Former Service Personnel are the Solution to a Shortfall of Data Analysts

Originally printed in City Matters

Industry experts cite data analytics as one of the fastest growing career fields, and predict that businesses will need to hire at least 200,000 data analysts by 2018. With qualified candidates in short supply, former Service men and women are capitalising on their technical capabilities by training for a civilian career in cyber-security. SaluteMyJob, a Social Enterprise providing veterans focussed services to employers, IBM UK and the Corsham Institute have collaborated to launch the Veterans Employment Accelerator programme, offering former Service men and women and those transitioning out of the Armed Forces the chance to enhance their skills with free training and certification in IBM’s i2 Analyst’s Notebook software.

58 veterans have so far been certified by IBM as data analysts through a programme developed by IBM's Corporate Citizenship Team and SaluteMyJob to train ex-military jobseekers as data analysts on IBM's i2 Analyst Notebook tool. IBM provide the leadership, licences and a trainer and SaluteMyJob help select ex-military candidates with the right type of experience and potential. Training is delivered using the Corsham Institute’s facilities in Wiltshire.

Managing Director of SaluteMyJob, Andrew Jackson, said:

“So far, we are proud to have trained 58 serving and former Service men and women in the UK over five courses.”

SaluteMyJob was founded in 2014, by Mr Jackson, a former Brigadier and IBM employee, who wanted to use his 10 years' experience in military and commercial HR to add value to the transition process for veterans and to fill a gap in the market in the provision of veterans focussed services to employers.

“SaluteMyJob’s vision is to join the dots between the hundreds of employers offering thousands of jobs to the thousands of ex-military people needing help to find the right job in the right organisation,

” added Mr Jackson.

As well as offering a range of one-on-one support to ex-military job-seekers, SaluteMyJob works with partners, such as IBM, to facilitate training to upskill veterans to improve their competitiveness and to help make that transition from military life to commercial employment easier.

Mr Jackson said:

“These training programmes help veterans convert their acquired military knowledge, skills and experience to the private sector, where qualifications and evidence of experience are so essential.”

The first training took place at the beginning of 2015 and with awareness of the programme growing, IBM and SaluteMyJob are preparing to train another 15 ex-military jobseekers on their forthcoming course in October.

Those who have taken part in the course praised the programme, saying they felt more confident in applying for jobs within the data analytics field. One student said: "This is a well organised, well delivered course. This training, combined with my military training, will help me to move out of a very narrow field and into a position where I can apply for more general intelligence roles, and more towards data analysis and ultimately more commercial work."

Looking ahead, IBM wants to develop the programme so that it provides end-to-end support for ex-Service men and women, as Mark Wakefield Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager explains: “The reality is IBM itself will employ more than one or two trainees per year, so we do see this as a CSR initiative. However, we also see that this is a need that many of our clients have, so our hope and ambition is that by providing the training we can ensure they is a ready supply of qualified people available on the market.”

Mr Jackson added:

“We are delighted to be working with IBM's Smarter Workforce team and other employers based in the City of London, along with SSAFA's East London team to match available jobs to ex-military candidates seeking work in the City.”

The next course will take place at the Corsham Institute, Hartham Park, from October 10-14.

For more information visit the i2 course page on our website or if you are an employer looking to hire qualified ex-military data analysts, please contact us at


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