The Research

About the Study

In 2019, Hiring Our Heroes and Grow with Google, in collaboration with and the research specialists at Burning-Glass Technologies, partnered to conduct a study examining entrepreneurship, remote work and upskilling as economic drivers for military spouses. The military spouse career roadmap shares key findings from that research and applies those findings to a product that describes these journeys as they are today, while providing a foundation upon which the Hiring Our Heroes team will build to expand career opportunities and remove socio-economic barriers for military spouses in the workforce.

1,522 Military Spouses Participated in this study

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Data Analysis

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Key Findings & Takeaways

The 2019 Military Spouse Career Journeys study included a survey of more than 1000 military spouses that yielded several key findings. The study provided new insight into the barriers, transition points, and successes military spouses face as they pursue further education, start their own businesses, and/or seek sustainable remote work opportunities. These findings will shape the way we serve and support military spouses, as well as how military spouses will make future career decisions.

There are substantial gaps between military spouse ideal work situations and current workplace policies and procedures.

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7 out of 10 military spouses have held a job with set hours and a physical workplace in recent years, but less than 10% would consider this their ideal

Geo-bacheloring, or “geo-baching” (military families choosing to live apart) is a common way for military spouses to pursue a career.


33% of surveyed military spouses said they have chosen to geo-bach at some point in their marriages. This percentage is higher for those currently employed in full-time work (43%).


Nearly half of military spouses with a graduate/professional degree have seriously discussed leaving the military service with their spouse to support their work or career.

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39% of survey military spouses have seriously discussed with their service member spouse the possibility of leaving military service specifically to support their work or career.

This increases to 48% for those with a graduate or professional degree.

Only 1 in 4 spouses who participated in the Military Spouse Employment Survey currently or previously owned their own businesses or were self-employed.

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Most respondents chose freelancing and independent contracting work

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Most initial investments were below $1000, and the majority relied on personal savings followed distantly by credit card debt to start their businesses

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Owning a small business required upskilling for sustainability, such as building a website and/or social media presence

8 in 10 military spouses have already pursued additional training/ education, and a majority are still ‘very likely’ to pursue further training/education in the future

  • Surveyed military spouses were equally interested in pursuing a degree, a certificate, or learning new skills.
  • Military spouses were most focused on getting skills they could use no matter where they lived

Most military spouses who participated in the survey were more interested in positions as Human Resources specialists, office supervisors, and market research analysts. Fewer respondents were interested in pursuing positions as Internet Technology support professionals and software developers.

Career Interests
OverallSome College or
2-year Degree
4-year degreeGraduate or
Professional degree
Human Resources Specialist52575447
Office Supervisor49606139
Market Research Analyst48383949
IT Support Professional25333418
Software Developer24232425

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