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A Guide for Veterans Thinking About Going Back to College

By Lance-Cody Valdez

As your military service time draws close, it’s time to look toward the future. For many veterans, that means heading back to college. That way, you can acquire new skills that will benefit you in your new civilian life. If you’re going back to college as a veteran, here are some tips to boost your chances of success.

Figure Out the Financial Side

When it comes to paying for college, your first step should be to explore your GI Bill benefits. It gives you a way to cover tuition and fees, significantly reducing what you’ll need to cover through other means.

When you complete your FAFSA, you may also become eligible for financial assistance. It could include grants, work-study, or other options that make paying for college possible.

There is also a wide range of scholarships for veterans and other kinds of scholarship awards. Since those don’t have to be paid back, they can be an excellent way to manage the cost of college.

Select the Right Degree

When you get ready to plan your college journey, one of the most significant steps you’ll need to take is selecting a major. Choosing one that lines up with their military experience is ideal for some veterans. However, figuring out which options are strong matches may not be easy.

Luckily, with Google Jobs for Veterans, you can explore options quickly.

Head to Google and search “Google Jobs for Veterans.” Next, scroll down until you see the blue box, “Enter a military occupation code.”

You can search for job information based on your MOS, AFSC, NEC, or rating. When you run that search, you’ll see positions that line up with that occupation, giving you some ideas about how you can apply your experience in the civilian world. Then, you can choose a degree that lets you further one of those careers, ensuring your experience is also applicable.

However, you aren’t required to match your degree to your military job. Many veterans would instead head in a different direction, potentially with more earning potential.

Some degrees are undoubtedly are more lucrative than others. If you can’t figure out what to major in, you may want to consider:

● Accounting

● Business

● Computer Science

● Economics

● Engineering

● Finance

● Mathematics

● Nursing

If you already have a Bachelor’s Degree, moving forward with an MBA could be an excellent move. You can develop crucial skills in economics, accounting, corporate finance, marketing, and human capital management.

By going with an online MBA, you also get plenty of flexibility. As a result, it’s easier to balance work, family, and your education.

Once your degree is completed, you may qualify for exciting positions like a business manager, facilities manager, general manager, and more. It opens doors to very lucrative careers, ensuring you can make enough to support your new life outside the military.

Get Critical Support

Many veterans face unique challenges when they head to college. An educational environment doesn’t mimic their time in the military. At times, that makes handling the logistics tricky or could cause veterans to become overwhelmed.

Luckily, some resources can help. If you’re a disabled veteran, connecting with the school’s disability services office is wise. Additionally, seeing if the college has a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter is a smart move, as it will help you connect with other student-veterans.

Also, be open with your professors if you’re struggling. They may be able to recommend some courses of action that will keep you on target, ensuring your college journey is a successful one.

If you’re a veteran looking to enhance your career, visit Put Veterans to Work for helpful articles, job listings, resume services, and more!

Image via Pexels


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