The DOD’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program has teamed up with Udemy, an on-demand career development site, to offer military spouses free access to over 5,000 career courses.
The program is a career lifeline for the military spouse community. A 2021 report prepared for the National Military Spouse Network showed a 25% unemployment rate for military spouses.
These numbers are not new. Military spouse unemployment rates have been sky high for the past two decades, with many families citing the day-to-day demand of the service member’s job, deployment schedules, lack of access to childcare, and frequent moves as barriers to employment.
Despite these challenges, about 60% of military spouses say they’re currently looking for full- or part-time employment to ensure their family’s financial stability.
SECO and Udemy are stepping up to support military spouses striving to build careers that contribute to their families’ financial wellbeing and their own sense of personal fulfillment.
As the world’s largest education site, Udemy has served over 46 million learners in 75 languages. Eddie Mentzer, the Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives for Military Community Support Programs in the DOD’s office of Military Community and Family Policy, shared that his team is “excited about the professional development opportunities for military spouses through the Udemy collaboration.”
Udemy, which typically charges $85 to $150 per course, will offer military spouses a specially curated catalog of courses at absolutely no cost. Spouses can dive into a wide range of learning experiences in topics like Web Development, Instagram Marketing, Cyber Security, and Leadership. Udemy even offers certificate courses and personal development courses in time management, stress management, and productivity.
Udemy’s anytime, anywhere instruction model is a perfect fit for military life, and spouses can build their learning schedule around the demands of daily life.
And whether spouses are looking to pursue a first job or a career change, the program is designed to meet military spouses at any and every stage of their career, from entry-level to entrepreneurship. “Udemy provides military spouses with no-cost access to thousands of high-quality courses in subjects that will prepare them to enter, re-enter, and advance in their careers,” Mentzer said.
For spouses who are looking to embark on a new career path but aren’t sure where to channel their efforts, Udemy, which has received wide attention for its workplace research, has recently released reports on the top in-demand skills around the globe.
In addition to access to high-quality career education, Mentzer said, SECO strives “to provide military spouses with a variety of information, tools, and resources to assist them in reaching their educational and career needs.”
The program also provides each military spouse with a SECO career coach to meet their individual needs and help pave a pathway for career development and success. Working one-on-one with a career coach, military spouses will have the opportunity to explore educational and career options, learn about licensure and credential requirements, and connect with employers committed to hiring military spouses.