When Navy spouse Rebecca Turlo decided she wanted to switch careers, she needed a way to boost her resume. Though she already had a bachelor’s in marketing, she knew additional education would help her break into the human resources field.
“I wanted to do something I love,” she explained. “I always wanted to be in recruiting, but no one would hire me because I’ve never had a recruiter title.”
After some research and networking, Turlo discovered what she called the perfect self-paced recruiting certificate program, offered through the Milspo Academy. A career coach from the Academy, which aims to help military spouses obtain high-demand careers that fit the military lifestyle, gave her an overview of the training process and suggested she apply for a My Career Advancement Account Scholarship (MyCAA) for tuition assistance.
Turlo received approval within three days and secured the funds she needed to pay for the program with a MyCAA Scholarship, a very big factor in her choice to get further education, she said.
“MyCAA is targeted toward our younger spouses and is a great way for them to get started on or continue their education,” said Maj. Charlie Dietz, public affairs officer for the office of the Secretary of Defense. “Higher levels of education, training and professional development can lead to increased employability and earnings.”
MyCAA is a DOD-sponsored workforce development program that provides up to $4,000 in financial assistance to eligible military spouses to use for a license, certification or associate degree. Dietz said eligibility is based on the pay grade of the service member and whether they are on Title 10 orders. He recommended that every spouse contact the SECO Career Center to determine eligibility.
“Recognizing that the MyCAA program does have eligibility constraints, we encourage all eligible military spouses to take advantage of the program while they are eligible,” said Dietz. “There are so many education programs out there that are part of the MyCAA program. Our career coaches and advisors can help spouses find a program that meets their specific needs.”
While military spouses use MyCAA for a variety of programs, Dietz said the majority of them seek healthcare-related education and training.
“Health care is very broad, and we see spouses pursuing programs such as nursing, dental, pharmaceuticals and healthcare administration,” he said. “Business administration and information technology are also very popular programs.”
After Turlo completed her eight-week recruiting program with the help of MyCAA, she landed a position as a technical sourcing specialist for Randstad Sourceright, where she recruits for Google. She said she now loves her work again in a remote role that provides the flexibility she needs with a 1-year-old son and frequent PCS moves.
“I know a lot of military spouses, and we want to be home with our young children,” she said. “And we need the ability to go anywhere. I highly recommend this program for someone who wants a really great career that can be remote.”