Determining your career goals and interests will keep you from wasting your GI Bill and Tuition Assistance benefits on a degree that doesn't match your career path.
Step One: Choose Your Career Path Wisely
In today's job market the type of degree can make all the difference, especially if you are hoping to land one of the current "Hot Jobs" listed below.
New Career Path or Same Career Path?
You have two main career choices: you can stick with a civilian version of your military career field or venture out into a new career path. If you elect the former, you may need help translating your military occupation into a civilian job. Military.com's online skills translator matches civilian jobs to your military occupation and training. The translator also features estimates on salaries, training required, and upward mobility.
Choosing a new career path isn't a bad option either. In fact, your military training and experience may qualify you for a wide range of civilian careers you haven't considered. Many military specialties give servicemembers experience in human resource management, office administration, maintenance, data entry, and computer software engineering. This means that you might be able to pick and choose the civilian career field that best suits you and your goals.
Career counselors and education service officers using a career assessment can help you find the career that matches your skills and interests, which will help make your search more effective. Active duty and Reserve servicemembers can contact their local education service office or career counselor for details. In addition, veterans can get this counseling and employment assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
If job security and good pay are important to you, then a good place to start is this "Hot Jobs" list. The following is the Department of Labor's forecast of the fastest growing and highest paying jobs through 2014:
- Registered Nurse
- Network Systems Administrator/Analyst
- Physical and Occupational Therapist
- Health Diagnosis Technician
- Computer Software Engineer
- Dental Hygienist
- Law Enforcement Officer
- Teacher (All Levels)
To learn more and find jobs in these and other career fields visit the Military.com Career Center.
The Degree to Take You There
Your next step is to select the degree that matches your career goals and offers the flexibility you need.