Returning from active military duty, you’ll find a world of vocational opportunities waiting for you. Completing your service is an exciting time; it presents the perfect chance to follow your passions and pursue your career of choice. After years of selfless service, you finally can focus on yourself and what you want. below in this article, we will cover the What Degree Should You Pursue?.
With all this possible, you may find starting a new career overwhelming and don’t know where to start. Starting a new career path also begs the question: what degree should I pursue to land my ideal job? If you find yourself asking this question, you may want to slow down and consider the following.
Why Should You Pursue a Degree at All?
Like anyone entering the workforce, veterans have to ask themselves if pursuing higher education is worth it for them. While school isn’t for everyone, the fact stands that earning potential increases with further education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median weekly earnings for those with a bachelor’s degree hovers around $1,198 per week. Compare this to $862 per week for associate degree holders and $730 for those with a high school diploma.
In addition, unemployment rates decrease with higher levels of education. The same BLS study shows a 4.1 percent unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma versus a 2.8 percent and 2.2 percent unemployment rate for those with an associate degree and bachelor’s degree, respectively.
GI Bill Eligibility and Benefits
As a veteran, you won’t have to shoulder the entire cost of your studies. Instituted in 1944, the GI Bill was put in place to help servicemen and war veterans get the skills they need to reintegrate into the civilian workforce after active duty. If you’re a member of the National Guard or Reserves or a qualified dependent of any of the above, the Montgomery GI Bill or Post-9/11GI Bill will allow you to get educational or vocational training at a heavily subsidized rate. You may also qualify for career counseling.
Post-9/11 GI Bill qualifications depend on a number of variables, which you can read about on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. Depending on your length of service and which type of school you attend (public versus private), you can receive up to 100 percent coverage of tuition and fees along with a number of other financial benefits. For example, you can get up to $1,000 annually for books and supplies. If you come from a rural area, you may even qualify for a one-time $500 payment to cover relocation costs.
The amount Post-9/11 GI Bill aid you qualify for is dependent on how long you actively served since September 11, 2001. If you haven’t exhausted your benefits, you are allowed to transfer up to 36 months of benefits to dependents or your spouse. This online tool helps you monitor how much of your benefits you’ve used.
Degrees to Pursue as a Veteran
Coming out of the military, you will have countless transferable skills that will make you a competitive job applicant. Before jumping into a new career, evaluate your passions, goals, natural strengths, past experience, and the pulse of the current job market. Careers in information technology (IT) and health administration often appeal to veterans.
IT Officer – With the world’s ever-increasing reliance on technology, computer science or IT skills will always be in demand. Within IT, you can specialize in numerous fields based on the market and your skills and interests. Specialization options include cybersecurity and mobile app development.
Health Administration – Most military programs include some level training for emergency medical situations. With this experience, you’re well-positioned for a number of jobs within the medical field. For example, with an online Doctor of Health Administration degree, you can start a career in hospital management. Click here to learn more about DHA degrees.
The Sky’s the Limit
As a veteran, you have the chance to open an exciting new chapter in your life. With some additional training or coursework, you have the power to develop the skills further and work ethic you developed while serving and lead a successful, fulfilling career.