Military service offers several rewards, including the chance to travel the world, learn new languages, gain complex work skills and build leadership abilities. Serving in the military can also cause you to feel that your employment future is secure, even when it may not be.
Whether you retire from the military to rest from going on one combat deployment after another or you retire to spend more time with your family after serving 20 or more years in the military, it is likely that you will have to get a job after you re-enter the civilian world. If you don’t have college degrees, the tasks of landing quality jobs, ones that pay your living expenses and allow you to build your savings, may be arduous.In April 2012, the unemployment rate for young military veterans was actually higher than the unemployment rate for American civilians. For example, the Army Times reports that the jobless rate for young veterans who’d served in Afghanistan and Iraq dropped to 9.2 percent, this at time when the country’s overall unemployment rate was at 8.1 percent.
To create jobs for military veterans the government is setting aside $12 million in grant money to pay for job training and skill development. The training programs will be open to approximately 6,000 veterans. One year of GI Bill education benefits are also being earmarked as a way to lower unemployment rates amongst veterans.
One way that you can increase your chances of getting hired into high paying jobs after you leave the military is to take advantage of programs like the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you serve on combat missions, consider enrolling in college programs soon after you retire, definitely before your benefits’ expire. If you attend private colleges, you can receive as much as $17,500 a year in tuition assistance through the program. As an international student stationed overseas, you may also be eligible to receive a housing allowance.
Because the military does not limit the types of career fields you can major in at accredited colleges and universities, the opportunities for you to gain the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience in fields you’re passionate about are strong. For example, you can major in business administration, computer science, nursing, agriculture, marketing, finance, human resource management, law, communications, fashion, theatre or sports medicine. You can also apply for government funded tuition assistance programs to take college certificate and diploma programs in subjects like web design, search engine optimization, grant writing, accounting, organizational leadership and creative writing.Furthermore, enrolling in and completing college degrees while you’re in the military or soon after you retire can save you tens of thousands of dollars a year, if you attend school as a full-time student. Advancing technologies also make it possible for you to complete college courses from the comforts of your home when you enroll in distance learning programs.
Your future is too valuable to leave to chance. For this reason, consider taking advantage of as many opportunities as you can while you’re in the military, including education assistance programs. Doing so can benefit you and your family financially for years.