VET TEC (Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses) is a Department of Veterans Affairs pilot program for GI Bill®eligible Veterans. VET TEC will help veterans, like you, start a career as a Cyber Warrior.
The training provided through this program is set up for basic IT skills, but those same skills can also be a great launching point if you are planning to get into one of the fastest, most “in-demand” careers in the world – Cybersecurity.
VET TEC GI Bill® Program Overview
The program’s name is VET TEC, which stands for Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses. Here is what you need to know.
This program will focus on high-tech skills that are in demand in today’s workplace.
>> VET TEC Program Update
The popularity of the VET TEC program is evident. In a recent statement, the VA announced that the funds for the program have been exhausted and further funding has been suspended until October 1, 2020.
They will no longer accept new enrollments for this fiscal year.
If you are currently enrolled in a program, you can still continue with the training for which you’ve been approved without interruption.
If you missed the boat and haven’t applied yet, take heart. You can still apply to receive a decision for a program that begins on or after October 1, 2020. That means, if you’ve even considered getting any training through this program, then you should drop your application as soon as you can. Once they start reviewing applications again, you don’t want yours to be at the bottom of the pile.
If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to the VA by calling 888.442.4551, Monday thru Friday from 0800 – 1900.
Or you can email them anytime at VETTEC.VBABUF@va.gov.
CollegeRecon will, of course, keep you updated as to any changes with this program.
Who Is Eligible for VET TEC?
If you have at least one day of unexpired GI Bill entitlement, you may be eligible for this fast path to becoming a cyber warrior. However, active duty service members, spouses, or children (recipients of Transfer of Entitlement (TOE) benefits, and Fry Scholars) are not eligible.
How Do I Qualify for the VET TEC Program?
In order to qualify for this program you would need to take classes in one of these five categories:
Are My Tuition and Housing Allowance Covered By This Program?
The VET TEC program will pay for tuition costs as well as pay you a housing allowance just as the Post 9/11 GI Bill does.
Classes in the above subjects tend to be shorter than those in a traditional college or vocational training. You may only need a few months or even weeks to gain that certification.
Those who are eligible for the GI Bill, either the Post 9/11 GI Bill or the Montgomery GI Bill can qualify for this as long as they haven’t passed the time limit to use their benefits and as long as they have at least one day remaining of benefits.
When using this program, none of your GI Bill entitlement will be decreased allowing more flexibility for those who do want to use the VET TEC program.
VET TEC Program Goal
The goal of the VET TEC program is to get veterans into the job force quicker than a program at a traditional college.
“Coding Boot Camps” and other high-tech training will also be included. You can see the full list of VET TEC Training Providers here.
The VA will pay 25% of the cost when the veteran enrolls, 25% when they complete the program, and the other 50% once they secure meaningful employment in their field of study.
If a training program agrees to return all the money they received from the VA if the veteran does not find meaningful employment within 180 days, they will be given the “Preferred Provider” label.
You might need to be assessed by your individual training program as well as being approved by the VA. This will not always be the case, and will depend on your program.
How Can I Sign Up for VET TEC?
You can Apply online. You’ll receive a letter from VA with a decision. If you are approved for the program, you can review our list of approved providers to find a program you want to take. Contact your chosen provider and tell them you are eligible for VET TEC and interested in their program.
Training Providers may assess your qualifications using their own enrollment processes, though not all will require an assessment. This helps ensure that you will successfully complete their program and find meaningful employment to use the skills you learned.
Can I Apply for a Training Program Not On the List?
Ask the training provider to apply to apply! They can find out more about becoming a provider and apply.
Can I Use VET TEC For More Than One Training?
The world of cybersecurity requires ongoing training. This program will allow you (an eligible Veteran) to participate in the VET TEC program once every 18 months.
If you start an approved program, you will have an 18-month waiting period from your last date of attendance or completion before you can reapply.
If you withdrew from your previous VET TEC program because you were called to active duty or for medical reasons, VA may waive this rule.
Where Can I Go For More Info?
You can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 or e-mail VETTEC.VBABUF@va.gov for more information or visit the VET TEC homepage
Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.