The transition from soldier to civilian can be a difficult one. While the veteran unemployment rate fell in 2019, some vets still had trouble finding work. If you count yourself among them, then you may want to consider continuing education as a way to boost your post-military career. There are several advantages to this path, and taking advantage of each can help you build a new life that makes you as proud as you likely felt serving in the United States military.
A Wide Variety of Career Paths
Once you leave the military, you may wonder what kind of career would best suit you. It could be that you discovered a specialty while you served and want to continue along that path or work in a related field. Continuing education opportunities may help you learn more about that career and teach you additional skills that you did not learn in the military. For example, if you learned basic coding skills as a soldier and now want to build websites for small business owners, continuing education may help you gain the knowledge you need.
Discover a New Passion
Browsing classes online may allow you to discover a whole new passion that you never considered before. With so many different classes available, you may find a career path that ignites your imagination. From healthcare to internet technology programs, there are many new paths to a post-military career that are both exciting and fulfilling.
If you want to pursue a new career, consider your hobbies and how they might tie into furthering your education. If you enjoy number puzzles and figures, then consider a degree in accounting. If you have leadership abilities, then a career in project management may be the right choice for you.
Many colleges that offer continuing education classes also offer financial assistance to pay for tuition, books and other supplies you might need. If you are considering a job in the healthcare field, The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs offers financial aid for education in this field, including loan repayment assistance and other incentives that may help you earn a degree without placing you in serious debt.
Learn at Your Own Pace
As a veteran, one of the greatest continuing education advantages you might enjoy is the flexibility of classes. This can be especially useful if you are a disabled veteran with limited mobility and find driving or taking public transport difficult. Many classes are available online, which allows you to create your own schedule and learn when it is most convenient for you.
Flexible scheduling may also be helpful if you are raising a family but want to enter a new career. Meeting the needs of your spouse and children can be difficult with traditional college attendance, especially if you have young kids who need a lot of attention. Continuing education classes revolve around your personal schedule so you never have to choose between family and your education.
Earn a Certification
If you attended college before joining the military and already have a bachelor’s degree, continuing education might help you boost that knowledge with a certification. For example, if you have experience and some education in the heating, ventilation and cooling field, a certification in updated processes in that field could help you find work. Potential employers may be looking for individuals who have certificates in updated processes, as this type of field’s technology tends to change often.
Many employers now find their employees online through virtual resumes and job portfolios, and making the choice to engage with continuing education may help you make connections this way. Upload certificates, transcripts and other information regarding your current education and touch base with individuals who may help you find work.
Realize Your Earning Potential
You may feel some degree of stress after leaving the military, especially when it comes to your finances. An entry-level or part-time position may not earn you enough to properly support your family, which can put a strain on you and your spouse. Finding a new career with continuing education classes online or at a local campus may help you realize your full earning potential and prepare you for a lucrative career.
Life after military service can be challenging, no matter which branch you served in. Making the choice to further your education can open many doors and make the transition back into civilian life simpler than you ever thought possible.