Connecting Talent With Opportunity: Mapping US Veteran Skills and Employer Needs

September 25, 2014

With over a million service members transitioning out of the US military in the next five years, and the unemployment rate over 10% for post 9/11 veterans under 30, more needs to be done to help our nation’s veterans access civilian careers.

Aneesh Chopra, former White House CTO and co-founder of Hunch Analytics, partnered with various technology companies and government agencies to create a national map of skills held by veterans and skills sought by employers looking to hire veterans. The collaborative effort resulted in the Veterans Talent: An Open Data Collaboration.

LinkedIn partnered with this effort by making our unique skills matching technology available and identifying the skills associated with more than 600,000 job descriptions from government-managed veteran-friendly job databases.

The Veterans Talent: An Open Data Collaboration serves to illustrate the value of data sharing to help inform and support public programs. As illustrated below, the interactive map on Veterans Talent allows employers and job seekers to zoom in on specific locations to learn more about the supply and demand of specific skills in their local labor market.

Veterans map

By aggregating the skills found in veterans' profiles and job descriptions, one can identify the skills that have the most occurrences in job descriptions and the least occurrences in profiles - in other words the most in-demand skills. This information can then be used to reveal potential gaps where a veteran might want to focus on.

At LinkedIn, we’ve invested in building a broad and compelling skills taxonomy so our members can truly express their professional identity. When members edit their profile, they can choose from a list of more than forty thousands different skills and area of expertise. Skills are standardized and facilitate search and matching so our members are more easily found for the right opportunities.

These maps are a proof of concept of how skills data can inform economic development programming on the local level.

For more information on LinkedIn for Veterans, please visit