Earning A Degree While On Active Duty: What You Need To Know
Posted onMay 2, 2018
Working toward a degree while serving on active duty is much different than attending classes on a traditional campus, or even taking online classes from home. Before you take on the challenge of school and active duty, there are some key points to know that will increase your chances of success.
Utilize Your Transferable Skills
Furlong says that servicemembers and veterans shouldnt limit themselves to career options based on their military training.
Transferring skills gained in the military is less about mirroring those positions in a civilian field, he says. Its more a question of how they translate those skills.
Some colleges and universities have dedicated departments or staff members to assist with translating military skills into related majors and potential careers. Northeasterns Dolce Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers , for example, is a department dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by veterans transferring from military service into civilian life. Northeastern offers a variety of resourcesto help you build on your military experience or transition into a new career. Experienced military admissions officers can help you identify your transferrable skills that can be used to identify a major that complements your career goals.
What To Expect In A Military Science Program
Military science programs combine physical activity, classroom learning, and individual and group projects as part of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary curriculum. Enrollees study coursework in military history, political science, technical communication, and social and behavioral sciences theory. Lectures and assignments accompany projects and presentations for students to apply coursework individually and with teams.
While Reserve Officer Training Corps isn’t always part of a military science degree, students may still participate in military-like exercises such as obstacle courses, rappelling, rafting, and running. Military science classes and ROTC activities are complementary and useful for students, as they both emphasize leadership and management.
Military science programs foster people and human skills, sometimes called soft skills, while building hard skills. The following table offers a clear picture of what to expect from a military science program.
People Skills Taught in Military Science Programs
- Interpersonal communication
- Project design and application
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Q What Is The Most Challenging Part About Attending College While Serving In The Military
The most challenging parts would have to be the unstructured nature of college and really prioritizing time for school. The military is extremely structured, as many people already know. As a service member, I know what my duties and responsibilities are. If I am given orders to accomplish a task, there is a deadline, and if it’s not completed in time, it may impact the mission.
On the other hand, in college, the success is all up to the student. The professors will provide the material and help if asked, but if I decide not to do the work, it’s only my future that I am affecting. This leads to prioritizing time. For example, I work 0730-1630 Monday through Friday. Under special circumstances, I may have to work earlier, later, or even on the weekends. However, this does not include time for daily errands, the gym, or any extra volunteer work that the Air Force may require.
To avoid overwhelming myself, I have to create a schedule. My work schedule, any special duties, gym time, and designated time for studying all go in my planner.
Ways To Get Promoted In The Military: From A Fast
There is no doubt that the military offers a great career opportunity for high school graduates. There are great benefits, job security, and plenty of opportunities for advancement. Obviously, the faster you get promoted in the military, the more pay you will receive and the better your quality of life will become. Here are some of the ways to get promoted faster in the military.
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Gi Benefits And Military Promotions
Many service members are concerned about their GI Bill® benefits should they opt to take courses while on active duty. You do not lose benefits if you earn a degree while serving, and you can use your tuition assistance benefits to pay for courses while youre in the field. Therefore, you can still use your GI Bill® to pay for a graduate degree, to supplement your income while you are in training for a federal job, or to transfer to a spouse or dependent.
Taking courses while on active duty can help you earn military promotions faster. All branches of the military consider civilian education when determining promotions. In the Army, for instance, you can earn up to 100 promotion points by taking classes at one point per credit hour. These points can add up, allowing you to move up the ranks and earn more money throughout your military career.
Education is a major priority for the armed services, and you dont have to wait until after discharge to begin working on your degree. With time management and a flexible approach, you can finish your higher education while youre on active duty.GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.
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Ways To Get Your Degree Faster And Cheaper
Getting a 4-year degree, as the name suggests, usually requires you go to school for 4 years. In addition, for a typical individual, this education will cost more than $50,000. That’s a lot of time and money, both of which are in short supply these days. Fortunately, there are ways to get your degree faster and cheaper.
You can challenge a course by taking examinations – if you pass the test, you get the credit for the course. are available for a wide variety of subjects, including general education requirements and degree specific upper division coursework. DANTES Examination Program offers these exams free of charge. Among the exams offered by DANTES are the CLEP , DSST . Be sure to stop by your local education services office or Navy College Office for assistance.
Go online: Online courses offer the advantage of taking a course from anywhere all you need is access to the internet. In addition, online courses are generally shorter than traditional classroom courses and are often structured differently. Learn more about online courses.
Get someone else to pay for it: Getting a degree is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of options service members have to reduce the cost of getting a degree. Tuition Assistance is available to all active duty personnel. TA will pay up to 100% of all tuition.
In addition, Federal Student Aid is available to military service members. FSA can come in the form of grants and low interest loans.
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What Should Active Duty Military Students Look For In A College
Experts recommend that students who are serious about pursuing a degree at a military-friendly college look for schools with programs explicitly tailored to active duty service members and veterans. After identifying the major that interests them, students should do some research into the individual resources in place for members of the armed forces.
Schools should have active supports in place that help military students feel like an essential and welcome part of the campus community, as well as the academic and financial assistance needed to help them succeed in their studies. They will also want to ensure that the University provides additional resources to help them as they transition through graduation and move into their chosen careers. Talking to other Veterans on campus can be especially helpful when it comes to making the right choice.
Join The Air Force Out Of High School
When you join the United States Air Force with your high school diploma or GED, youre automatically enrolled in the Community College of the Air Force. So youll automatically begin working toward your associates degree in applied science in one of five career areas: aircraft and missile maintenance, electronics and telecommunications, allied health, logistics and resources or public and support services. With a unique combination of on-duty and voluntary off-duty courses, youll earn college credit just for reporting for duty, learning your job and getting started on your career.
GET YOUR DEGREE, LEARN TO LEAD
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Q What Is Your Recommendation For Funding A Degree While Actively Serving
Fortunately, every active-duty service member is entitled to tuition assistance. Depending on how expensive the college or university is, it is possible that the military will pay for up to two classes per semester. Going to school is not only a benefit in the military, but is also looked at as a privilege. Service members need to meet specific requirements to take classes. To name a few examples, we have to complete our upgrade training, know that the mission comes first, and maintain a certain GPA. I couldn’t agree more with the requirements. The military really gives everyone a fair and equal way to further their education.
Talk Over Your Options
The first step to getting a degree while in the military is talking over your options with your bases Education Office. Every military base has an Education Office, where they can help you decide on your specific path. Some programs will require you to obtain some college on your own like between two or three years. Others will fast-track you to commission as an officer, which is great if you want a long-term career in the military. Typically, educational programs require a longer commitment to the military, but after, you can apply to Officer Candidate School and work towards becoming an officer.
If youre on active duty, its important that you seek a military-friendly school that accepts your benefits and offers night or online classes that you can take in your downtime. You may also be able to talk to your supervisor and figure out a schedule that works for you if youre willing to stay late or work on weekends. Not all supervisors will support your educational path, but it may be possible to shift things depending on your specific role. Some jobs in the Army are more flexible than others.
Additionally, if youre planning to go to college while youre on active duty in the Air Force, you can attend the Air Forces own community college. This can set you up for a career in a related field, as recruits are often still young enough to embark on a different career path when their time in the military has ended.
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What Obstacles Do Active
Active duty servicemembers always face the chance of deployment. What if a student starts classes and then gets deployment orders, orders to go to training, or are temporarily assigned elsewhere? Spittler says NU has military-friendly policies in place to help their students navigate such issues.
Active-duty servicemembers also may have irregular schedules that make even online education difficult to sustain, such as 24-hour shifts, followed by an immediate call back to work.
Not all military work is from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., which are typical military hours, she says. Advisors are available when these students need options and solutions. Sometimes military students need to drop a class, but again, the four-week monthly start format of National classes provides many opportunities for students to jump back in when they are ready. Other students may need to drop classes for a period of time when their annual Tuition Assistance runs out or when they cant afford the books required for a class.
Spittler says that advisors will tell students in this situation, Thats OK, well check in with you in a couple of months. You can let me know where youre at.
How Much Does A Military Veterinarian Make
Pay for a military veterinarian fluctuates based on rank, how many years of service, whether or not they receive basic allowance for housing and other factors. Salaries for a major start at about $58,300, while a captain makes about $51,000. This is based on approximately less than two years of service.
What skills are needed to become a military veterinarian?
Math and Science: Since this is a clinical specialization, having a thorough background in math and science is instrumental in being successful. This career path involves a lot of science and math coursework, including calculus, physics and zoology. A complete understanding of calculations for medicine based on weight, mixing formulas for maximized effectiveness and understanding the nutritional content are key.
Writing skills: There is quite a bit of paperwork and written communication involved in the practice of a military veterinarian. This is a highly specialized position, with a number of security measures and protocols in place. There must be a detailed account of every assessment, detail, evaluation and treatment. These records are crucial in documenting the health and wellness of government animals. Writing skills are also necessary when working on research and other professional documents that will be disseminated to colleagues and organizations.
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Earning A College Degree After The Military
The GI Bill® provides transitioning military members with an opportunity to restart, says Tommy Furlong, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and career coach at Northeastern University. Depending on the educational institution and degree program selected, students who utilize their military education benefits may have little to no additional out of pocket costs.
Program majors and degree options are wide open, and military students arent limited by their prior work experience or military background when deciding on a career path.
We see a larger cohort of veterans pursue business, finance, and accounting at the bachelors level, continues Furlong. Whatever your job was in the military, you can absolutely change your career path when you get out.
Even while pursuing your degree, previously unexplored opportunities might cause you to seek out a different career path. About 30 percent of students change their majors during college. Students must, of course, eventually choose a major so they can finish their degree, but exploring other career options by taking additional coursework is encouraged. At Northeastern, there are more than 90 undergraduate majors and concentrations. So, how does an incoming student decide which area of study is the best fit?
Can I Be In The Military And College At The Same Time
If youre on active duty and thinking about pursuing further education, you might find yourself wondering, Can I be in the military and college at the same time? Youll be interested to know that the answer to that question is a resounding, Yes! Thousands of servicemembers enroll in college during their military careers to boost professional goals, accelerate personal development, and gain increases in rank and pay. Success in college has increased with the growth of military-friendly colleges online. In addition to active military students, veterans and their family members are among the thousands who benefit by earning online degrees.
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Continued Professional Development And Short Courses
Whether you want to learn more about a specific area relevant to your career or work towards a university qualification, we have more than 100 short training and development courses to choose from.
We develop our courses and training programmes with researchers and industry experts to make sure they’re relevant to your needs and ambitions.
Many of our short courses and CPD training programmes carry academic credits and have professional accreditation. This means you can choose courses that interest you and build up credit over time to work towards a University certificate or award.
You can study our short courses on campus with access to our facilities, equipment and resources. Alternatively, some of our courses are available through distance learning online, allowing you to study from home or work.
Getting The Most Mileage From Gi Bill Benefits To Earn Multiple Degrees
Some students dont realize that having the GI Bill does not mean you cant apply for other financial assistance in the form of grants, loans, state-operated veteran benefits programs, etc. Its best to fill out a FAFSA form and determine what other financial help you may be entitled to. Doing so can stretch your GI Bill money even further for multiple degree programs.
Once you begin using your GI Bill benefits, you will need to determine what is possible under your program. For example, the Montgomery GI Bill does not feature access to the Yellow Ribbon Programan agreement between participating schools and the VA that provides additional funds to cover the gap between the VA GI Bill benefit and the final cost of tuition for private institutions.
However, the Post 9/11 GI Bill does include the Yellow Ribbon program, and that is an important factor in school choices, program choices, and how aggressively to approach your college career. The Yellow Ribbon program helps extend GI Bill benefits, but not for all programs or applicants.
The Montgomery GI Bill also does not pay a housing stipend, unlike the Post 9/11 GI Bill. But those who plan to attend remotely or online-only are not penalized under the Montgomery GI Bill, and those who attend online only classes using the Post 9/11 GI Bill are subject to greatly reduced housing stipends unless at least one class is taken in person.
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