Life after the military can be an adjustment for veterans. After many years in the service, you will enter a new force – the workforce, and, for some military veterans, this is unchartered territory.
While military experience and the skills gained during your time in the service can give you an edge with some specialized employers, you may still lack a needed credential to advance your career outside of the military – a college degree. And, the benefits of a college degree aren’t just for military service members seeking out professional growth outside of the military. Current service members and veterans looking to transition into advanced military roles may run into strict education requirements for advancement or placement, including a degree in addition to supplementary training programs.
When considering how to advance your career in or outside of the military, earning a college degree is often the most reliable solution.
Benefits of a College Degree
Here are some reasons a college degree is a good bet to get you where you want to go in your career.
Contribute to greater military outcomes: The military benefits when its soldiers pursue a civilian education according to the RAND Corporation – a non-profit global policy think tank that provides research and analysis to the U.S. Armed Forces. These positive military outcomes include increased productivity, longer retention and improved morale. And, while they help support greater military outcomes, these benefits also serve you.
Earn promotion points: The military offers active duty service members promotion points for completing course work associated with your bachelor’s or master’s degree. These points help you move up in rank faster, and, subsequently, earn more money. Promotion points are also granted for other training programs.
Showcase your leadership skills: Leaders in the U.S. Army and other military branches lead by example. The pursuit of a college degree during active duty showcases your ability to lead others. Among the added benefits of a college degree is the attainment of working skills, including leadership, communication and problem-solving, which helps you to be a better soldier and a better leader.
Discover better opportunities after graduation: A college degree positions you for greater career opportunities after graduation, including the ability to transition your career or qualify for desired promotions. College graduates are also likely to have higher earnings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) identifies a direct correlation between education level and salary as well as employment numbers. As education level increases, weekly earnings rise while unemployment rates fall.
GI Bill® and Other Benefits Makes College Accessible, Affordable
While the benefits of an education are numerous, for many, the cost of tuition and other living expenses prices them out of the market for a college degree. Federal programs designed for active duty service members and veterans lift the financial burden for these military students and make a college degree attainable.
Post 9-11 GI Bill: The newest version of the GI Bill, signed into law in July of 2008, provides service members and veterans with three or more years of active duty since Sept. 10, 2001 with up to 36 months of full tuition and fees, a monthly stipend and up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies.
Yellow Ribbon Program: Most military benefits apply to public, in-state institutions; however, specialized education programs and other circumstances may take a military student outside of these benefit parameters. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a benefit supplement to the Post 9-11 GI Bill and provides military students a means to afford tuition and other expenses associated with private, out-of-state institutions and specialized education or training programs. Institutions volunteer to participate in this program.
Survivors and Dependents Assistance Program: Dependents of certain veteran service members are eligible for up to 45 months of education benefits, which includes up to $987.00 per month for educational expenses such as tuition, housing, books and supplies. Some beneficiaries are now eligible for up to 81 months of GI Bill benefits if they are eligible for more than one education benefit.
For questions regarding your benefit eligibility, contact your military education advocate or your local VA office.
Touro University Worldwide (TUW) is ready to be your education partner. In addition to accepting federal military benefits, TUW offers our own unique benefits for military service members, veterans and family, including discounted tuition, a robust catalog of online degree programs and a no textbook requirement for all courses. Discover the benefits of a college education now while taking advantage of the military benefits you’ve earned through your service.
*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.