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Top 10 places for veterans to find leadership careers

Seattle makes the list

Listed below are the top 10 metropolitan areas that have the highest density of college-educated veterans in leadership positions. Photo credit: iStock

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Transitioning from a military career to a civilian career is not always easy; however, there is the recognition of the value that veterans bring in terms of leadership and teamwork.

A recent analysis by LinkedIn's Economic Graph team looked at metropolitan areas where college-educated veterans with a bachelor's degree or more have the best opportunity to begin a new career. Seattle was listed in the 10th spot.

"It's probably no surprise that most of the cities where veterans are seeing success in their civilian careers versus non-veteran civilians are places where the military itself has a large established presence," reported Blake Stilwell, is a story published by

He went on to say that the home cities of the Air Force Academy, Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Base San Antonio top the list of 10 areas where veterans are finding success. 

"The list itself was compiled only from LinkedIn users' public profile data, using standardized job titles to determine where they were on the ladder," continued Stilwell. "They were identified as veterans by listing military organizations and education as part of their history. The list also included only those who held at least a bachelor's degree."

Listed below are the top 10 metropolitan areas that have the highest density of college-educated veterans in leadership positions. All 10 are not only home to or are close to major military, they are also home to defense contractors, information technology companies, oil and gas production, aerospace and other industries.

The percentage to the right shows how much more likely veterans are to hold manager-level or higher positions.

1.    Colorado Springs, Colorado  392%

2.    Norfolk, Virginia  384%

3.    San Antonio, Texas  248%

4.    Washington, DC  119%

5.    Jacksonville, Florida  107%

6.    Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida  76%

7.    Las Vegas, Nevada  71%

8.    San Diego, California  60%

9.    Baltimore, Maryland  44%

10. Seattle, Washington 26%

As a Nov. 9, 2022 Workforce Report in LinkedIn News pointed out, military-honed skills go far, and this is especially true for private sector businesses that design weapons systems, repair ships or otherwise work directly with the military. It also noted that retailers, schools and health-care facilities value veterans' experience and leadership potential.

While the top three cities have high percentage rates of a college educated veteran finding manger-level or above employment, metropolitan areas like San Diego, Baltimore and Seattle - where the military presence is a smaller part of the economy - veterans are more likely to find career opportunities spanning a wide range of industries.

"LinkedIn's data find veterans showing the most success in the defense and aerospace industry, with the next biggest being information technology and consulting services," concluded Stilwell.

"Yet even where the military has a smaller effect on the economy or veteran population density is lower, veterans still find success in other, non-military related sectors."

For more information about companies seeking to hire veterans, visit

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