It can be tough for veterans to know what to do after they leave the service. They have given so much to the country, and now after their military career is over, they may find it difficult to transition to civilian life.
Veterans often join the armed forces right after high school or college, making them face unique challenges and feel like they cannot work and live anywhere outside the military setting.
But this is not the truth. There are countless career opportunities for veterans, everything from a liberal arts career to cybersecurity engineering is at their disposal. One of the best ways to access these opportunities is to return to school.
Here are a few further education benefits and reasons why veterans and former military personnel should consider returning to school after active duty.
Certificates and degree programs can help you pursue a stable career
In addition to providing a sense of new purpose and direction in life, a solid education can open doors to a prosperous professional future.
To succeed, you must not only put in the effort but also have a strong knowledge foundation, which you can only obtain in school (such as community college, online programs and training, and other opportunities for education).
For example, it is crucial to have a foundational knowledge of technical concepts and skills for a career in IT.
Going back to school is an excellent opportunity to master new skills
Being a veteran, you have a wide range of valuable skill sets. However, returning to school will allow you to explore and master new ones.
For instance, those pursuing a cybersecurity career can learn everything from basic technical skills and concepts to protecting large networks from malware, spyware, viruses, and hackers.
By exploring and perfecting new skills and combining them with those developed in service, former military people can have a solid competitive edge in the job market.
Studying what you are interested in can improve job opportunities in the future
When it’s tough to find civilian work after serving in the military, returning to school might be a welcome distraction. You can use this time to prepare for your future career by learning new skills instead of focusing on job search.
There are numerous specialized courses and programs that can boost your resume in any industry. Determine your ideal professional path, and then take the necessary academic steps to get there.
For example, if you see yourself working as a Network Administrator or an Information Security Analyst, you need to pursue a specific certification, like Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).
With this certificate, you will gain various network skills and knowledge, including installation, operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting using CISCO equipment. This vital academic step will open the doors to your dream job that otherwise would be unattainable.
Your time in school is a great opportunity to collaborate with teachers and peers to acquire the knowledge and abilities you’ll need to succeed in your chosen field.
As you strengthen your portfolio and resume, your chances of employment in your desired industry will increase.
Veterans can receive financial assistance
As a veteran, you are eligible for various grants, scholarships, VA benefits, and other forms of financial aid that might help you pay for your education.
Make sure you look into the institutions and certificate programs you’re interested in, as well as the various forms of financial aid available.
You’ll get to meet new people and make valuable connections
Similar to military life, you will constantly be in the company of your peers at school. This can make for a smooth transition, help you meet people from all walks of life, and widen your social circle.
In order to successfully readjust to civilian life, it is helpful to have friends and peers from outside of the military.
You can also connect with like-minded people for group work on both personal and academic projects. Many schools urge students to form partnerships with departments outside of their own in order to cultivate collaboration and teamwork.
You can get college credit for your military experience
If you’ve already started college but have yet to finish, don’t worry; your previous coursework can still count toward your college degree. In addition, your military service may qualify you for academic credit.
Veterans can have their service transcripts evaluated by the American Council on Education and the Department of Defense to see whether they qualify for academic credit.
This can allow you to bypass several general education courses in college, however, not all schools are required to accept this option.
A college degree or a certificate can help you earn a higher wage
We can’t do without money, and earning your degree or a certificate can influence how much you make a year.
Just the difference between a high school diploma and a certificate is astounding. Those with just a high school diploma have an average annual pay of $42,679 as opposed to those with an IT certificate who, for instance, are working as Network Administrators, making on average $69K per year.
Gaining expertise in a specific field might make it easier to get work and raise your salary potential over time.
Whether you’re going for a certificate or a degree, it’s in your best interest to acquire as many transferable skills as possible and explore opportunities beyond the classroom.
In this way, you can leave school having gained both specialized knowledge and practical experience.
Going back to school can be a great way to transition into civilian life and gain new skills. There are many benefits of earning a degree or a certificate as a veteran, including improved job prospects and increased earnings potential.
Due to the growing demand for cybersecurity skills and job opportunities available in this field, a successful path for many veterans has been to choose a good certificate program to transition into a career in IT.
MyComputerCareer programs allow veterans to quickly learn the most relevant cybersecurity skills. Our veterans can also use their GI Bill® towards their education in cybersecurity, so make sure to contact us to discover your options.