The Sword - April 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bachelor's Degree vs. Military Experience

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Veterans bring a diverse range of skillsets with them to the civilian world. They have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can enter your workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real world situations. This background can reduce a Veteran's learning curve and enhance your organization's productivity. Veterans are accustomed to fast paced operational environments and have spent their time in the military learning to be both efficient and proficient.

Despite all this experience, some employers may wonder if military experience is comparable to having completed a Bachelor's degree?

Bachelor's degrees are a benchmark certification for someone's ability to think critically and communicate effectively through speech and writing. An employer wants to know that their next employee can think through complex issues and communicate with people at an acceptable and effective level. Depending on the job, many employers require at least a bachelor's degree. Hiring managers believe that they gain something extra in terms of talent and potential by hiring someone who has completed 4-year degree. But is that degree more valuable than hands-on experience veterans gain in the military?

Employers may want to consider military experience as at least equal to a four-year degree. The leadership, teamwork, and efficient performance under pressure are just a few attributes military veterans bring to the office environment. Read more about the attributes and qualities unique to the military candidates.

Las Vegas Review-Journal Covers Veterans in Construction at CONEXPO-CON/AGG

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Todd Prince authored an article titled "Veterans on the hunt for jobs at Las Vegas construction expo" after attending CONEXPO-CON/AGG, the construction industry's largest global gathering.

Prince explains that "[a]fter shedding a massive amount of skilled workers in the wake of the Great Recession, the U.S. construction industry is booming again. And it is in massive need of skilled laborers like welders, diesel truck mechanics and masons."

But, he goes on to write, companies are not easily finding the talent they need to fill these positions. The solution? Prince points out that veterans are a great fit for the construction industry. He attended a panel discussion co-chaired by David Coe, SVP of Strategic Programs at Orion, presented to construction industry managers on the benefits of hiring former servicemen. Coe told his audience that more than 5,500 veterans have been placed in construction-related jobs over the past 15 years through Orion.

As Coe explained, Orion is keenly aware of the great match between veterans and construction careers and is pleased to see the topic gain awareness. Click here to read the full article or keep reading below, to learn more about veterans in construction.

David Coe

Industry Spotlight: Veterans in Construction

Here at Orion, we have helped more than 1000 veterans begin exciting new civilian careers in the construction industry. From homebuilding to commercial to industrial construction, these veterans bring valuable experience and skills to careers such as Project Engineers, Project Managers, Estimators, Superintendents / Assistant Superintendents, Construction Manager, and Leadership Development Programs. Below are a few examples of how veterans fit into this industry.

Project Engineers

Particularly in the construction industry, veterans utilize their technical degrees, project management skills and leadership experiences to work in a variety of areas including road, bridge, or commercial construction. Project Engineers work with the superintendents on site to ensure the technical specifications, proper materials, compliance issues and rate of work are being met. These candidates generally have experience from the military in the Corps of Engineers or as a Seabee in the Navy, bringing a powerful combination of real world experience and demonstrated leadership skills.


Drawing on veterans' analytical and thoroughness of work skills, our client companies have discovered that this sought after position can be filled by Junior Military Officers. Graduating from some of the nation's top colleges and universities, our candidates are proficient in calculating statistical data, using material price lists, cost per man hour, historical data and equipment costs to estimate projects and future developments.

Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent

Veterans bring strong leadership, excellent communication skills and an understanding of how to drive timelines, resources, and manpower. They have overall responsibility for the safe and efficient operations of their project site and ensure that quality standards are being enforced. They are very effective at initiating and maintaining a relationship with contractors and clients.

Leadership Development Programs

We have created and implemented Leadership Development Programs for several Fortune 500 companies. We design a first-class leadership program targeted to recruit transitioning military candidates. Our past Leadership Development Programs have spanned several years and resulted in an average retention rate of 90% after two years.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as overall construction activity expands, positions like Construction Managers will be needed. "Population and business growth will result in the construction of new residences, office buildings, retail outlets, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and other structures over the coming decade," the report explains, "Also, the need to improve portions of the national infrastructure will spur employment growth as roads, bridges, and sewer pipe systems are upgraded or replaced….In addition, a growing emphasis on retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient should create jobs for general contractors…"

The report goes on to say that while employment growth will provide many new jobs, a substantial number of construction managers positions, in particular, are expected to retire over the next decade, resulting in additional job openings. Veterans represent an excellent answer to this workforce attrition problem.

The projected need for this position goes hand-in-hand with many other titles in the construction industry. In fact, employment of Cost Estimators is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

Companies like Siemens, PulteGroup, Lennar Homes, Clark Construction, and Taylor Morrison have turned to Orion to help fill their ranks with military candidates ideally suited for these types of positions. You can get started recruiting the top talent for your construction company by clicking here.

National Distinguished Candidate Conferences

National Distinguished Candidates

Mark your calendar for our upcoming National Distinguished Candidate Conferences:

May 1-2, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA

June 5-6, 2017 in San Diego, CA

Since 1991, our clients have told us that the most important factor in deciding to hire military through an agency is the Quality of Candidate. Our unique Distinguished Candidate Conferences are designed to recruit, assess, screen, and present the top military candidates for your hiring needs. In 2016, nearly 175 client companies interviewed Orion's Military Officers at our Distinguished Candidate Conferences. 

Orion's Distinguished Candidate Conferences enable you to develop a strong pipeline of future leaders and foster strategic organizational growth.

Our Distinguished Candidates are carefully selected and represent the very top tier of Military Officers transitioning from Active Duty. They are seeking careers in growth roles including Leadership Development, Operations Management, Engineering, and Sales.

Our Junior Military Officer Candidates at these National Events:

  • Service Academy Graduates and graduates of the nation's top universities.
  • Candidates with MBAs and other advanced degrees; and those with PMPs, PEs, and other professional certifications.
  • Candidates who have consistently ranked well above their peers in their professional military evaluations.
  • Willing to relocate and geographically flexible.

Distinguished Candidate Conference Highlights:

  • This event will feature 30 minute Client Presentations in which you can present to the candidates you'll be interviewing in advance. We recommend a C-level or VP Presenter for client presentations.
  • Enjoy an additional opportunity for socializing with the candidates and other Hiring Managers, at our President's Reception following the Keynote Address on Monday evening.
  • Pre-screened, assessed, qualified Officer Candidates suitably matched for your particular hiring needs.
  • A private and professional interview setting.
  • Personalized attention to ensure the best in customer service, including insight on the candidates and advice on the most effective hiring strategy.

In addition, Orion's Executive Leadership Team will be available throughout the event to meet and discuss your company's talent planning and how our dedicated on-boarding programs, assessment tools, and other enterprise-scale service offerings may be able to support your organization in 2015 and beyond.

What do our clients have to say about the caliber of candidates at an Orion Distinguished Candidate Conference?

"Our experience at Orion's Distinguished Candidate Conference was a great success. The candidates were of the highest caliber and extremely well matched for our Leadership Development Program. This event enabled us to hire 5 outstanding JMOs very efficiently, saving weeks of time. I look forward to seeing the impact these new leaders will have on BP." - Program Manager, BP

The Distinguished Candidate Conference enables you to develop a strong pipeline of future leaders and foster strategic organizational growth.

Learn more about our Distinguished Candidate Conferences and discover for yourself the impact a Military Officer can have on your organization.

Upcoming Hiring Conferences

Military Job Seekers

Orion Military Hiring Conferences - Interview Junior Military Officers, Noncommissioned Officers and Enlisted Technicians Recruited for your Hiring Needs

An Orion Hiring Conference is your chance to interview the best military job seekers, selected specifically for your open positions. You will be presented with prescreened, qualified and suitably matched veterans that are interested in your available opportunities. Click on the dates below to learn more about our upcoming hiring conferences.


Orlando, FL April 4, 2017

Jacksonville, FL May 9, 2017

Charlotte, NC May 23, 2017 (Homebuilders Conference) 

South Central

Denver, CO April 10, 2017

Dallas, TX April 10, 2017

Dallas, TX May 12, 2017


Sand Diego, CA April 10, 2017

Portland, OR May 8, 2017


Chicago, IL April 10, 2017

Cincinnati, OH May 19, 2017


Philadelphia, PA May 1, 2017 (Enlisted Technicians) 

Philadelphia, PA May 1-2, 2017 (Distinguished Candidate Conference)

Norfolk, VA May 22, 2017 (Technicians seeking to relocate to the Midwest) 


According to Our Clients

"This is the third time that I used Orion to hire an employee, and I'm very satisfied with the quality and performance of the candidates." - Plant Manager, Republic Conduit - Tenaris 

Meet Our Candidates

Meet Our Candidates

The battle for talent in the workplace can be fierce. It doesn't have to be if you know where to look. Below is a preview of actual Orion International candidates and the valuable skills and experience they possess.

Air Force Officer with a Master's Degree View Resume

Navy Technician Pursing a Master's Degree in Cyber Security View Resume

Army Finance Officer with an MBA View Resume

Navy Electrician Pursuing a Bachelor's Degree View Resume

USMA Graduate with Construction Industry Expereince View Resume

Navy Avionics Technician View Resume

Refer a Colleague to Hire Military Talent

Is your company or that of a friend or colleague in need of military talent? For every referral you provide, you will be automatically entered into our monthly drawing for a $50 gift card. Even better, if your referral results in a hire, you will personally receive a $100 gift card as our way of saying thank you. As always, we will maintain your privacy and never share your information nor that of your referral.

Click here to refer a colleague to hire military talent!

Connect with Orion

Did you know that there are several ways to connect with Orion and learn how veterans impact the civilian workforce?