10 Reasons to Earn a Degree After the Military
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Why Military Veterans Should Consider Reasons to Earn a Degree After the Military
There are many reasons to earn a degree after the military. It may solidify skills and prep you for the civilian job market. No matter where you are in your service journey, it is a step to consider. And one you may be more prepared than you think. The military provides many soft skills that may set you up for success in a civilian role. Soft skills are qualities like being dependable and having a strong work ethic. Being able to resolve conflict and adapt are a few more that employers appreciate.
Naturally, each area of service shapes different skill sets. But if you identify yours, it can make your education feel more purposeful.
10 Reasons to Earn a Degree After the Military
Here are ten reasons to earn a degree after the military.
1. Pave the way to higher earnings
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time workers aged 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree had median weekly earnings of $1,334 in 2021. Compared with workers who only had a high school diploma, that’s $809 more per week.
2. More education might equal less unemployment
Having a college degree may help you land a job. The same BLS.gov report found that full-time workers aged 25 and over with an associate degree experienced an unemployment rate of 4.6%. The rate is lower for workers with a bachelor’s degree (3.5%). For workers with a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is higher (6.2%).
3. Your military skills may count towards college credit
In the military, you honed key technical and communication skills that may help you in the civilian job market. Knowing this, many colleges offer credit for qualified military training. So, a degree may be more accessible than you think. To get the process started, you may want to order your Joint Service Transcript so that your college can review it.
4. Adapt your skills for a civilian job
Through military service, you may have many marketable skills. Like leadership and a solid handle on how to manage time, teams and projects. That said, the military has its own style. So, attending college may help you mold your talents for use in a specific career field.
5. Education is good for the heart
Another reason to earn a degree after the military can be found in federal statistics which shows that education may be heart healthy. Figures show that, on average, bachelors prepared 25 year old’s live about nine years longer that those who did not graduate from high school.
6. Score promotion points
Points toward promotion is one of the incentives the military offers to enlisted service members when they use education benefits. The number of points varies by branch. For instance, the Army may reward Soldiers with up to 100 points toward their promotions. The Marine Corps may grant up to 75 points toward promotions. And, the Navy may award points to Sailors who have earned their degrees. These points may help you to climb the ladder in the military or prompt you to pursue a civilian career. Either way, for most entry level jobs, you need a bachelors degree (BLS.gov).
7. Find a new direction
You may be doing a job you love in the military and want to build a civilian career in the same line of work. Or, ready to find a new path that builds on your strengths. Military veterans tend to perform well in college and choose a wide range of majors.
8. College may support your transition
Many military friendly colleges have resources to help veterans make the leap into civilian life. You may find enrollment counselors that work to help you navigate everything from benefits to program choice. There are also online programs designed to enable you to progress towards a degree at your own pace. And from wherever you are with a computer and internet.
9. Build new networks
A college degree may help you expand professional and personal networks. Apart from course work, there may be other resources to help you with a job search. Many colleges have workshops and dedicated centers where you can learn to optimize your resume and profiles, prep for interviews and so on.
10. Prep for in demand career paths
Even people already in the workforce are upgrading their skills to prep for a brighter future. Over half of adults (54%) in the workforce feel they need to add more skills to stay current and competitive in the job market. Plus, for some of the fastest growing fields, you need a bachelors degree or higher.
Degree and Career Paths for Military Veterans
One of the key steps to landing a job, is earning the degree that help prepare you for it. Here are a few degree and career paths for military veterans.
Bachelors in Computer Science / Information Science
Skills: Critical thinking, complex problem solving, judgement
Career Opportunities: Information Security Analyst, Computer and Info Systems Manager, Database Administrator, Software Developer
As an information security analyst, your primary role is to protect networks and systems from hackers and potential breaches. With the increasing prevalence of cybercrime, this field is experiencing rapid growth, projected to see a 32% increase in jobs from 2022 to 2032. Info sec analysts earn a median annual salary of $112,000 on average though salaries may vary. To enter this field, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information assurance, programming, or a related field is a common starting point. Advancement opportunities often require candidates to have an MBA.
As a computer and IT manager, you work with a business to figure out its technology goals and needs, Then, help plan and direct things like installation and upgrades. As more firms expand into digital platforms, the field should see 15% more jobs by 2032. If this interests you, many people enter with a bachelors degree, but tend to need a grad degree for more complex roles. That said, the 2022 median annual salary in this field is $164,070.
DBAs or database administrators use software to store, secure and organize data. Their day to day may include running tests and backing up data. Job prospects should be favorable (8% by 2032) depending on the service industry. It is brightest for DBAs in computer systems design due to the popularity of cloud computing. For entry level roles, DBAs typically need a bachelor’s degree and proficiency in SQL. But firms with really large databases may prefer candidates with a master’s degree.
Software developers are the creative minds who design computer programs. As an app developer, you could design things like word processors, custom software, programs and games. And as a systems deloper, you might create the operating systems that run the apps and programs. In both cases, a bachelor’s degree and skills in the industry you want to work in tend to be vital. The industry expects an average of 26% growth to 2032. Salaries range depending on job title. For example, software developers report median annual salaries of $124,200.
Bachelors in Business Administration
Skills: Time management, systems thinking, problem solving
Career Opportunities: Management Analyst, Logistician, Market Research Analyst
Many management analysts consult with businesses to help them become more efficient and productive. So, above all, their day tends to include lots of problem solving and finding ways to control costs. These skills are valuable in health care, IT, gov’t and beyond. As a result, demand should reach 10% by 2032, which is much faster than average. Also above average are median annual salaries which in May 2022 were $95,290. While a bachelor’s degree is the common entry point, many employers also look for candidates with an MBA.
As a logistician, you have to analyze and track a business’s supply chain. In fact, you may have to manage the entire life cycle of a project from design to transport. You could prepare for this path with a bachelor’s degree in business, systems engineering or supply chain management. The projected projection is to grow 18% by 2032. Salaries in this field range, but the median annual salary is $77,520 per year.
One way you could blend business and communication skills is as a market research analyst. Market research analysts study trends to see if a product or service will sell well. They also help companies understand their target markets, what clients want and the price they will pay for it. Since companies rely on this info to turn a profit, the industry forecasts 13% more growth to 2032 and pays an median annual salary of $68,230. If this interests you, it is likely you will need a bachelor’s degree and head for math.
Bachelors in Nursing
Skills: Critical thinking, emotional stability, attention to detail
Career Opportunities: Registered Nurse, Nurse Manager, Health Educator
As a registered nurse, you play a vital role in patient care. Beyond doing a health intake, RNs administer medicines and treatments. RNs also teach patients how to manage their condition, perform diagnostic tests and consult. Depending on your interests, you might also hone specific patient care skills to work with a particular group. Critical care for example, or addiction. The demand for RNs should add 6% more jobs by 2032 in gov’ts, hospitals, rehab centers and beyond. In all these settings, the median annual salary is $81,220.
With the shift of healthcare services to office settings, the demand for medical and health services managers is projected to increase by 28% from 2022 to 2032. These managers are responsible for overseeing departments, facilities, or clinical areas, requiring skills in budgeting, staffing, and organization. While a bachelor’s degree is typically required to enter the field, some positions may require a master’s degree. Salaries vary depending on education level, with the median annual wage for medical and health services managers averaging $104,830 in May 2022.
If you prefer to teach people about healthy behaviors, a career as a health educator might interest you. Health educators collect data to figure out how to promote wellness to specific groups. This may mean informing people how to avoid diabetes or stroke. Or, advocating for better health resources and policies. The field expects 7% more jobs by 2032 as there’s a need to help people avoid costly diseases and procedures. Some people earn their degree in health education or health promotion. Though there are positions that entail a masters or doctorate. With the range in roles, the median annual wage was $59,990 in May 2022.
Bachelors in Criminal Justice
Skills: Communication, leadership, good judgement
Career Opportunities: Police and Detectives, Emergency Management Director
The primary responsibility of police officers and detectives is to solve crimes. In this role, you collect various facts and evidence from crime scenes to piece together the puzzle. If you have a passion for problem-solving and ensuring public safety, the demand for investigators remains steady. The employment outlook for police and detectives is projected to grow by 3% percent from 2022 to 2032, which is slower than the average for all occupations. As of May 2022, the median annual salary for police and detectives was $69,160.
As an emergency management director, your composed demeanor is crucial during crises. In this role, you’ll be responsible for developing tactical plans to respond to various disasters and emergencies. Given its significance across sectors, the field is expected to grow by 3% from 2022 to 2032. Due to the complexity of the job, a bachelor’s degree and relevant experience are essential. Some individuals pursue a degree in criminal justice with a focus on EM, while others opt for alternative paths like public administration. Upon graduation, you could earn a median annual salary of $79,180, depending on the sector.
Bachelors in Accounting / Finance
Skills: Attention to detail, math, analytical thinking
Career Opportunities: Accountants and Auditors, Cost Estimator, Financial Analyst
As an accountant or auditor, your expertise in math and detective work comes into play as you investigate financial crimes such as securities fraud, embezzlement, and contract disputes. This career path may also involve collaborating with law enforcement as an expert witness. If this piques your interest, obtaining a degree and working towards CPA status can be beneficial. The field is expected to experience a 4% growth by 2032. While salaries vary, accountants earned a median annual wage of $78,000 in May 2022.
A cost estimator evaluates the time, resources, materials, and labor needed for a project. Often serving as project managers, they oversee the planning of entire jobs in various fields like construction or IT. While the demand for cost estimators is projected to decline by -3% from 2022 to 2032, the pay levels vary across different industries. On average, cost estimators earn a median annual salary of $71,200.
A financial analyst is an expert who assists businesses in making investment decisions. They evaluate stocks, bonds, and provide recommendations to strengthen portfolios. Typically found in banks, pension funds, and securities firms, a degree in accounting or finance is essential for this profession. Additionally, certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) can prove advantageous. With an expected 8% job growth by 2032, financial analysts earn a median annual salary of $96,220.