From a military to digital career—Jodi Phillips’ career path
- Last updated:
- 25 October 2022 11:10AM
- First published:
- 25 October 2022 10:25AM
Like many veterans who transition from the military into civilian careers, Jodi Phillips says she underestimated the experience and skills Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel acquire while working in the military.
When Jodi decided to leave the military, she found the skills she had acquired were highly valuable, and it’s this adaptability of skills from ADF to other careers that make veterans highly sought after by employers.
After Jodi graduated from an accounting degree, she felt she needed a challenge, and entered the Duntroon Royal Military College to undertake an Australian Defence Force (ADF) career.
Jodi started her 16-year career with the ADF as an Officer in Signals Corps, and was responsible for managing a variety of teams that delivered military communications links between Australian military forces and their allies.
Working in the ADF provided Jodi an opportunity to work across a variety of digital technologies and leadership roles, and during her military career, she was able to complete a Masters in Science (Information Technology)
After leaving the military, Jodi and her partner moved to the United Arab Emirates where she worked in a consultancy role as a program manager for the Arab Special Forces Group. It was during this time that Jodi decided to pursue a civilian career, and transition out of defence related roles.
Once Jodi left the defence industry, she wasn’t sure how employable she would be outside of the military, and applied for several roles before obtaining a position at the University of Queensland in their ICT senior leadership team.
Jodi said ADF careers provide many transferable skills that are highly desirable in the job market, and this, combined with digital skills training, means anyone thinking of transitioning from the ADF should consider a digital career.
Jodi now works for Amazon Web Services as a Strategic Development Manager, working with local, state and federal government customers to help them design education and training capability for their own staff and citizens.
“You’ll always have a job if you keep up to date with your digital skills.”
Jodi says, digital skills will increasingly be required for most jobs in a modern economy and veterans should consider learning digital skills, particularly if they’re looking for a career with longevity, that pays well, and offers great challenges.
“Digital careers don’t always involve coding, programming and working directly with technology, they can also involve creative aspects such as design, leadership, and project management,” she says.
“Organisations are struggling to find enough people with digital skills, and the complexity of the job market means people are needed with a range of digital skills—from basic skills such as service desk support and database management right through to more advanced skills like cyber security and data analytics.”
Digital skills training
In terms of acquiring digital skills, Jodi says it doesn’t always have to involve going to university. There are many short courses available, such as micro-credential and TAFE courses, that can help veterans learn digital skills and improve their employment prospects.
Programs like the Veterans Digital Capability and Skilling program also provides a great opportunity for veterans and transitioning ADF personnel to gain new digital skills and get a taste for the different digital career pathways available.