For many veterans, re-entering the workforce after time in the military can be an intimidating process. Although the skills they learned in service gave them plenty of marketable qualities, they often feel directionless and unsure about their ability to advance in whatever career they do choose.
Earning a degree is a great way for veterans to gain confidence and a solid direction going forward. However, going back to school isn’t always an easy process. Doctor Red Shoe presents this guide to help make this process easier to navigate so veterans can unlock their greatest potential:
Considering Your Options
When we picture going to college, we tend to imagine the traditional college experience of dorm life and late-night study sessions. However, this isn’t necessarily an appealing idea for veterans. More often than not, veterans are at a very different stage in life upon leaving the service from young adults just out of high school. They may have families, jobs, and other obligations that preclude a college lifestyle entirely.
That’s why alternative college structures are such great options for veterans. For example, you can look into earning an online degree. Many virtual programs are asynchronous, meaning you can follow your lectures and study on your own schedule. This kind of flexibility is invaluable for older learners juggling multiple responsibilities. You can find online options for practically any kind of degree, from business studies to graphic design and more.
Picking Your Degree
One of the biggest challenges facing anyone considering college is choosing a degree or study discipline. There are hundreds of options, and each one, in turn, leads to dozens of career options. Generally speaking, there are two approaches you can take to this issue. If you know what kind of career you want, get in touch with people in the field to see what kind of degree they earned. This will help you get a sense of which specialties can lead you to that sort of work.
If you don’t quite know what you want to do yet, a versatile degree can be a good choice. General degrees such as business can take you in a lot of directions, from working an office job to starting your own business. Plus, if you’re drawn to something while you’re still studying, you’ll have plenty of credits that would count toward changing degrees. This is a great technique for keeping your options open and exploring some possibilities as you begin to learn.
Paying for college is no easy feat, but veterans have a lot going for them. There are many loan and grant programs for veterans looking to earn a degree, not to mention scholarships from organizations that support vets. These are great ways to get the funds you need to pursue a degree — especially grants and scholarships, which don’t need to be paid back.
Another option is to talk to your employer. Some companies will help fund part or all of their employee’s educational pursuits. Typically, this will only apply if you’re pursuing a degree relevant to your current job. If you enjoy what you do, however, this is an excellent way to develop the skills you’ll need to advance.
Finally, remember to focus on keeping to a budget while earning a degree. Not only will it help make your classes and materials more affordable, but it will also give you the skills to manage your finances later on. Learning to budget on a smaller paycheck empowers you to make the most of your boosted income potential after you’ve graduated.
Re-entering civilian life can be a major challenge, but earning a degree can help. Not only will it expand your career options and boost your income potential, but it will give you direction and a chance to discover what interests you most. We hope this article makes this process easier so you can reach your dream career. Look into Dr. Red Shoe’s executive coaching services if you’re looking for more direction. Call 844-DrRedShoe today.
Photo Credit: Pexels