You’ve been to the front lines in back, and few things scare you. But, now it’s time to ease into civilian life. For many, this means going to school to start a new career. This can be unexpectedly terrifying. As a veteran, you may face challenges others don’t, but you also have resources unavailable to the general public.
Working and Going to School
Let’s address a serious problem first: veteran homelessness. Unfortunately, many veterans come home unprepared to reintegrate into society. This can lead to homelessness, which makes finding a job that much harder. Goodwill Industries of New Mexico can help you get settled with classroom training, job preparation, job placement, and vocational counseling. This way, you can find a job that won’t interfere with your higher education aspirations.
Choosing a Degree
Choosing a degree isn’t always easy. There are thousands of options from schools across the country. Most veterans choose to pursue a degree in an area that they already have experience or interest in. If you’re not quite sure, consider a master’s in business administration. An MBA can help you learn more about research and statistics, financing, marketing, and strategic planning, all skills necessary in every industry. Your MBA can help you land a job as a manager, administrator, or operations director, and you can usually go to school online, which goes a long way toward improving your work/life balance. Your MBA may even help you land a professional position at Goodwill.
Financial aid is one area where you certainly have a leg up. The Federal Student Aid website explains that there are many different financing options for veterans from all branches. This might include the Navy ROTC, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or through private organizations, such as the American Legion or Paralyzed Veterans of America. In addition to veteran-specific financing, you may also find additional monies by filling out a FAFSA form and submitting it by the nearest deadline date.
Beware Aggressive Recruiting
College recruiting is not new. Colleges have been vying for students since higher education became available. But, aggressive recruiting is a problem among the veteran community. As far back as 2012, Pres. Obama signed an executive order addressing the issue of predatory college recruitment tactics. While this does reduce the chances of a for-profit school luring you in exclusively for your federal benefits, you still have to be diligent. Choose your school based on your desired degree, budget, or availability of online programs.
Tips For Adults and Veteran Students
Congratulations on your decision to enhance your education. Going back to school is an exciting prospect. However, it is a major life event that’s not without its hurdles and challenges. Be prepared, but also be open to the experience. Remember, you’ve been to battle before, and you will come out victorious here just as you did in uniform.