If you're a veteran who has served your country, you likely have unique skill sets that you can apply in civilian workplace life. You may also opt to augment your skills and knowledge by pursuing a college education and earning a degree. Many universities have programs specifically designed to serve veterans, and you’re likely to benefit from different types of financial support to fund your schooling.
The G.I. Bill
The U.S. Government offers veterans numerous opportunities for continuing their education once their service ends. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this may include coverage of tuition, housing, and other associated costs at approved institutions, making this an exceptional opportunity to decide what you would like to do in your civilian life. You may opt to build on whatever specialty you were trained for during your military career or go in a completely new direction. Once you decide what you're looking for, explore colleges and universities that specialize in your chosen area and learn more about admission requirements.
Why Go Back To School?
Going back to college as an adult has a lot of benefits. Unlike teenagers fresh out of high school, you have real-world, real-life experiences you can draw from in an educational setting. Chances are, you also have an idea of where you’d like to go next with your career, which means you can target the educational programs that will help you realize your potential. Additionally, as an adult, you have more focused reasoning skills, the ability to make informed decisions, and are more likely to be successful in your pursuit. These skills can position you well for future leadership roles.
Online education can be a great choice for veterans, particularly adults who are working while attending school. Information technology is a fast-growing field, and, according to Military.com., may dovetail with the IT skills you learned in the service. You might also look into online degrees related to criminal justice or law. Online learning typically provides more flexibility than in-person classes, allowing you to study from the location of your choice, often at your own pace. You’ll still have the opportunity to interact with your peers and your professors, all in a virtual environment.
Managing Career And School
As a veteran, you're probably accustomed to a rigid schedule and a focused routine, which can benefit you greatly in an online education environment. Time management and attention to detail, also skills learned in the military, can help ensure your success in a virtual learning environment. Admission specialists and academic advisers at the school of your choice can also be great resources for helping you become comfortable with online ed.
Once you complete your degree program, you may opt to work in the private sector, as a military contractor, or think about starting your own business. You’ll make a lot of new connections through your online degree program, all of which have the potential to turn into professional and business opportunities down the road. Veteran-owned businesses often have the opportunity to apply for specialized start-up loan programs and may even have an advantage when bidding on state and federal contracts. Veterans have unique, specialized skills that can transfer to a wide range of jobs in the civilian world. Look for a career path that interests you, or is in line with your military specialty. If you have a contact or liaison office for veterans affairs, reach out and learn more about what your post-military educational options look like.
The document above appears by courtesy of Kelli Brewer, deploycare.org
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