SkillBridge Program

SkillBridge: Launching Your Civilian IT Career

The SkillBridge program is a valuable initiative that recognizes the sacrifices made by service members and aims to facilitate their successful transition into the civilian workforce. The program ensures that transitioning service members have a reasonable expectation and high probability of post-service employment by providing opportunities to develop job training and employment skills, including pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, and internships. 

The SkillBridge program is designed to bridge the gap between military service and civilian careers, ensuring that the valuable skills and experiences acquired during service are effectively translated into marketable assets. This initiative benefits the individuals involved and contributes to the overall strength of the civilian workforce by infusing it with the discipline, leadership, and problem-solving abilities cultivated through military service. 

As a military-friendly institution, we at CIAT understand the unique challenges that transitioning service members face, so our SkillBridge programs are tailored to provide you with hands-on training and personalized career services support. Our programs are not merely for furthering education, but are designed to help you gain the skills, certifications, and confidence you need to conquer the IT job market. 

How To Apply

Military personnel interested in enrolling in CIAT’s SkillBridge program should follow these steps: 

Getting Started

Step 1

Apply Today

Complete the CIAT online application to take your first step to gaining entry approval.

Step 2

Get Approved

Receive acceptance letter with a detailed training plan. This acceptance letter can be provided to your Command for approval.

 

Step 3

Apply for ACP Mentorship program

Service members must agree to participate in in a mentorship program with our partner American Corporate Partners

 

Step 4

Enroll

Submit documentation of approval from your base SkillBridge office for approval 

CIAT SkillBridge Programs: 

Computer Technician Certificate (CCT) 

Program ID: CCT
Number of courses: 4 
Number of credits: 16 

The Computer Technician Certificate program provides the foundational skills required to install, configure, troubleshoot, and maintain computer systems in business environments. Students build confidence as they learn career-ready hands-on skills in hardware, software and operating systems. 

This program prepares you for industry-recognized certifications such as CompTIA ITF+ and CompTIA A+. With these certifications, you’ll be well-positioned to pursue roles such as Help Desk Technician, Technical Support Specialist, PC Technician, or IT Support Technician. 

Networking Technician Certificate (CNT) 

Program ID: CNT
Number of courses: 4 
Number of credits: 16 

The Certificate as Networking Technician program will equip you with the skills and knowledge to design, configure, and maintain computer networks. Hands-on training will teach you about networking fundamentals, routing and switching technologies, network security, and troubleshooting techniques. 

This program prepares you for industry-recognized certifications such as CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, and Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT). With these certifications, you’ll be well-positioned to pursue roles such as Network Administrator, Network Technician, or Network Support Specialist. 

Cloud Administration Certificate (CCA) 

Program ID: CCA
Number of courses: 4 
Number of credits: 16 

As businesses increasingly embrace cloud computing solutions, the demand for skilled cloud administrators continues to rise. CIAT’s Certificate in Cloud Administration equips you with the knowledge and practical skills required to manage and maintain cloud infrastructure and services. 

Through this program, you’ll gain expertise in cloud computing concepts, deployment models, virtualization technologies, and cloud security practices. You’ll also learn to work with popular cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). 

Upon completing this program, you’ll be prepared to pursue certifications such as AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate, and Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect. These certifications will open doors to exciting careers as a Cloud Administrator, Cloud Architect, or Cloud Solutions Specialist. 

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Program ID: CCNA
Number of courses: 2 
Number of credits: 8

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) program is a widely recognized certification in the networking industry. This program focuses on implementing and administrating Cisco networking solutions, providing you with a deep understanding of routing and switching technologies, network security, and network services. 

Through this intensive 10-week program, you’ll gain hands-on experience working with Cisco routers and switches, configuring and troubleshooting networks, and implementing various network services. Upon successful completion, you’ll be eligible to earn the CCNA certification, which employers across multiple industries highly value. 

With the CCNA certification, you’ll be prepared to pursue roles such as Network Administrator, Network Engineer, or Network Support Specialist, working with advanced networking technologies and solutions. 

CIAT Support Services 

CIAT provides a range of support services to ensure your academic success in the NCPACE program: 

  • Academic Advising: Guidance on course selection, degree planning, and academic progression. 
  • Tutoring Services: Personalized tutoring support for specific courses or subjects. 
  • Technical Support: Assistance with course materials or delivery platforms. 
  • Skills-Based Labs: Build technical skills with career-ready labs. 
  • Disability Accommodations: Facilities or provisions for students requiring specific accommodations. 
  • Knowledge Base: Frequently asked questions and experiences from previous students. 

Resource Links: 

 

SkillBridge FAQS

General Questions 

Interested service members can ask questions about participation by contacting their installation SkillBridge point of contact; the SkillBridge POC may be in the transition assistance office, education office, or other installation support office. Additional information about how to start the process and your services specific guidance for applying to SkillBridge may be found in How to Participate.

 

DoDI 1322.29 lists general eligibility requirements as –

  • Service members may participate within 180 days of being discharged or released from active duty and service members must have served 180 continuous days on active duty.
  • Approval authority rests with the first field grade commander authorized to impose non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ in the service member’s chain of command.
  • Such commanders may approve or disapprove participation by a service member based upon unit mission requirements.

It is strongly recommended that service members complete mandatory components of the DOD Transition Assistance Program (TAP) prior to starting a SkillBridge program to ensure that they are well informed of their post-service options prior to entering this program. Services and/or commands may require that all mandatory components of TAP are complete before participating in SkillBridge. In addition, service members will need to make a plan for final out-processing, terminal leave, and permissive leave. Each service and/or command provides specific guidance. See the Resources page.

No. SkillBridge eligibility is defined as a program for active-duty service members within 180 days of being discharged or released from active duty.

 

SkillBridge is intended to be a training program for service members about to be released from active duty. Service members may participate in a SkillBridge opportunity no earlier than 180 days prior to release from active duty.

 

The interested service member must gain approval from his or her unit commander. Specifically, the service member must seek approval from the first commander in his or her chain of command in the pay grade of O-4 or above.

 

The DOD SkillBridge program is for active-duty service members and select groups of the National Guard and the Reserves within 180-days of their separation date. Through this program, the DOD will continue to provide the service members with their salary, allowances, and benefits while they are in training with authorized DOD SkillBridge partner organizations.

Some DOD SkillBridge partners may offer skills training and employment opportunities for military spouses and veterans as well as transitioning service members. The DOD encourages spouses and veterans to connect directly with the industry partner POC for more information regarding potential opportunities.

Military spouses can explore the SkillBridge locations page and search for the keyword “spouse” to see SkillBridge partners that have indicated a desire to assist military spouses. For additional career assistance, spouses can also contact the SECO Spouse Career Center by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or by visiting https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil/portal.

Veterans no longer on active duty can find additional assistance by going to the U.S. Department of Labor VETS program office at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/vets. See the Post-Service Employment and Career Planning on the SkillBridge website.

Yes. However, each service may implement its own rules and guidelines regarding eligibility of active-duty Guard (including Title 32) and Reserve members. Guard and Reserve members should contact their local Education and/or Transition Office for more information.

 

It is strongly recommended that service members complete as much of their service’s transition program as possible prior to starting a SkillBridge program to ensure that they are well informed of all their post-service options prior to entering this program. Services and/or commands may require that all mandatory components of TAP are complete before participating in SkillBridge. In addition, service members will need to make a plan for final out-processing, terminal leave, and permissive leave. Each service and/or command provides specific guidance. See the Resources page.

 

Yes. All ranks of military personnel are eligible. Command approval must be granted prior to participation for all service members. See service specific guidance for any restrictions.

 

Yes. Service members are authorized to participate at locations and installations other than where they are currently assigned. The service member is responsible for his or her own travel to and from their home installation including if recalled by a unit commander for duty, as well as final out-processing requirements. Each service and/or command may establish specific requirements.

 

Yes. Commanders or installation-level SkillBridge points of contact can use the Contact Us page on this site to obtain details about service-specific guidance on travel.

 

The services may make barracks or other similar lodging facilities available to service members participating in a SkillBridge opportunity without charge. Current guidance in DoDI 1322.29 provides that the “Military Departments will not spend DOD appropriations for JTEST-AI (SkillBridge) programs.” This provision does not prohibit the services from making such lodging space available. Installation commanders may authorize otherwise unoccupied barracks, on a space available basis, without charge to any service members participating in SkillBridge opportunities while on permissive TDY outside of their geographic home area.

 

Military service members considering SkillBridge opportunities should schedule the SHA as soon as possible. It can be scheduled up to one year in advance of an approved date of separation and then may have a final validation (administrative check) no more than 30-days prior to the actual separation date, which should not conflict with any participation in SkillBridge. Always communicate with the base transition assistance office, SkillBridge program manager, and authorizing commander to advise of any potential conflicts that may arise.

 

As a general rule, service members may not accept gifts, travel benefits (transportation, lodging, meals) or similar perks from a SkillBridge industry partner. However, they may be accepted if available to ALL participants (including members of the general public) from the SkillBridge partner.

Example 1:

A military service member participating in a SkillBridge internship with Company X while in a permissive TDY status. In addition to service members, the internship includes members of the general public. If Company X offers to pay for the service member’s airfare and lodging/meals while participating in the internship, the service member may accept the offer if it is also extended to the participating members of the general public.

Example 2:

Near the end of the SkillBridge internship, the participating service member is invited to interview with Company X at its headquarters in another state. Company X HQ offers to pay for your interview travel expenses. However, members of the general public who also participate in the internship are not provided travel expenses when invited to an interview. Because the interview travel expenses are not offered to all invitees, the service member may NOT accept the travel expenses from Company X to attend the interview at the HQ.

Service members and their Chain of Command should discuss the unique circumstances of any gift/benefits offer with their servicing Legal Office before accepting them. See SkillBridge Program Participant Ethics Brief in Resources.

 

OSD SkillBridge Policy Position: Employees of the U.S. government cannot, generally, accept payment to utilize services offered to them by their government employment or duty. That would, in effect, constitute double payment for their employment which is not permissible.

 

Yes. The SkillBridge program recognizes that onboarding activities allow SkillBridge participants to learn about an organization and prepare them to be productive and successful in a civilian career.

 

Yes. The assigned unit/command retains responsibility of the service member while they participate in a SkillBridge program. In some instances, SkillBridge program managers may be able to assist units/commands in monitoring service members. However, program managers cannot replace or assume the administrative, ethical, or legal responsibilities of the service member’s commander.

 

The decision to grant or adjust the time taken to participate in a SkillBridge program remains with the service member’s chain of command, and ultimately with the unit commander authorized to approve participation in SkillBridge.

Eligibility

DOD SkillBridge programs provide eligible service members with job training and career development opportunities to acquire employment skills, knowledge, and/or abilities to assist service members with job opportunities in the civilian sector. DOD SkillBridge industry partners’ training programs must offer a high probability of post-service employment with the industry partner or other employers in a field related to the opportunity. However, DOD SkillBridge participants are not entitled to a job with the specific industry partner as a result of completing the DOD SkillBridge program.

No. The DOD encourages service members to participate in the SkillBridge Program and other career skills opportunities; however, participation is optional.

 

No. Commanding officers maintain final approval of service member participation in a SkillBridge program. Approval authority rests with the first field grade commander who is authorized to impose non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ in the service member’s chain of command. This authority may not be delegated.

 

The SkillBridge locations on this site lists and provides brief descriptions about currently approved SkillBridge opportunities; installation-level SkillBridge offices also have information about specific opportunities. Some industry partners list more information about SkillBridge opportunities on their website.

 

Service member participation in the SkillBridge program with civilian industry partners and employers is authorized, however, some restrictions and guidelines apply. Most commands have an associated “ethics” briefing that members must attend prior to participating in a SkillBridge program. See SkillBridge Program Participant Ethics Brief in Resources for more detailed ethics information on issues such as pay, allowances, and gifts. Service members with questions or concerns pertaining to ethics must promptly contact their command chain, legal office, or the installation SkillBridge point of contact.

 

Service members should contact their installation SkillBridge point of contact for details about service and command-specific guidance about the SkillBridge approval process. If unavailable, service members can also submit a question through the Contact Us link on this site to be placed in contact with an installation-level program manager.

 

Yes. Service-specific SkillBridge instructions are available on the Resources page.

 

No. It is expected that service members will expend all leave prior to (or during) the SkillBridge program. Service members should also expend their house hunting/Permissive TDY prior to starting a SkillBridge program.

DISCLAIMER OF ENDORSEMENT: The information provided in this page is for informational purposes only and neither constitutes nor implies any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of any entity, product, service, or organization by the Department of Defense SkillBridge program or any part of the Department of Defense.

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2021 BEST CYBERSECURITY PROGRAMS

CIAT has been awarded top ranking status in Intelligent.com’s Best Cybersecurity Program review, highlighted as “Best For Industry Certifications”. Evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation, and post-graduate employment.

2018 Academic Circle of Excellence award badge

CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

EC Council, the world's largest cybersecurity technical certification organization, awarded CIAT the Circle of Excellence Award two years in a row for our Certified Ethical Hacker certification training courses and career-ready curriculum.

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MILITARY-FRIENDLY

We believe you deserve an education worthy of your service. CIAT welcomes military veterans, active duty service members, and spouses using the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E), Active Duty Tuition Assistance, and MyCAA.

Fully Accredited School

FULLY ACCREDITED

We have high standards and we believe you should too. CIAT has proudly earned accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

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Enrollment Deadline - July 24, 2023!

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