When faced with separation from the military one can feel pulled in many different directions. The most obvious dilemma being the decision between going back to school and going into the workforce. We’re here to tell you why veterans who go to college before the workforce make more money.

They get higher paying jobs

When you have a college degree, you are automatically going to make more money in the civilian work force. Many times, you won’t even get an interview for the higher paying job if you don’t have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree.

College Degree VS High School Diploma

Overall unemployment rate for people over the age of 25 by educational attainment according to the BLS in July of 2017:

  • College Degree – 2.4% Unemployed
  • Some college – 3.8% Unemployed
  • High School Only – 5.1% Unemployed

Though it is more than double the rate of unemployment for high school only graduates vs those with a degree, these are times of historically very low unemployment. Looking specifically at veterans unemployment:

  • Gulf War Era II Veterans – (post-9/11 Veterans) – 4.5% Unemployed
  • All veterans – 3.7% Unemployed

Many are upset because some prior military personnel who leave the service with more experience than a college grad aren’t able to get interviews or jobs for positions they are qualified for. And they’re right. It isn’t fair. But right now in the civilian world that is just the way it is. However, no one is worse off with an education, and if you have GI Bill benefits, then why not use them?

Salaries based on educational attainment
  • High School Diploma – $718/week,
  • Bachelor’s Degree – $1,189/week,

Those with a high school diploma have an average an income of $718 a week. Those with a bachelor’s degree average an income of $1,189 weekly. That’s roughly 66% percent more with a degree on an annual basis, or nearly $25,000.  Over a 40 year career that’s nearly $1,000,000!  That’s without taking in to account any other factors such as investments, promotions or other compensation.

Networking as a part of daily life

With the way things are constantly changing, there is no guarantee that retirement and pensions will be waiting for workers. A degree however, solidifies some sort of guarantee. Most people who enter the work force with a degree are able to network their way through a lifelong career. Whether that means changing jobs, moving cities, or juggling different industries, the key to that movement is having a degree.

Estimates for those who found their job from professional networking range from 70% to 85%.  One of the little known secrets to job searchers is that 70-80% of the jobs are never posted online, which means that they went to either internal job candidates or came via personal or professional networks.

Colleges aren’t the only way to establish a network, heck you already have one through your military experience!  But, colleges do have a very powerful network to tap in to for those who wish to participate.

Free developmental resources

As a college student, you’ll find that there are many resources at your finger tips. Resources for learning in the classroom, but also resources for helping you develop as a person outside of the classroom. For example: a health center with free consultations  (are you suffering from PTSD and looking for ways to combat it?), or advisors who are there to help you figure out a way to navigate your college and professional careers.

These types of resources are extremely expensive when you aren’t a student, but they are free for students to use as much as they need when enrolled at a college campus. Take advantage of these free resources, set yourself up for a bright future with a thought out path, and save that money!

 

So why wouldn’t you go get a college degree if you have the GI Bill on your side? Set yourself and your family up for a brighter future with a degree. You won’t regret it.

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