ANNAPOLIS -- Military veterans would get academic credit for skills learned during their service under a bill passed by the Maryland state Senate on Friday.

The bill, an initiative of Gov. Martin O'Malley, creates a process to credit veterans for skills learned and years served, and then apply those credits toward professional licenses or academic degrees.

There are more than 33 different professions licensed by the state, including barbers, pilots, electricians, nurses, social workers and paramedics.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment among veterans who served after 9/11 was at 9.9 percent in 2012, compared to the unemployment rate of 7.9 percent for the rest of the labor force.

That number is higher among young male veterans, 29.1 percent of whom were unemployed in 2011, compared with 17.9 percent of nonveteran young men.