Sean Giberson’s story: Air Force to IT Professional
“It’s true, I joined the military because there was nothing else I wanted to do. While my father and some of my uncles were Coast Guard or Navy veterans, one uncle of mine was Air Force. I was able to see my father at the Air Force Bases where he was stationed (including Colorado Springs), and I felt that the Air Force was a better fit than any other branch. I reenlisted because I wasn’t sure what to do next. I found a comfortable place in the Air Force, and decided to keep going. I also had the chance to move to other positions I enjoyed. For 22 years, I served in the Air Force.
The Air Force refers both to our Job codes as AFSC’s (Air Force Specialty code). My 2M0X1 was Electro-Mechanical Missile maintenance. My first 11 years were spent in Montana on Minuteman II/Minuteman III nuclear missiles. I then moved to California’s Central Coast and spent the next 11 year launching satellites using the Atlas II, Delta II and Titan II rocket systems.
The hardest thing about leaving the military was knowing what I was doing. After 11 years of Spacelift work, I felt very comfortable with my knowledge and what I was doing. My family and I had a plan. After doing some research, we chose the best location and then planned how to make it work. To get an early start on my second career, I completed an online pharmacy technician program. After the military, my plan was to attend pharmacy school and become a pharmacist.
Transitioning from the Air Force into an IT Professional
“My first job was as Pharmacy Technician. This allowed me to get my feet in the industry and receive some on-the-job training. I also completed the required schooling to apply to any Pharmacy School (sciences, math, etc at a local Community College). After about four years of experience, I had to change my plans due to family reasons.
“I returned to school and got a Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies. I tried to start a legal career but it didn’t work out after 19 months. A friend offered me a job as a physical security officer at a Nuclear Power Plant. I switched careers again and became a Nuclear Security officer. After eleven months, I was fired. I was forced to look for a second career after being laid off. MyComputerCareer was at a veteran’s job fair. I went in for a consultation and the rest is history!
What does it feel like to be right where you are?
“GREAT! “GREAT! After leaving the Air Force, I tried a number of different careers before finally finding the IT Industry. But I’m so happy that I did! This career will give me many more opportunities than I could have had before.
Why are veterans great candidates for IT careers?
“I believe veterans are great candidates for any career!” Looking back on my life and the experiences I have had, it is easy to see how much I have learned. I was a friendly, intelligent, directionless, and immature high school graduate. I was able to mature and understand the world on my own, and to have to manage my life.
“I think veterans are a great start in IT because many of the jobs you did in the military can be transferred to a part of the IT industry. My experience as an electronics maintainer helped me to master hardware.
You can never underestimate the benefits that a security clearance gives you in this industry. Veterans with any type of clearance have many opportunities to start their IT careers. They can get a higher salary and valuable experience than they might expect.