As a military spouse, it’s often a challenge to find steady employment and career opportunities due to the nomadic nature of armed forces work.
After all, military families usually have to move around the country — sometimes even the globe — which can be extremely disrupting for their career paths. In fact, military spouses are one of the highest unemployed demographics in the United States, with a 22 percent unemployment rate, according to a 2022 report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t flexible, remote job options available. If you’re looking for a position that can handle the demands of military life and are conducive to frequent relocations, we’ve rounded up some of the best industries for service member spouses.
Health care is one of the largest industries in the nation, and you can rest assured it will always be in demand, no matter your location. There will be open positions wherever you settle down, and that is what makes it such a stable career for military spouses.
Whether you’re working as a nurse, a doctor, a therapist or in hospital management or administration, it’s an environment with competitive compensation where you can truly make a difference in the world.
If you’re considering a job in the medical field, there are plenty of online graduate degree programs to jump-start your career. Consider studying public health or pain medicine with Keck School of Medicine of USC, or physical therapy from the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. You can also explore nursing from USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, for example.
Government and Public Administration
When it comes to scheduling, relocating and other demands of military life, you won’t find a more supportive and understanding employer than the government. Working in a government or public administration position makes it easier to handle any personal obstacles that arise, and there are additional benefits to the field as well, including pensions, childcare options and more.
Plus, being employed by the government is another way to serve your country, which is certainly appealing for many military families.
To break in to the political environment, explore earning your Master of Public Administration online from USC Price School of Public Policy, which equips students with the management, analytical and policy-making skills to thrive in public administration roles.
Positions in human resources (HR) are typically a big draw for military spouses, as there are often remote work options that are conducive to permanent change of station (PCS) moves. HR roles are also necessary in most companies and organizations, meaning opportunities can be found all across the U.S. and the world.
The industry itself is stable, rewarding and provides a multitude of career pathways, serving as a vital connection between a company and its employees.
To get your career started in HR, you can explore the online Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) program from USC Bovard College. Not only does the program teach you the ins and outs of core HR principles, but it also preps you to become an effective and thoughtful leader.
Defense contracting is another popular, military-adjacent field that is extremely popular for spouses of service members. Those in the industry are familiar with the demands of military life, so you’re likely to find more flexible hours and easier scheduling possibilities.
Working in defense contracting is also a meaningful way to give back to your country, making it a great career path for military spouses, and the sector has ample job openings in design, development, manufacturing and more.
The USC Viterbi School of Engineering offers many online programs to help you become a viable candidate for defense contracting, including the Master of Science in Aerospace in Engineering, Master of Science in Systems Architecting and Engineering, Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering and others.
There is no field better suited for remote work than information technology. Since IT is all done from behind a computer screen, most companies are able to offer remote positions, which can be found anywhere in the world.
As our world becomes more and more digitized, IT continues to be a fast-growing sector with plenty of opportunities across areas such as data science, coding, software engineering, design and more, even in technology itself.
Much like the industry itself, there are many graduate programs to advance your knowledge and skill sets in information technology remotely. USC Viterbi offers the online Master of Science in Applied Data Science, Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering and others.
By pursuing a career in education, you can help new generations thrive, aligning with many military spouses’ shared goal of working in a mission-driven work environment. Best of all, it’s a job you can find anywhere — teachers and counselors are needed all over the world. If you’d prefer the flexibility of working remotely, however, there are online teaching and tutoring positions, too.
In terms of preparing to become an educator, there are several online graduate programs at USC. While you can get a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) or Master of Arts in Teaching – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MAT-TSEOL), you can also choose an advanced degree that focuses on school counseling, enrollment management or even educational leadership from USC Rossier School of Education.
The world of finance is constantly expanding, and it’s a field that promises stability and possibilities all over, qualities that many military spouses seek out during a job hunt. Positions in the sector also usually offer competitive salaries and benefits packages.
Within finance, you can take up accounting, banking, credit analysis or even financial advising. To get started, you can explore a variety of online graduate programs at USC, including the online Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management (MSGSCM), Master of Science in Financial Engineering and more.
Learn more about USC’s online graduate programs today.