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies, devising and evaluating methods for collecting data, gathering data, analyzing data, converting data into insights, preparing reports, and presenting results. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, meanwhile, the job outlook for market research analysts is much stronger than the average, at 23 percent between 2016 and 2026.

“As companies grow, particularly in IT, health care and academia, there’s not only an increase in data, but an increase in the need to keep it private – so having a security clearance is an advantage.  In addition, resumes should highlight communication skills and previous experience working with facts and figures. Increasingly, the industry is seeing the value in women’s ability to communicate messages, listen, understand the views of others and make strategic comparisons,” proposes ClearanceJobs.com.

3. Human resources

The field of human resources is thriving and women-friendly. In fact, according to Business Insider, women comprise 70 percent of human resources vice president positions, hauling in a median pay of $105,000.

Recruiter positions, in particular, are optimal for women with the right skills, and female veterans fit the bill.

“As the name implies, recruiters work to locate the most qualified, best matched candidates to match company needs. Given the expansion of the corporate world and the push to capture global markets, the requirement to fill jobs has expanded beyond the capabilities of human resource staffers. Enter the recruiter. Today’s recruiters work solely for the purpose of weeding out resumes and drawing in the right job candidates, increasingly relying on technology, social media and other non-traditional means,” says ClearanceJobs.com.

4. Healthcare

“When it comes to treating patients and using technology, military healthcare workers have been there and done that -- sometimes with missiles flying overhead and supply lines under threat. No wonder medical service personnel have such bright and varied career prospects once they leave the military,” says Monster.com of the many opportunities for military veterans in healthcare.

Factor in a shortfall of medical professionals and the many desirable skills and characteristics people with military backgrounds bring to the table, and the healthcare sector is ripe for women looking for fast-paced, exciting, and in-demand jobs.

5. Sales

Chief of Staff to Microsoft CVP of Inside Sales, Rakhi Voria, recently penned a Forbes piece making the case for why more women are needed in sales, including that they’re more likely to close sales than men.

Betts Recruiting, meanwhile, sets forth six reasons companies should hire veterans for sales jobs -- that they’re process-driven, have excellent communication skills, are team players, are driven by perseverance, are disciplined, and exhibit unparalleled leadership traits. The takeaway? Women with military experience add up to winning combination in sales.

There’s no denying that the return to civilian life involves a transition, but it’s one made easier when you’ve got so many promising job prospects in front of you. And these are just the start!

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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