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October 8, 2018 in

Why would a commercial software company give away its training and certification exam fees for free? In the case of Salesforce and its Vetforce program, it just makes good business sense. Salesforce offers cloud-based customer relationship management and related services to over 150,000 companies around the world – many of them on the Fortune 500 list. In 2017, Salesforce job postings for administrators and developers were featured on Indeed’s list of the best jobs. But while these jobs are in high demand, finding people to fill the roles is challenging.

To help nurture future professionals, Salesforce offers Trailhead, a free online training portal which offers self-paced learning for both new and experienced users. For military members, spouses and veterans, Salesforce goes a step further and offers a structured training and certification program called Vetforce.

Vetforce is a program for military members, spouses and veterans which provides free training and certification for in-demand Salesforce specializations including Administrator, Developer, Sales Cloud Consultant and Service Cloud Consultant. Armed with these certifications, Vetforce graduates can quickly find jobs or launch their own businesses assisting Salesforce customers.

Military members, spouse and veterans can sign up online at veterans.force.com and verify eligibility through ID.me. Once registered, participants choose one of several paths to get started in the Salesforce ecosystem. After choosing their path, Vetforce gives participants a guided study plan to follow on Trailhead. Once members complete all the required modules in Trailhead, they are eligible to attend an optional training class valued at $4,500 and receive a voucher to cover the $200 certification exam fee. Many members feel that the knowledge they gained from Trailhead is sufficient preparation for the certification exam and elect to forgo the class. Participants are free to change paths during the process or to pursue additional certifications. In addition to training on the technical aspects of Salesforce, members also learn valuable skills such as business communication and project management. As of September 2018, Vetforce members had earned a combined 50,000 trailhead badges and 900 certifications.

For military members finishing up their time in the service, Vetforce is a perfect way to take the skills they’ve learned in uniform and apply them as a civilian employee. For military spouses, a Salesforce skillset can help them easily obtain jobs in many parts of the country and world. Because Salesforce is cloud-based, spouses might also have the flexibility to work remotely and to stay with their employer even if a military assignment forces them to move away.

Not only does Vetforce benefit military families, but Salesforce customers benefit from the program as well. As government agencies increasingly turn to Salesforce and other cloud-based services, the demand for skilled professionals possessing government clearances is also increasing. Members finishing up their military duty already hold clearances in many cases, so these retrained Salesforce professionals can immediately be placed on government-sensitive projects.

HigherEchelon is proud to have a Vetforce graduate on staff. Senior Salesforce Developer Natalya Murphy first learned about Salesforce in early 2017, when she became interested in re-entering the IT sector after pursuing other interests for 10 years. As a military spouse, she eagerly joined Vetforce in April of 2017 and, bolstered by her prior IT experience, earned three certifications within the first four months. She also gained real-life experience with Salesforce by volunteering for a non-profit during that time. Soon after, she started freelancing for several Salesforce partners including HigherEchelon, which led to full time employment with HE in January 2018.
Natalya credits Trailhead and Vetforce for helping her reintegrate back into the IT sector after a decade lapse in software development. Whenever she talks to military spouses and soon-to-be veterans, she encourages them to explore how Vetforce can help them gain the skills they need to be competitive in the civilian world – a world that is increasingly turning to cloud technology in both commercial and public sectors.

If you are interested in learning more about Vetforce or how Salesforce can benefit your organization, please reach out to HigherEchelon for more information. Also, HigherEchelon is hiring! if you are interested in a career with HigherEchelon’s Salesforce team, please contact Careers@higherechelon.com for more information.