During the course of their military careers, Veterans are taught that there usually is only one “right” way to accomplish a task. But when trying to acclimate to civilian life, Veterans find that there can be multiple ways to accomplish tasks, with none of them being definitively correct or incorrect. One of the biggest struggles that Veterans have is finding the “right” way to use their education benefits.
In this day of Google searches, many Veterans take to the internet to find the “right” degree program, and the “right” school. For the most part, these Veterans are bombarded with for-profit schools, government agencies and advocacy organizations all claiming to have the “right” solution.
But the truth is there isn’t a single “right” answer. Veterans really need to put a lot of thought into deciding which course of study they want to pursue. Whether business, management, information technology, English literature or psychology, whatever area of study a Veteran decides on, he or she needs to consider the main objectives.
The first question to ask is will I be happy studying this topic? It makes no sense to immerse one’s self into the study of a subject you don’t enjoy. If you dislike reading, an English degree might not be for you. If you are terrible at math, you probably wouldn’t like accounting. Start by narrowing down the fields that interest you and the areas that you would like to study within these fields.
The second question to ask is will a degree in your desired area of study provide a means to employment that you find desirable? A great resource to research this is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and its overview of wages by region and occupation. If a degree in a field that you find interesting can also provide you with sustainable income, you may have found the “right” path for you.
As far as choosing a school, there are numerous factors involved in that decision. First and foremost, you need to decide on your program. The school you choose needs to have a quality program in that area of study. So yes, you choose the school second! Compile a list of schools that offer your desired degree or certification program, and then head to the VA website’s GI Bill Comparison Tool.
Use this tool to find information on your potential schools. Veterans can easily compare housing allowance rates, tuition prices, and book stipends. The comparison tool will also provide graduation rates, student borrowing histories for the school, and whether or not the school participates in the Yellow Ribbon or Principles of Excellence programs. Veterans can even see how many other Veterans are enrolled at a particular school.
So, while there is no definitive right or wrong way for Veterans to use their education benefits, help is available to assist Veterans in making the best decision to suit their needs. Military Connection is dedicated to connecting Veterans with the resources they need to succeed…THEIR way.
Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.
Military Connection: The “Right” Education for Veterans: By Joe Silva