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How do I translate my work on simulators to a career in IT they are very similar?



I have worked on computer networks in the simulator world and interviews don't seem to link the two together. I worked six years customer service helping pilots and soldier's complete training in simulators. A simulator is a computer network with electronic equipment. I have a bachelor's in Computer Information Systems and two certification one A+ and Goggle IT professionals.

4 February 2022 12 replies Career Advancement



Kevin Trosine Oviedo, FL

Many interesting comments here! In addition, please checkout our web platform listed below. My company serves both civilian and military sectors and there may be an opportunity for you to leverage your skills.



Thanks for all the advice I used it and was able to do a 2 day data migration for a Mercedes Benz Vehicle Processing center I was told a did a good job but their only contracts are out of state.


Brad Menges Rochester, MN

Hi Jerald,

I was 9 years Navy as an Aviation Electronics tech with my last 3 years as an instructor. I had the same difficulty trying to translate my skills into IT speak. I have been doing software technical support and consulting for the past 24 years since the Navy. There is already a lot of great advice in the previous posts so I won't add to that here. If you would like to chat or bounce some things off me send me a PM.

Good luck!



David Limato Fremont, CA

In addition to all the good information here, try and translate the network and simulators platform to IT Systems of today. For example, if you simulator runs on Unix, then list its equivalent. If you are familiar with Operating Systems (Linux, Unix, IBM, Cisco or Brocade), then list it.

Also, if you have coding skills C++, Perl, Java, Python make sure that's in your resume.

Thank you for serving, and feel free to reach out on Linked In.


Robin Hicks Naperville, IL

Lots of good advice already given. I can only add think out of the box. There are quite a few high hazard industries that are using and/or developing simulator related training to try and reduce human/hazard interfaces. Included in that grouping would be just about anyone in energy related industries whether electric, natural gas, oil/gas, nuclear.
And just because a specific job posting doesn't include wording specific to simulation that doesn't mean it's not of interest. More frequently companies are including essential requirements in their job postings, not a full wish list.
Lastly, a couple of thoughts I've heard coach Rob Sullivan ( share include: a) think about your skills in combination because you can create magic no one else has (1+1 = 11); b) create a reason for an employer to believe in you; c) understand how you are uniquely prepared to add value to a potential employer. Best of luck.


Anne Crawford Swansea, MA

Hi Jerald, there are many ways to approach this issue. I tell my clients to make 2 lists to start out. Write every detail or task it took you to learn the simulator. What did you learn? How did you apply your learning and expertise to others? There is so much more than just doing your task. Example:
I am going to focus on the teaching / learning side of your job. The training aspects.
Organized classroom structure. How?
Understood the complete process of how the simulator works.
Adjusted my approach of training to those who were struggling? How?
What did you enjoy about teaching people the skills of the simulator? What did you dislike? This could include, structure of training, not enough time to cover everything or discuss struggles in class.
Those are just a few questions I would ask you, if you were my client. Now let's move on to the simulator / IT area
What was it about learning the simulator that you enjoyed?
Are you wired for the technical world, or are you going for a role in IT because it is all you know?
What excites you about the IT world? Being challenged mentally, solving problems, discovering technical issues?
What exactly do you want to do in the IT field? This is very important, because that will help you narrow your search and be able to apply your transferable skills to that field.
Are you most comfortable being a worker bee, or would you like a management role, or team leader? What skill strengths of yours, supports your role?
Some people mentioned to reach out to other professionals that do the same thing that interest you. Excellent idea. The more you network, the clearer your vision will become.
I could talk about this more, but don't want to make this too long. Please reach out with any other questions you have about gaining clarity on your transferrable skills. Much success, Anne



Thanks everyone for your insights they are all informative.


Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

This will be more follow up on the first answer. You have quite a bit of education and certificates. Both of these are good introductions into IT. You should start Informational Interviewing people in different roles in IT to see what specific career you are interested in, then find out what those people do on a daily basis at work. You might find by learning the lingo of the career you will be able to translate your skills in the language the hiring company's want. It is critical you know what is required of your career, prior to you trying to fit into an unknown position. I would connect with Michael Quinn, he does a lot of workshops on using LinkedIn and other forms to learn how to network in the private industry job market. Thanks for your service, God Bless and here a couple of quick reads that may also help.


Joe Engle Indianapolis, IN

Hello Jerald. You might consider exploring the field of software testing. There are lots of software companies and they need people to test their software. After the software is written, the developers frequently hand it off to a Quality Control group, or group of software 'testers', that try to 'break' the code, or find 'bugs' or problems with it. Sometimes the companies run test software, or simulations, or have a group of software 'testers'. The testing may be done manually, following a written procedure, but frequently test scripts are written to help automate the testing.

With the explosion of software, and software complexity, the ability to find issues has become a real challenge. This has led to huge growth in the field of software testing. These positions can be found from the largest companies, like Microsoft, to many medium and small developers, probably near you.

Look at software companies, in your area. You will likely find they have posted positions related to software testing (not only developers). I was looking for such a position for a friend of mine, a while ago, and remember seeing 'testing' positions available from an educational software developer, a hospital software developer and a product manufacturer.

Best of luck, and thanks for your service,



Thanks Jeff Martin!


Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!

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