TechVets Enables Veteran Careers Using NetAcad 

Enhancing TechVets members learning and development through the use of Netacad's online courses.


With over 3500 students and 33 strategic partners, TechVets is a programme within the Forces Employment Charity that was established to solve underemployment and unemployment within the forces community. 





·      Unlocking career paths for the forces community

·      Making the community aware and understanding of their transferable skills 

·      Tailoring the NetAcad Platform to the TechVets community 


·      A blend of self-paced and instructor-led learning, 100% virtual 

·      Key courses include Introduction to Cybersecurity, Cloud Security, and CCNA


·      15 to 25 TechVets community members land in IT Careers every month, with 50% of those that found jobs after completing courses entering the cyber workforce.

Unlocking career paths for the Forces Community

TechVets strives to support the UK military forces community, whether members are currently serving and looking to upskill for the future, leaving the military and looking for their next career, or the family of veterans and those currently serving. 


With a growing online community of over 3500 learners, TechVets provides access to a plethora of upskilling opportunities to help learners get from A to Z, including technical training, providing connections with employers, and CV support. 


The Military Conversion Challenge

“When leaving the military, it's common to be so ingrained in a linear path of completing a course that will enable you to tick the box to receive a promotion or a course that gives you an extra skill set for your role”, explains James Murphy, TechVets CEO. He goes on to share that, as a result, “the community often lacks understanding of transferable skills. This combined with a lack of industry experience causes military leavers to try to make up for it by getting as many certifications as possible”.


TechVets is tackling this challenge head-on by unlocking career paths that those in the forces community often don’t consider or believe they can progress into.

“For us a challenge is getting people to engage with that training process earlier. I think lots of people, including myself when I left, aren’t aware that this exists, and if they do, they don’t interact with it” -  James Murphy

Working with the Open University Academy Support Centre 

In the Cisco Networking Academy ecosystem, each Cisco Academy is assigned to a dedicated Academy Support Centre (ASC). The ASC’s role is to provide guidance in getting the Academy off the ground and acts as an ongoing point of support. TechVets’ journey as a Cisco Academy started with an initial call with the Open University ASC, who are a longstanding Cisco Networking Academy Partner. The Open University’s approach to hybrid learning strongly aligned with TechVets’ method of delivering training programmes, as a hybrid learning approach allows the community to get on with their busy lives whilst learning in the background; offering high-quality training to the community in a way that works best for them. 


Andrew Smith who leads the Open University ASC, met with the TechVets team to provide guidance on which courses would be best suited to the community as well as practical support in getting the courses set up and managing students. TechVets maintains a close relationship with their Academy Support Centre to ensure they stay up to date with the latest and greatest features NetAcad offers, as well as staying in the know with relevant industry events.


Introduction of Cohorts 

After a few months of launching its first NetAcad courses to members, TechVets decided to introduce cohorts in order to manage learners in a more effective way. Cohorts allowed TechVets to foster greater peer support within the community by bringing together groups of learners that started a course at the same time and thus facilitating open discussions. TechVets found that learners were more supported through the community feel of a cohort, with members encouraging each other to progress through courses. The introduction of cohorts additionally boosted the number of TechVets’ members actively engaging in the training, with a 25% increase of learners in the first quarter of 2022.


Pathways to Careers

TechVets has leveraged Cisco Networking Academy resources to create pathways that progress learners from beginner with the essentials courses, then build up gradually to CCNA or CCNP as advanced level courses. The broad training offerings that NetAcad provides have helped TechVets grow their community from 50-100 to over 200 new registrations every month. The opportunities created through the TechVets Cisco Academy strongly contributed to 15-20 community members progressing into IT careers each month. 

“Another absolute plus of working with NetAcad is the discount on the CCNA exam, the voucher is an absolute winner.” – Colin Grimes

TechVets Members End Roles 

One spouse who was unemployed for nine years landed a cybersecurity role that was advertised on the TechVets jobs board. Despite having “no previous technical ability”, Sara Hilton raced through TechVets’ SOC Analyst training pathway. She is now on track to earning twice as much per hour as she did in previous jobs at places like Starbucks and David Lloyd Clubs. Read more here


Tom Mills Razorthorn joined up in October 2006 and expected to be in the army for life but was labelled as Medically Non-Deployable (MND-P) and knew medical discharge would be next. While still serving, he decided to pursue a career in cybersecurity after military service, combining the core soft skills developed throughout his time in the army with technical skills acquired through TechVets’ training offerings. Read more here.


Rachael Bailey served in the RAF for 12 full years but still wasn’t sure her skills would pay off in the civilian world and feared she couldn’t match her former earning potential when taking the leap into a tech career after military service. Rachael embarked on a BSC degree in Cybersecurity and leveraged the skills she had built during her time in the military, such as reliability and teamwork. She shares that “TechVets has given me a community similar to the military with likeminded people in”. Read more here.

Advice from James and Colin for future Networking Academies

“For anyone that wants to set up a networking Academy, it's a very powerful platform that can be as useful as you want it to be, the more time and effort that you invest in it, the more you’re going to reap the rewards” – James Murphy


“The NetAcad course catalogue is very self-explanatory, if I was looking for a certain IT course such as programming, I know where to go. It's written in a way that is easily understood it and really easy to grasp, and we see with the community signing up. The brand Cisco's is an instantly recognisable and reputable brand” – Colin Grimes