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Selecting the Right Degree for Military

January 20, 2012

There are some major questions that you have to ask yourself when picking out the right degree. It’s something that means a lot for your present and future. Personality tests, quizzes and analysis can help you towards a path, but ultimately, you have to pick a degree that speaks to your talents, skills and experience. You can consider your current expertise as a starting point.

  • What are some things that you are really good at?
  • Do you want to continue along the same job market?
  • What does this career look like for the future?
  • Do you want a quicker path towards a degree?
  • Do you want a technical degree, a specific field that you can go into after your military career?

Every military student has their own career path. For many, it’s in one of these fields: computer science, engineering, electronics, health care, criminal justice, business, liberal arts, education or psychology. These fields aren’t necessarily going to fit your experience, but these are some fields that you can start to research to get a better idea of what suits you. These degrees obviously look very broad, but they lead to very specific careers.

If you want to stick to the current experience and career that you have already been working towards, then you need to pick a degree that will enhance your talents and skills as well as give you the prestige to pursue a higher level of your current job. Military experience can turn into college credits, so if you already work in electrical engineering, then you should consider a degree that is in this field to continue working up. You can find out more degree information from your college counselor or VA office.

Job growth is also a major factor when trying to decide the right degree. Obviously, you can see what positions were most esteemed while working in the military. Whatever you choose, you will have to take more classes and learn the newest technology related to your field. You should always try to combine your personal interests with the forecasted job market so that you ensure your job’s longevity after your military duty has ended. The U.S. Department of Labor is constantly looking at statistics for the job market and has found the top career fields for the next 10 years to include:

  • Computer Engineering (Network Management and Support)
  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Human Resource and Social Work
  • Environmental and Hazardous Material Management

While none of those may appeal to you, if you know that you need a long-term career that will be stable, these are definitely the fields for you to choose because they will give you the most experience and benefits in the long run. You can also find jobs that are within these fields that pertain to your interests, since these are generally rather broad categories. For instance, being a teacher may not appeal to you, but coaches, administrators, and counselors work in the education field.

What’s fast and flexible for you? If timing is really a necessity, you need a degree that will use your military experience and CLEP scores to earn you a college degree. An Associate of Science or Bachelor of Science degree will usually allow you to combine these two to make your time in a traditional school setting a shorter experience. However, some degrees have a lot more flexibility, so it truly depends on the field that you pick. For instance, if you go into business, this is a real departure from your military career, and you may not be able to get the same amount of credits as if you went into a computer engineering field after working in the IT department for the Army.

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