United Services Military Apprenticeship Program

United Services Military Apprenticeship Program

The United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) is a training program that gives service members the opportunity to complete civilian apprenticeship requirements while they’re still on active duty.

Completion of an apprenticeship awards a nationally recognized Certificate of Completion from the Department of Labor (DoL), which can enhance employability during transition.

General USMAP Requirements

The USMAP is available to active Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel. Additionally, National Guard and Reservists who are on any of the following orders are also eligible to participate:

  • Reserves on Active Duty
  • Mobilization (MOB)
  • Active Duty for Operational Support (ADOS)
  • Active Duty for Training (ADT)
  • Full Time Support (FTS)

Service members applying for USMAP must have at least 12 months remaining on active duty. This ensures you have enough time to complete an apprenticeship before your transition.

You must be working full-time and supervised in the trade of your choosing. So, extra duty and additional duties do not apply to an apprenticeship.

RELATED: DoD Transition Assistance Program (TAP)

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an official training program that offers on-the-job training (OJT) and technical education in a job field or trade. The combination of hands-on work with formal training provides unsurpassed experience and industry credentials.

Service members can earn an apprenticeship with the military training and OJT from their current service, and they’d only need to record their work hours once enrolled in a program.

Formal Training

The classroom training gives USMAP participants the requisite background knowledge needed to effectively operate within their trade. There is a required 144 hours of apprenticeship-related training to complete a USMAP program.

For Navy and Coast Guard personnel, the “A” school or Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) training can meet these requirements. 

For the Army and Marine Corps, the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) training can meet the apprenticeship requirements as well.

Moreover, personnel who have not completed any formal training or military schools, then college courses, vocational programs, and correspondence courses could satisfy these requirements as well.

On-The-Job Training

This is obtained by working in the trade field, employing the skills obtained through formal training and experience.

The amount of OJT required depends on the trade field, as some require more on the job hours than others. Generally, participants must complete between 2,000 and 6,000 work hours to satisfy most apprenticeship requirements.

Types of Apprenticeships

There are two types of apprenticeships in USMAP, and they are based on experience.

Time-Based Apprenticeships

A time-based apprenticeship is for those who are new to a trade and do not have the experience needed for a competency-based apprenticeship. 

Progress is measured by the number of hours spent in training and on the job.

Competency-Based Apprenticeships

Competency-based apprenticeships are for service members E-5 and above who are considered experienced in their chosen occupation.

In this type of apprenticeship, participants must demonstrate and apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities required by their chosen trade.

The Path to Apprenticeship

There are four primary steps necessary to complete an apprenticeship.

  1. Review Available Trades
  2. Review Program Requirements
  3. Enroll in USMAP
  4. Complete Program Requirements

Review Available Trades

The USMAP has a “Find a Trade” tool, where participants search for trades available to them based on their MOS or Rating.

First, head to the Find a Trade tool, then select your service branch.

Next, under the “Select an MOS” drop-down menu, select your MOS or Rating. That will sort the available trades down to the ones applicable to your military job. Then, look through the “Select a Trade” drop-down menu to view the results.

For example, I was an Army Infantryman (11B), and when I went through this trade finding process, only one result was available to me: Computer Operator – 0817N. For you, there may be numerous opportunities, especially if you worked in a technical or vocational trade.

Review Program Requirements

Once you’ve searched for trades, review the requirements for each to determine which is the best fit for your situation and future goals.

Each apprenticeship will have two sets of requirements: the Time-based or Competency-based options as discussed above. Choose the one that best applies to your situation.

Enroll in USMAP

Once you’ve chosen a trade and the applicable options, it’s time to enroll in USMAP. This can be done online, and a login will be required. 

Or, you can download an Apprentice Registration Application and mail it in once you’ve filled it out. Mail it to the following address:


640 Roberts Ave., Bldg. 502

Pensacola, FL


Complete Apprenticeship Requirements

For each opportunity, participants must submit periodic reports, usually monthly, to their supervisor for approval. The DoL requires these reports to ensure that the standards of the program are followed.

Once all the training and work hours have been completed, participants will submit a Final Report to their supervisor for review and approval. Once approved, it marks the end of the apprenticeship and the issuance of a DoL Certificate of Completion, which will be available online.

When applicable to the trade, the Department of Labor will issue Journeyman Cards.

Get Industry Certified

So, if you’re getting close to transitioning from the active service and you have trade-specific military training, I encourage you to take advantage of the USMAP opportunities.

In most cases, you already have the official training and you need only record the hours worked. In others, you need to prove your skills and knowledge base before meeting the apprenticeship requirements.

No matter where you find yourself, this opportunity can really enhance and ease the transition that lies ahead. Don’t miss out!


Top 10 Yellow Ribbon MBA Programs

The Top Yellow Ribbon MBA Schools

To obtain a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) demonstrates professional mastery in the business arena. Many veterans find that transitioning into the business world to be a natural step after the completion of their service to the country.

CollegeRecon has created a list of the top 10 MBA programs for veterans.

RELATED: How to Determine if Business School is Right for You

Choosing the Top 10

There are thousands of colleges in the United States, and sifting through them all is a huge undertaking. The Wall Street Journal 2022 College Ranking List formed the foundation of our analysis. Based on their results, we present to you the best schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Wall Street Journal’s Methodology

The Wall Street Journal’s College Ranking focuses on student success and learning achievement. The WSJ looks for key indicators that illuminate issues related to student engagement, interaction with teachers, and overall satisfaction with their education.

The Wall Street Journal’s methodology encompasses four important areas of analysis:

  1. Resources – “Does the college have the capacity to effectively deliver teaching?”
  2. Engagement – “Does the college effectively engage with students?”
  3. Outcomes – “Does the college generate good and appropriate outputs?”
  4. Environment – Is the college providing a good learning environment for all students?”

The results of their survey helped determine which schools were better than others relating to these key areas. For more information, read the full Wall Street Journal College Rankings 2022 methodology.

RELATED: Vet Success on Campus

CollegeRecon’s Top 10 Yellow Ribbon MBA Schools

After sorting the schools by program, we eliminated the ones that did not participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. So, the schools that follow are the top schools, in order of the WSJ ranking, that do participate in this VA program.

#10: Rice University

The Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program at the maximum possible level. To that end, once your Chapter 33 annual cap has been exceeded, Rice Business school covers half the remaining costs with a Yellow Ribbon Scholarship.

This could mean that eligible veterans may have their FULL tuition covered by the Jones School of Business.

Additionally, the university hosts the Rice Business Veterans Association which provides assistance to transitioning veterans and their families.

#9: Washington University in Saint Louis

Each year, Washington University offers 150 graduate business students the max allowable contributions through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Participation is first-come, first-served. So if you intend on using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, you must let the school know as early as possible.

Washington University also hosts a Student Veteran Association (SVA) chapter that offers support and assistance for military-connected students. 

Specifically for MBA students, the Olin Veterans Association (OVA) assists the Olin Business School veteran students transition into the business world

#8: Columbia University

Columbia University’s graduate school of Business allows an unlimited number of students to participate in its Yellow Ribbon Program. The maximum contribution amount the school will pay per student is $20,000.

Furthermore, to receive veterans benefits at Columbia, students must submit a Veterans Request for Certification for each term they’d like to receive benefits. This is not an automatic process at Columbia.

The Columbia Business School hosts the Military in Business Association (MiBA) veteran student group. This community offers support to Columbia’s veteran population by providing advocacy and skills development through their network of professionals.

#7: University of Pennsylvania

Penn’s prestigious Wharton School of Business allows for unlimited Yellow Ribbon Program availability for veterans in their MBA program. Additionally, Wharton students can receive up to $20,000 provided by Penn to match their VA contributions.

The VA provided Certificate of Eligibility must be submitted to the School Certifying Official, which is located in the Registrar’s office.

The Wharton Business School is also home to the Veterans Club, which offers community and support to its veteran student population. This is an important aspect of life at Wharton, where only about 5% of the students are veterans.

#6: Cornell University

All degree granting schools at Cornell University voluntarily participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. For graduate students, there is a limit to the number of participants each year.

Veteran students must qualify for a 100% entitlement as demonstrated with their VA Certificate of Eligibility. To notify the school of your Yellow Ribbon eligibility, complete Cornell’s Yellow Ribbon program application.

Cornell University maintains a robust Military Community offering programs and services to military and veteran students.

#5: Northwestern University

Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management allows for unlimited participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It also has a maximum contribution of $18,000.

In addition to accepting every VA educational benefit, Northwestern also accepts the Illinois Veteran Grant and Tuition Assistance.

Moreover, the school hosts the Northwestern University Veterans Association, NUVA, which provides resources and support to its veteran students. Those resources include:

Check out Northwestern’s impressive page for Student Veterans’ Resources.

#4: Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins’ Carey Business School maintains the annual tuition cap of $10,000 for 25 eligible veteran students. The VA will match that $10,000 and apply it towards tuition.

Johns Hopkins eagerly directs their students with information about Scholarships for MBA Students to ensure their successful completion of their MBA program.

The Carey Student Veteran Network is a support group led by students to provide networking support to military and veteran students. The CSVN partners with local organizations like FourBlock, 6th Branch, the Mission Continues, and Team River Runner, to help veteran students transition into academic and professional success.

#3: Brown University

Brown’s annual Yellow Ribbon Program contribution to graduate veteran students is $7,500. This support also extends to spouses and dependents who are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The Brown University Student Veterans Society (BUSVS) has helped foster a supportive veteran community since 2009. The BUSVS plays an integral part of raising awareness for issues faced by veterans in their student community.

Brown University is also home to PAVE, the Peer Advisors for Veteran Education group. This is a peer support program that connects new military-connected students with student veterans already on campus. This approach plugs veteran students into the pipeline of resources and support during their academic journey.

#2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT’s Sloan School of Management allows 30 students into their Yellow Ribbon Program. Sloan also offers up to $20,000 per student annually in their partnership with the VA.

The MIT Sloan Veterans Club helps veteran business students transition to academic life by offering support and counseling. It also offers access to exclusive networking and job opportunities.

#1: Harvard University

The Harvard Business School grants unlimited Yellow Ribbon access to veteran students in their MBA programs. The maximum contribution, which will also be matched by the VA, is $20,000 per year.

Harvard’s Armed Forces Alumni Association assists student veterans with professional development and job search resources. The club also helps raise awareness for the military-connected students on Harvard’s Business School campus.

From Battlefields to Business

Our nation’s veterans endure tremendous stress during their military service. It is not surprising that many veterans transition into the Business arena, for they have the grit and leadership skills necessary to succeed.

Earning an MBA, especially through any of these superb institutes of higher learning, will distinguish you from others in the business world. The VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program will assist with your education goals.

Get started on the path of your choosing today!


(Image courtesy of fizkes via Shutterstock)


Battlefields to Ballfields Scholarships for Veterans

Over the last ten years or so, social and political pressure elevated veteran issues into the national conversation. Veterans were returning from war, leaving the service, and facing the unparalleled challenge of reintegrating into society.

Battlefields to Ballfields

However, organizations are stepping up to the plate and offering assistance to the veteran community. One such non-profit is Battlefields to Ballfields.

This awesome organization provides scholarships to returning veterans and assists them in obtaining employment in Officiating. By tapping into teamwork, a common bond between sports and military service, B2B hopes to elevate members of our veteran community into the arena of professional sports.

RELATED: Sports Management Degrees

Eligibility & Details

Here are the eligibility requirements for the scholarship. A veteran must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Currently serving or a veteran of the United States military
  • Living in the US
  • A first-year official, meaning they have never officiated before.

To take advantage of the Battlefields to Ballfields scholarship, here is some important information to remember when applying:

  1. You must register with your local sports officiating association before or at the time of applying for the scholarship. Keep your receipts as B2B will reimburse you!
  2. DO NOT purchase your uniforms before receiving notification from B2B.
  3. When you fill out the application, if it’s done correctly, you will receive a confirmation screen with the word “Submit”.

Scholarship Details

The B2B scholarship lasts for three (3) seasons. Here’s a breakdown of what’s included:

1st Season:

  • Starter Kit – Contains uniform items for the sport for which you receive a scholarship, and it has an estimated value of $300. These items come from B2B’s authorized supplier.
  • Local officiating dues
  • National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) membership, to include liability insurance coverage, a subscription to Referee Magazine, discounts at hotels, and special discounts from 3rd party uniform suppliers.
  • US Veteran sew on patch


2nd & 3rd Seasons:

  • Local dues
  • NASO membership renewal


It is important to note here that Battlefields to Ballfields does not directly provide officiating training. That training will be provided by your local association.

Also, B2B uses ID.me to verify an applicant’s military status. If you are a veteran and have not done so already, please register with ID.me today.

Step Onto the Field

Battlefields to Ballfields is one of those nonprofits that makes you proud to be an American. They support veteran reemployment into officiating, thereby strengthening the sports programs in communities around the country.

Once you’ve established an ID.me account, head over to the Battlefields to Ballfields website and submit your application.

This opportunity is a home run for veterans!


(Image courtesy of Mike Flippo via Shutterstock.com.)


Google VetNet Hosts Career Week 2021

So, you may have heard of Google. They’re kind of a big deal on the Internet. But did you know that Google has a Veterans Network? Neither did I.

VetNet is Google’s veterans networking program designed to assist veterans, military spouses, and service members by providing tools, support, and resources to begin or advance their careers.

Google VetNet Career Week 2021

From June 22nd through June 24th, Google’s VetNet will host their 2021 Career Week, which is a virtual three-day event that will include panels covering functions of industry, “fireside” chats with corporate level executives from Google and other companies, hands-on training, and 1:1 resume reviews with members of Google’s team.

Each day is themed:

  • 22 June – Career Tools
  • 23 June – Inspirational Leadership
  • 24 June – Applying What You Learned

Career Tools

On day one, starting at noon (EDT), Google will open with a welcome kickoff and LinkedIn profile recommendations. Do not skip over the LinkedIn piece – at many of the career fairs I’ve attended, you often get to connect your profile to some heavy-hitters in the recruiting and hiring fields. (That’s called “networking”!)

Over the following 5 hours, there will be concurrent seminars, 3 each hour, and you will choose which one you wish to attend each hour. Topics will include:

  • Functional Paths for Veterans and MilSpouses in the areas of Business, Engineering, and Tech
  • Deep Dives into the industries of Healthcare, Technology, Gaming/Entertainment, and more.

These seminars will feature panelists from the following companies:

  • Facebook
  • Amazon
  • Microsoft
  • Walmart
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Electronic Arts (EA)
  • Disney
  • Netflix
  • Apple
  • FitBit
  • Deloitte
  • Wells Fargo
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Ford
  • Tesla
  • So many more!

The panelists featured in these seminars are C-Suite executives for their respective companies, and they have a ton of advice and experiences to pass on to all attendees.

RELATED: Building Your Veteran Network

Inspirational Leadership

Day two, again starting at noon, has three major events. 

The first is a fireside chat with Amy Goldfinger, the Senior Vice President of Global Talent at Walmart, and Lisa Geveleber, Vice President of Grow with Google. They will discuss the value veterans and military spouses bring to the corporate workforce.

This will be followed by a fireside chat with Alex Gorsky, the CEO of Johnson & Johnson, and Ruth Porat, the Chief Financial Officer for Alphabet/Google. They will discuss organizational leadership throughout the global pandemic.

The final event of the day is very exciting! This executive panel, called The Keys to Successful Entrepreneurship, will feature the following panelists:

  • Amy McDonough, GM & Managing Director at FitBit
  • Todd Connor, CEO of Bunker Labs
  • Bethany Coates, CEO of BreakLine
  • Don Foul, CEO of Athos

The panel will discuss entrepreneurship, starting your own business, and working for a startup. These executives will share their stories of starting their own businesses, the lessons learned from their failures, and things to consider when taking on a new venture.

Apply What You Learned

On this final day of Career Week 2021, there are three main events.

You will have the opportunity to connect with a Googler for 20-25 minutes for a personal resume review and discussion about careers.

Additionally, there will be a session discussing learning and certificate programs that can help set you up for a new career.

Finally, there will be a “Navigating Next Workshop”, which is powered by Shift and will likely cover the next steps you should take in your adventure.

View the Full Schedule for Career Week 2021.

Google Veteran Network Registration

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you are just beginning the transition to a civilian career, or if you’ve been in the workforce for years. This event will give you life lessons, valuable networking opportunities, and advice to assist in your journey.

You must be registered by June 1, 2021 to participate. So, mark your calendars and register here:

Google VetNet Career Week 2021 Registration.  For more info on Google VetNet, please go here.

(image courtesy of Jane0606 via Shutterstock)





Options After the Military

Your Options for Life After the Military

Every service member has a reason for deciding to transition out of the military. Some make this decision to focus on their family, go back home, go to school, or many other reasons that may come to mind. Transitioning out of the service can happen after one tour, many tours, or even when retiring, but either way there will come a time when you will have to leave. Leaving the service can be a time of uncertainty so be sure to have a plan to make the process easier. Below we have listed a few options for those who have served one tour.

Find a GI Bill®-Approved School

Many service members choose to attend school once they get out of the military. If you plan on taking this route, keep in mind the career you want to pursue so you can choose which education course is best for you.

Look into the education requirements needed for your career choice to determine if you should attend a public university, community college, or vocational/technical school.

Next it is best to keep in mind as to whether you will have the time and finances to go to school online or on campus. Depending on the benefits you receive after the military will also help you in making this decision.

For example, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay you a monthly housing allowance (MHA) which is based on the military’s Basic Allowance Housing rates (BAH). If you take classes on campus or hybrid form as a full-time student, you will be paid the full amount of MHA. However, if you take only online courses or are a part-time student you will be paid half of that amount. One of the final steps is to choose your school that best meets your needs. Every school has a different atmosphere so make sure to create a list to determine what you’re looking for.

Get started finding schools that match your needs with CollegeRecon.


Job Field

Depending on your situation, getting a job may be a better option. However, you have to decide what you are looking for in a job and if you meet the requirements.

  • Do you already have the education qualifications for your chosen career?
  • Does the job you want match the skills you learned from your previous military occupation?
  • Is there a specific location or salary that you are looking for?

It can feel overwhelming to find a career that matches your skills and interests, but it is key to ask yourself these types of questions.

Once you have figured out what job you want, use different resources to help you allocate these jobs.

Employment agencies, job sites, or job fairs can help you in your search. After you have located the job you want and reviewing the qualifications and skills needed, it’s time to write your resume. When writing your resume, target your objective, market your accomplishments, highlight your skills, and list your military experience. Everyone doesn’t understand military jargon or acronyms, so make sure to translate everything into terms the employer can understand.

Get started finding jobs and career info to help you further your career with CareerRecon.


Continue to Serve

If service members leave active duty with less than 20 years of service, some may find that it’s a good idea to transition to the Reserves, National Guard, or other branch of service.

Continuing your military service may be a good option for your if you want to earn the retirement since the years you’ve already served will carry over.

Each branch has their own policies and procedures when it comes to keeping your rank. Some may let you keep your rank or bump you down, but it all varies based on the branch.

Depending on which route you take, there are a few factors that can be taken into account.

  • Your Reentry Code (found on your DD Form 214) is used to determine your eligibility for continued service.
  • The branches of service have limits of the number of prior service enlistments they allow each year.
  • Whether or not you have to go through boot camp will depend on which service you choose.

Schedule a meeting with a recruiter who will be able to answer all your questions as well as help you pursue your enlistment.






Tech Training Opportunities For Military and Veterans

Tech Training Opportunities You May Not Know About

Jobs in technology tend to be abundant, interesting, and well-paid. In addition, they often offer more flexibility, job mobility, and work/life balance than many other careers.

If information and training are the only things keeping you from pursuing a technology career, there are different ways to overcome those obstacles. Now is the time to act because the tech industry is currently seeking to diversify its workforce.

Employers and educational programs are actively recruiting women, people of color, and veterans. Just as there is a wide spectrum of tech careers, there is also a varied list of resources for you. Who knows? Something on the list below may have the life-changing opportunity you’re looking for:

VetTec Program

The VetTec Program stands for Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses. If you want to gain computer experience to start or advance your career in the high-technology industry, find out if you’re eligible for this new Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program that matches veterans with a leading training provider to help vets develop high-tech skills. You can learn more about this VA program here.

Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has published A User Guide for U.S. Veterans Entering the Cybersecurity Career Field. This comprehensive resource includes career and scholarship information.

RELATED: Federal Agencies Looking to Hire Veterans: FBI, CIA, DHS, and More


Apprenti is a tech industry apprenticeship program. Anyone is eligible to apply.

Cisco Networking Academy

The Cisco Networking Academy offers a variety of free online tech courses as well as virtual career fairs.

Amazon Programs

Amazon offers several transitional training programs including:


Adapt was created by Amazon to help wounded, injured, and ill military service members overcome skill gaps.

AWS Military Apprenticeship Program

The AWS Military Apprenticeship Program provides military members, veterans and their spouses with on-the-job training in in high-demand technical areas.


CyberCorps® has a Scholarship For Service (SFS) program designed to recruit and train the next generation of information technology professionals, industrial control system security professionals, and security managers to meet the needs of the cybersecurity mission for Federal, State, local, and tribal governments.

This program provides scholarships for up to 3 years of support for cybersecurity undergraduate and graduate education. The scholarships are funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation. In return for their scholarships, recipients must agree to work after graduation for the U.S. Government, in a position related to cybersecurity, for a period equal to the length of the scholarship.

ManTech International Corporation

ManTech International Corporation offers cybersecurity professionals training and apprenticeships in conjunction with Purdue University. Right now everything is online.

Manpower Academy of Advanced Manufacturing

Manpower Academy of Advanced Manufacturing is a no-cost, 12-week, comprehensive program with paid hands-on training. Students will study and gain certifications in Industrial Automation and Control System(IACS), Programmable Logic Controllers, and Human Machine  Interfaces(HMI).

Microsoft Software & Systems Academy

Microsoft Software & Systems Academy provides an 18-week (or two 9-week terms) training for high-demand careers in cloud development, cloud administration, cybersecurity administration, or database and business intelligence administration. Program graduates have an opportunity to interview for a full-time job at Microsoft or one or more of their hiring partners.


NPower was designed to help military veterans and young adults from underserved communities get into tech careers by offering tuition-free training in Tech Fundamentals, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing and Coding.

NS2 Serves

The NS2 Serves program is a free, three-month intensive training course that equips Veterans, active duty military and  and Gold Star spouses with valuable skills for today’s high-tech, in-demand careers.

Tech Qualled

Tech Qualled Launchpad Academy offers a comprehensive 7-week training program was designed for veterans who are looking to pursue a Sales career in the High Tech industry.

DoD SkillBridge

Last, but not least, if you’re still in the process of transitioning to civilian life, the SkillBridge program can help connect you with industry partners and the real-world job experience you need.




Separation and Retirement Services for Military

Military Separation and Retirement Services

Transitioning out of the military, be it after an eight year enlistment or retiring with twenty-plus years’ service under your belt, is a huge step. You aren’t merely stepping away from a job, but a job that is built within an entire unique community.

Finding your way to a new normal in the civilian world can be daunting, and there is a seemingly endless list of things you have to do to officially say you’re “out” of the military. Thankfully, there is an abundance of support services and benefits available to help you navigate this life change.

Terminal Leave

Aside from being a period of monumental shift in your life, finding your place in the civilian world can be very busy, and therefore stressful. It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Here are some ways service members can make this time easier by being sure to save a good amount of terminal leave:

  • If you’re happy to remain in the area of your final posting, you could use the extra leave to take a well-earned vacation.
  • You might want to make the transitional process a more pleasant experience by completing it on a part time schedule.
  • Perhaps you’re moving across country, in which case you’ll need time to coordinate with movers and realtors, interview for jobs, or find the right school for your children to transfer to.
  • If you’d prefer to put it all in the rear view mirror in the shortest fashion, there is also an option to “sell back” your remaining leave.

Last Paid Move

The government will foot the bill for one final move at the end of your career. For service members will less than 8 years of service, this will only cover the cost it would take to move you to your home of record (HOR) or your Place Entering Active Duty (PLEAD). For service members with more than 8 years of service or retirees, the government will cover the cost of a move to your HOR, or any home of selection (HOS) within the United States.


Mentoring is an indispensable asset during the shift to civilian life. What could be more helpful than a touchstone who has been through everything you’re going through before, or has led countless others in your shoes down the same path?

Military Spouse Transition Program (MySTeP)

MySTeP is a program from Military OneSource, designed to help spouses adapt to, thrive within, and transition out of military life. They call the latter event “Stepping Beyond”, and offer these resources to help the transitioning military spouse:

  • One-on-One Education & Employment Support with a Career Coach
  • Information on things like High-Growth, In-Demand, & Flexible Careers
  • Help Finding Child Care
  • Resume Building
  • Tips for Building a Social Support Network

Transition Assistance Program (TAP)

Most active duty military members are likely to have heard about TAP, as completion of the program is a mandatory part of separation. TAP is divided into five parts:

Initial Counseling (IC)

In this individualized, one-on-one counseling—the official first step in the transition process—the service member completes a self-assessment and builds their Individual Transition Plan around personal goals and needs.

RELATED: DoD TAP Transition Assistance Program

Pre-Separation Briefing (or Transition Counseling)

This briefing, which must be scheduled no fewer than 90 days before separation, is a refresher course on the myriad of benefits, entitlements, and resources due to you as a transitioning service member.

DoD Transition Day

(includes briefs from Veteran Affairs and the Department of Labor)

This stage of the TAP process includes completing training modules on resiliency, activities designed to translate military skills to opportunities in the civilian sector, and financial planning. There is an additional brief covering VA benefits and services, such as housing, health care options, and disability compensation. A brief from The Department of Labor gives information on preparing for employment in the civilian world.

Specialized Career Tracks

To aid them in achieving their post-transition goals, service members are offered a series of tracks, or workshops, over the course of two days in employment, vocation, education, and small business administration.

TAP Capstone

This step is a review of your TAP accomplishments and verification of DoD career readiness standards.

Note: There is some variation between branches, so find your service specific program here for more detailed information:


Military and Veterans! Find Your Perfect Match with the CollegeRecon School Finder.






Transferable Skills Every Military Member Should Highlight

Transferable Skills Every Military Member Should Highlight

When applying for a job it is important to highlight yourself in areas you might fall short. Businesses are increasingly seeing the value of hiring from the military community and often take experience over education. Military members operate with a “mission-critical” mindset, elevating their performance to a higher level. These transferable” skills are valuable across all industries and should be used to your advantage.

Transferable Skills Gained through the Military


It is important to highlight that you are confident in your leadership ability, can motivate a team, and lead by example. Military members are often called to lead by example, through direction, delegation, and motivation. These are positive leadership skills that inspire people and showcase your ability to achieve results and manage staff.


Show that you can start and finish a project with little to no guidance. Those who have been in the military long enough know that being able to start and finish a task with little to no guidance happens daily. This ability turns veterans into self-starts who can anticipate project needs.


Being able to change gears at a moment’s notice and handle any situation that comes your way is a critical skill. Adaptability is hugely emphasized in the military community as the ability to adapt to a new direction at any level of a project or situation is a powerful skill. This can be shown through last-minute taskings or changing deadlines.


Integrity is a highly valued trait that speaks to your character, employers want to know they can trust you. There are many ways integrity can be shown through decision-making in areas such as resource allocation, one’s behavior, and implementation of guidelines or procedures.

Effective Communication

Military members have been trained to communicate with a wide range of personalities and ranks clearly and respectfully. Everyone has value and military members have been trained to communicate effectively in any situation. Communication up chain and down chain requires clear concise effective communication.


Top candidates for upper management positions can successfully express their experience and success with multi-dimensional teams. Military members are trained in team-oriented environments that promote coordination and collaboration.


Being able to anticipate problems and handle problems that arise quickly with seamless execution is a desirable skill.

Highlight your transferable skill as a problem solver.  This will show your ability to handle people, processes, and resources at a moment’s notice. This skill also showcases your ability to direct or establish systematic planning.


Military operations require extensive planning and workload management. Being able to take ideas that are not your own and implement and execute the plan only enhance the organization.

Highlighting this underrated transferable skill shows that you:

  • Have a strong work ethic
  • Have company loyalty
  • Are competent
  • Can practice discretion
  • Are not driven by ego or pride

Financial Responsibility

It is important to share financial experience relating to budgeting, contract management, resource allocation, or financial management.

When it comes to financial tasks in the military there is no room for error.  Highlighting your military-related financial responsibility will mean a great deal to a prospective employer.

Maintaining personal financial stability is also a transferable skill.  This can be critical for those who have had to maintain a top-secret security clearance.

Highlighting Transferable Skills on a Resume and Cover Letter

It is important to not only highlight transferable skills but to translate military skills into terms to the civilian world can value. Make sure to choose a resume template employers can easily read that showcases your transferable skills. Military One Source is a great resource for more tips on how to write a resume.

The cover letter is your opportunity to highlight transferable skills that align with the job description. It is crucial to tailor each cover letter to the position you are applying for. Explain a change in career, how transferable skills apply, and why you are the best fit. Remember to provide short strategic examples.



Paid Federal Internships for Veterans

Veterans Receive Hiring Preferences for Paid Federal Internships

Using your GI Bill for college or a training program? Did you recently graduate from a school or training program?  Are you a veteran working toward an advanced degree? If so, you have a hiring preference that can put you on the fast track to a paid federal internship or fellowship.

Federal internships allow veterans an opportunity to smoothly transition from a paid internship into a federal job without re-applying or competing.

The 3 Programs: 2 Internships and 1 Fellowship

The federal government offers two types of internships and a fellowship through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Pathways Programs. The three programs are:

  • Internship Program
  • Recent Graduates Program
  • Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

Each hiring agency designs and administers their own Pathways programs based on OPM guidance. Applicants must demonstrate the necessary qualifications in their application package to be considered for a position.

For the selection process, according to the OPM Pathways Program website, “Agencies must apply veterans’ preference in accordance with the procedures outlined in 5 USC 3320 and 5 CFR 302, as well as any applicable agency-specific policies.” The same veteran hiring preferences that apply to federal jobs, apply to federal internships.

Federal hiring agencies can set up their OPM Pathways Programs to allow interns and fellows who successfully complete their programs to be hired into term or permanent positions without competition or re-application.

That means, depending on how the hiring agency sets up the program, it is possible to go directly from a paid internship or fellowship into a federal civil service job.

You can find current internships by typing “pathways internship” in the search bar on the USAJOBS website. Not all federal internships convert to jobs.  If the internship is set up to allow conversion to a job, the details and requirements will be included in the agency’s job announcement.

Each of the Pathways Programs addresses a different part of the veteran population.

Pathways Internship Program

Designed for students enrolled part or full-time in accredited schools or training programs, the Internship Program allows veterans to work part or full-time in a paid temporary position related to their academic career goals or job interests.

Participants sign an agreement with the hiring agency that covers what is expected of the intern. You can find federal internship positions with various agencies posted on USAJOBS.

Recent Graduates Program

The Recent Graduates Program allows hiring agencies to offer paid internships to people who have graduated from an accredited school within the last two years. The internship can be full or part-time.  After signing an agreement setting out expectations for the internship, participants receive mentoring, individual development plans and a minimum of 40 hours of training per year.

Veterans have up to six years to apply to a Recent Graduate Program if military obligations kept them from applying within two years after graduating.

Hiring agencies post Recent Graduate Program internship opportunities on the USAJOBS website. To find open positions, type “recent graduate” into the search bar.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

The Presidential Management Fellows Program is a two year leadership development program for students pursuing advanced degrees. According to OPM, students must “demonstrate academic excellence, possess management and leadership potential, and have a clear interest in and commitment to public service.”  OPM announces the opportunity to apply for the program around late summer or early fall.

If selected, you will receive extensive career support and at least one developmental assignment.  The PMF website says, “After successful Program completion and job performance, the PMF may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, a term appointment lasting 1-4 years) in the competitive service.” You can learn more about this program on USAJOBS under “Students & recent graduates.”

As a veteran, you can be on the fast track to an internship with the federal government that turns into a job you don’t have to re-compete for. Whether you are attending college or training program, just graduated, or want a career in the federal sector, OPM Pathways Programs help answer the question, “What’s next?”





Professional Development Opportunities Through MOOCs

Professional Development Opportunities Through MOOCs

In the digital age, we have found near-instantaneous ways to disseminate and intake relevant information. You can regularly hear the phrase, “Google it” uttered in a casual conversation. 81% of U.S. adults have a smartphone and 73% have access to the internet from the comfort of their homes. College has transformed from a structured, brick-and-mortar experience to a fully virtual, distance-learning enterprise. And taking that idea even further is the idea of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs.

What is a MOOC?

If you’ve never heard of the term MOOC, it is an open-access learning course with (typically) free, unlimited participation to anyone with access to the internet.

Websites such as edX, coursera, P2PU, and others, have an array of interactive, communal-learning options to choose from. While you always have the option to enroll in most courses for free, by paying a small fee you can unlock additional content, and if desired, receive a completion certificate. Full certifications or specialty degree programs are also offered, but those will have more expensive fees attached to them.

MOOCs first came into existence in 2008 and morphed to full-power when The New York Times deemed 2012 “The Year of MOOC.” The main idea with these courses is that some of the best education in the world is readily available to anyone who seeks it out.

Classes are offered on an audit-like basis from any number of higher education institutions. Harvard offers courses in anything from anatomy to 19th-century opera to entrepreneurship, and beyond. You can enroll in a course about cybersecurity from MIT or cryptography from Stanford. Google conducts courses covering GitHub and Python, and even offers full certifications in IT support. The possibilities are vast and varied.

What you can expect is best described as an (often) self-paced barrage of useful data. The courses hold traditional material (like filmed lectures, suggested reading, comprehension questions, etc). But you also have the option to interact with other uses, create social media discussions, and provide feedback. You have to be self-motivated and accepting of the fact that it is an imperfect system.

The main question you may have is, why take one? The answer is simple: professional development. Add new, valuable skills to your resume, further learning in an area you already have some knowledge in, or simply showcase your ability to be a continuous learner to a potential employer. At minimum, it can be a great conversation point during an interview.

The Positives of MOOC’s

  • The structure provides easy access to higher education opportunities. Some organizations even offer full degree or simple certification programs (mostly in technology-related fields).
  • It’s Free(ish). The courses themselves are free in almost all circumstances. But if you wish to have a certificate to prove your completion, the average cost is between $25 to $50 depending on length and the organization offering the course. It’s more if you wish to do the full programs.
  • Allows for a flexible schedule. Most courses are self-paced. You can sit and do the entire thing in one go, or you can set a personal daily/weekly limit.
  • Provides a collaborative learning and sharing environment. People from around the world attend these courses. In addition to getting insight from differing perspectives, simply attending the course can allow you to add “team-player” or “networking pro” to your resume.

MOOC Drawbacks

  • Some users feel that the environment may allow for inconsistencies, ie: cheating, erroneous grading, lack of instructor connection/feedback, etc.
  • The time and effort it takes to complete some courses may be asking too much for a free online course. Students must be able to self-manage and follow-through.
  • Must have basic understanding of digital/technological learning.
  • Retention can be an issue. One bit of data said that 46,000 people enrolled in a software engineering course, but only 13,000 completed it.
  • Some higher education professionals fear that this structure will create two classes of learning: well-funded, substantial universities vs. value-pack, cookie-cutter institutions.

Ultimately, education should be attainable for all.  Any opportunity to learn, add skill sets to your resume, or simply expand your worldview is a great thing.  Even better when it is at virtually no monetary cost to you.

Even if you use the MOOC platform to dip your toe into a new endeavor before deciding to enroll in a higher education institution, it can be a useful tool to consider if you have a bit of free time on your hands.



Becoming an Electrician as a Veteran

Electricians Are in High Demand

If you like being hands-on, doing work that requires practical knowledge, and hope to earn while you learn instead of paying tuition, becoming an electrician may be the choice for you.

Electrical work isn’t repetitive or monotonous. Most electricians encounter and solve new problems every day. The job’s not glamorous, but it’s important.

Electricians are among the highest paid workers in the construction sector. They’re needed everywhere from Hollywood movie sets, to field jobs in all settings and locations, to the neighborhood you live in.

This broad spectrum of opportunities means you can move, travel far and wide, or stay right in your own hometown, without risking reliable employment.

Growing Opportunities for Electricians

Not only are there plenty of job opportunities today, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for electricians continues to be on the rise. The BLS estimates that job opportunities for electricians are growing 10% faster than average with no leveling off in sight. Meanwhile, many working electricians are moving toward retirement age.

Electricians need to be licensed, but no college degree is required. If you want to become an electrician you’ll need to complete an apprenticeship that includes both on-the-job training (OJT) and classroom instruction. You can go about this two different ways: get pre-apprenticeship training at a trade school or vocational college, or you apply for an apprenticeship directly and then take classes as you go.

Your Best Strategy?

Depending on your education and experience, your best strategy may be to get some schooling under your belt first. Most apprenticeships require an interview and an entrance exam that includes a lot of math questions — particularly algebra. If you lack-real world electrical experience and need some remedial math, don’t be discouraged. You can complete a trade school program in as little as nine months, and then go to work as an electrician assistant. But bear in mind that all vocational schools aren’t created equal. If you have a specific apprenticeship in mind, make sure to enroll in a certification program that your apprenticeship of choice will recognize.

Using your certificate or prior experience to get your foot in the door as an electrician assistant will  allow you to meet other electricians who can help you land your apprenticeship. When it comes to apprenticeships, again, there are several options to choose from.

Union Apprenticeships

There are union apprenticeships which are usually run by a group called the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW),  There are non-union apprenticeships, that are usually run by two groups: one called the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the other called Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC); and there are local apprenticeships that you can find through a database kept by the federal government.

As an apprentice, you’ll work under a licensed electrician. Rules and requirements vary by state, but most apprenticeships take about 4 years and require 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year. The average apprenticeship costs anywhere from $250 – $1,420 a year,  but most apprenticeships are paid, and that more than offsets the cost. Wages vary by state and employer, but on average apprentices earn $10 to $20 per hour. After your apprenticeship, you’ll be a journeyman and can expect to earn about $32 – $43 per hour.

Use Your GI Bill to Cover Expenses

As an apprentice, not only will be you be earning while you study, but your classroom training will be paid for by the contractor you work for, so your only expenses will be textbooks and supplies.

The great news is that you use the GI Bill to cover those expenses as well as housing.  GI Bill payments are issued each month after your employer or union reports your hours. The VA offers a list of employers that offer apprenticeships (at the top of the page in Search Filters, select Program Type “On-The-Job-Training/Apprenticeship”, then select your state on map.) You can also get more more information from the Troops to Trades organization.

There’s nothing like knowing you’re highly skilled in a field that’s in demand, having lots of options, and pursuing a line of work where no two days are the same! In other words, there’s nothing like being an electrician.


Did you know, you can find education programs for Trades and Technicians in the CollegeRecon School Finder tool?  Go here.





Degrees in Construction Management

A Degree in Construction Management May Be Right for You

Were you a 12B combat engineer or a Seabee? Then the skills you learned in the field give you a head start toward a degree in Construction Management (CM).

CM professionals plan, budget, and supervise new building projects and can work on any number of endeavors from the construction of an apartment complex, to the installation of highways and public transportation infrastructure. Wherever there is new construction, there is a construction manager – especially on large scale, big-budget projects.

A typical day for a CM is varied and may consist of site visits, stakeholder meetings, planning and review, contract negotiation, and more. Sounds like a simple proposition for someone who built bridges in a warzone, doesn’t it?

Outlook for Construction Management Professionals

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for CM professionals is $95,000, but you can expect a starting salary of somewhere around $55,000.

  • Starting Salary – $55,000
  • Median Salary – $95,000

The field is expected to grow by 10% by 2028, which outpaces the national average of all industries by 5%.

CM professionals work in real estate development, architectural engineering, and building design management. Federal government agencies like the General Services Administration and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command also hire CM professionals. Be sure to indicate your Veterans’ Preference Points when applying to federal jobs.

Having a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most firms hiring CM professionals, but graduate level degrees will help increase your marketability. College Recon has put out a definitive article of military friendly colleges. To help you start your research, here are a few schools from that list which offer CM degrees. Be sure to double check your Joint Services Transcript (JST) to see if you might already have snuck a few extra credits in during your time in service.

Search GI Bill-approved schools offering degrees for careers in Construction Management.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Construction Management

Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences

Ohio State University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Construction Systems Management. Their program boasts developing managerial skills that will apply to the residential, commercial, and heavy construction sectors.

A typical course load includes mechanical and electrical systems courses, heavy construction courses, and other organizational courses including estimating, scheduling, and project management.

    • BAH Rate: $1,280
    • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
    • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
    • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
    • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
    • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: YES
    • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: YES

Texas A&M Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Texas A&M offers a BS in Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering and Management Track. Texas A&M is one of the country’s top civil engineering undergraduate programs. They started teaching civil engineering back in 1880!

The typical course load for any Civil Engineering degree is very math and science heavy.

    • BAH Rate: $1,331
    • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
    • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
    • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
    • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
    • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: YES
    • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: YES

University of Nebraska Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction

The University of Nebraska offers a BS in CM with recent grads being employed at places like Black & Veatch, and Johnson Controls

A typical course load includes some physics, calculus, and statistics, but also incorporates law, health and safety, and interpersonal communications.

    • BAH Rate: $1,175
    • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
    • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
    • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
    • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
    • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: YES
    • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: NO

Additional Schools with Bachelor’s in Construction Management

Master’s Degrees in Construction Management

University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering

USC offers a Masters in Construction Management and a well-rounded program that requires students to take courses in five different schools at USC including the business school, law school, and school of architecture. USC also offers an online option for this program.

Typical course load includes construction business, construction practices, and construction planning. Students are required to have classroom experience in engineering economy or business finance prior to applying.

    • BAH Rate: $3,005
    • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
    • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
    • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
    • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
    • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: NO
    • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: NO

Arizona State University School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment

ASU offers a Masters in CM which focuses on organizing, leading, and managing the building process as it relates to business and technology. This program is not an engineering degree, but students are expected to have a proficiency in pre-calculus and physics. ASU offers an online option for this degree as well.

Typical course load includes independent study in a variety of research areas including Asset Management, Building Energy Management, Sustainable Development, and more.

    • BAH Rate: $1,769
    • GI Bill Approved Programs: YES
    • Yellow Ribbon Program: YES
    • Approved for Tuition Assistance: YES
    • Offers College Credit for Military Experience: YES
    • Awards Credit for CLEP Exam: YES
    • Awards Credit for DSST Exam: YES

Depending on your learning strengths and career goals you can choose a path in CM that could be engineering heavy, or more in line with business management.

An Engineering Aide (EA) in the Seabees would be most closely aligned with a Construction Manager, but a Combat Engineer can easily translate their military skills into the field as well.

So, if you still have an interest in building things but are tired of doing all the heavy lifting, check out the programs above and start your next career in Construction Management.



Military veterans have many options to consider when selecting a construction management degree program. Today’s construction management degree programs are becoming increasingly technical, and the demand for workers with a military background is growing. Construction management education from reputable institutions will teach students how to manage a construction project from start to finish, even if they have no experience in the field. If you are interested in pursuing a degree as a military student, consider construction management.

Lastly, some of the cost of paying for your construction management degree might be covered under the Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon Program was created to help ease the burden of rising tuition and put more money in the pockets of those who qualify. Through this program, the Department of Defense has set aside $100 million to help fund tuition at colleges and universities that agree to participate in the program. Some schools receive as much as $5,000 per year, and those who qualify may also be entitled to a monthly stipend.





Getting a Degree In Education as a Veteran

Degrees in Education for Veterans and Military

Getting a degree in education is a popular choice when it comes to securing a well-paying job with great benefits. A degree in education will give students a general background in education and teaching while allowing one to specialize in a specific grade level (elementary or secondary) and particular subject areas such as English, math, foreign languages, or special education. You can get an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctoral degree in education. A degree in education will prepare a student to meet state certification requirements and attain professional licensure.

Associate Degree in Education

An Associate Degree in Education is typically a 2 year/60-unit route of study. Associate degrees are a desirable asset for those beginning a career in education. Jobs such as teacher aides, reading instructors, and library technicians are all jobs that can be secured with an associate degree. In addition to fulfilling job requirements, school districts typically pay based on a scale that accounts for formal education and years of experience. Many entry level and paraprofessional jobs in education can be started with a high school diploma while one is actively enrolled in an associate degree program. Having an associate degree will secure a higher level on the pay scale, prepare a student for a bachelor’s degree, and introduce the employee to a career in education.

Recently there has been a pendulum shift in education with a growing  appreciation and need for educational programs in practical and vocational arts. This has led many districts and states to amend the baseline requirement for teacher licensure to an associate degree for certain classes. In addition, some critical need areas such as science, math, and special education grant temporary or emergency teacher licensure so one can teach with an associate’s for a period of time while pursuing their bachelor’s.

You can earn your Associate Degree in Education through an online degree program, or a campus-based (in-person) degree program. Most community colleges will offer a degree in education and there are an abundance of reputable online and campus-based schools that specialize in 2-year education degrees.

Keep in mind if you intend on pursuing a long-term career in education, that pay is commensurate with formal education. Make certain that your associate degree is from an accredited institution so that your credits will transfer favorably for the next degree you choose to pursue.

Jobs you can get with an Associate Degree in Education:

Teacher’s Aide

A teacher’s aide works an average of 6 hours a day, 170 days a year! Average median salary is $30,000.

Early Education Teacher

Pre-school teachers work an average of 180 days a year and have summers off! Average median salary is $35,000.

Library Technician

Work in the private or public sector. Average median salary is $37,000.

Vocational Arts Teacher

Teach a wide range of students from middle school to adults; work year-round or get summers off! Average median salary is $65,000.

Bachelor’s Degree in Education

Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Education will qualify you for a wide variety of jobs and significantly increases your salary potential. Most school districts and states require a bachelor’s degree to teach core K-12 classes. School district pay scales account for formal education and years of experience. For those schools or positions that do not require a bachelor’s degree or employers that do not have a set pay scale, having a bachelor’s degree is an attribute that is easily used in salary negotiations.

If you are intending on gaining certification and state professional licensure for teaching, a Bachelor’s Degree in Education will help secure the necessary requirements. In addition, many colleges have agreements with local school districts to help transition the degree seeking student-teachers into contracted teachers upon successful completion of the degree program.

Jobs with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education

  • Teacher: Work an average of 180 days a year and have summers off! Average median salary is $65,000.
  • Adult Education Specialist: Work a flex schedule on a 10- or 12-month contract. Average median salary is $59,000.
  • Media Specialist: Work in the public or private sector; work for a school and get summers off! Average median salary is $62,000.

Master’s Degree in Education

A Master’s Degree in Education will open up a wide variety of job opportunities and offer a significant pay bump from a bachelor’s degree. Typically, those already working in the field of education choose to pursue a Master’s in Education (MEd) to secure a significant increase on the pay scale. Others pursue an MEd to explore a variety of job opportunities outside of the classroom.

MEd programs typically take 2 years. There are accelerated programs that can reasonably be completed in a year or extended programs that allow a working professional to take just a few classes at a time. Online MEd programs are extremely popular with those already working in the field of education. In fact, many school districts have higher education partners that make MEd programs more accessible to district employees. The benefits of such partnerships with higher education programs is two-fold: the degree-seeking student gains desirable skills and knowledge in their field (and a pay raise upon receipt of the master’s degree) and the district increases their number of highly qualified employees which increases student and school success rates (and funding).

Some universities offer a combination or fast-track master’s in conjunction with an undergraduate degree in education. Some master’s programs secure a teacher certification and state licensure upon completion, while other programs focus on post-secondary education and prepare for teaching at the college level.

Jobs with a Master’s Degree in Education

  • K-12 Teacher: Work an average of 180 days a year and have summers off! Average median salary is $65,000.
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Typically available at a school level for a 180-day contract and summers off or the district level for a 10-month contract. Average median salary is $69,000.
  • Postsecondary Teachers: Teach as an adjunct just a couple of classes a semester or teach full-time and start your path to tenure! Average median salary is $90,000.

If you want to go even further with your education, you can earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Education. There are a wide variety of concentrations including Educational Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, Adult Education, Special Education, and Postsecondary Education.

As with associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees there are a wide variety of doctoral programs to choose from for both online degree programs and campus-based programs.

Online vs Campus Based: Which Education Degree Is Right For You?

Campus-based degrees (also referred to as in-person schooling) require students to attend class at a physical location on a set schedule. Many campus-based classes may also have an online component offered, allowing students to lighten the load of their in-person obligations for the class. Some degree programs are also, by design, hybrid for in-person and online schooling. Hybrid programs offer the students and teachers the opportunity to significantly scale back their campus-based obligations.

Any degree that requires in-person classes is considered a campus-based degree, regardless of how many of these classes may be hybrid or offered online. Online degrees are designed to be conducted solely online, with a few exceptions for programs that have in-person requirements such as practicums, student teaching rotations, field study, etc.

Online degrees, if they are offered by a reputable school, are just as valid and valued as campus-based degrees. This is especially true when on a specific career track and the degree is in conjunction with earning a professional licensure, such as in education.

For some, the ability to earn an online degree means they will actually succeed in their post-secondary education goals. For others, an online only offering could lead to academic ruin. More often than not, an unearned online degree rests not with the potential of the student but the ability to utilize the autonomy of programs to their advantage. Conversely, a campus-based degree is rarely a good fit for those that have specific time constraints and a variety of other time sensitive obligations.

How To Determine Which Type of Degree Is The Best Fit For You

The ability to personalize one’s post-secondary education is of incalculable value so choosing the appropriate degree type, online or campus-based, is essential for success. Answer the following questions to determine which type of degree is the best fit for you!

  • Do you have a reliable computer and internet? It should come as no surprise that without these two essentials an online degree, and furthermore any distance learning class, is not a good fit. Schools and districts provide employees with all the computer and digital resources needed for their job, although personal use is discouraged and usually prohibited regardless if it is for educational advancement.
  • Do you have basic computer competency? If you do not have basic computer skills then a campus-based program, with a couple of introductory computer courses, is a great option. Most jobs in education will require some degree of computer competency so planning ahead for this is key.
  • Do you have excellent written communication skills? Online programs require consistently good written communication skills. If a student cannot effectively communicate via the written word, then online classes are not a good fit. In-person classes will also require some degree of written work, but it is not an essential aspect for success. Although excellent written communication skills are a positive attribute for many careers in education, there are very few job positions that require it with the exception of English teachers, curriculum development, and the like.
  • Do you have responsible time management? It is imperative that a student in an online program is able to autonomously and successfully complete requirements as instructed. The inability to responsibly and appropriately dedicate time and resources to online classes is a problem many students don’t foresee until it is too late. Responsible time management is also a desired quality for a career in education although it is by no means a prerequisite as some jobs are more autonomous than others.

If you answered yes to all the questions above, then an online program may be the degree you’re looking for! All of the considerations above hold equal value and the lack of any of the above attributes will lend itself to academic struggles. If an online degree isn’t a good fit, then consider a campus-based degree. In-person learning is an invaluable experience and a time proven route to success. Campus-based degrees offer many opportunities for success including traditional and hybrid programs.






Getting a Degree in Social Work

Become a Social Worker with a Degree in Social Work

Getting a degree in Social Work can be a great way to work with people and your local community. It will be a job in which you can help improve the quality of life for people and work towards system-wide changes.

Social workers can work with individuals, couples, families, and small groups. They help with different problems such as unemployment, poverty, abuse, trauma, adoption, addiction, and more. They work for non-profits, hospitals, schools, and government agencies.

There are different types of social work, direct practice, where you can work directly with people and communities, children, and families. You can also go into clinical social work, where you could diagnose and treat mental illness, substance abuse, and addiction.

You can also focus on macro social work where you don’t work directly with people but instead, with governments, and other private and public institutions to change policies and start new programs.

What Do You Need to Become A Social Worker?

There are a few different paths you can take to become a social worker. This depends on what you want to do and how long you want to go to school.

You can get your bachelor’s in social work, BSW, by going to school for 4 years.  Or you can go on to get your master’s in social work, MSW, which takes between 1-2 additional years depending on your previous degree. You can also go on to get your doctorate in social work, DSW, or your Ph.D., which takes around four years.

In addition to a degree, you will also need to have an internship and hours in the field. You will take what you learned in the classroom, and use it in real-life situations. For example, to earn your BSW, you would need 400 hours of supervised fieldwork.

Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work

In order to become a social worker, you at least need to have a bachelor’s degree. This will take you about four years, and will prepare you for entry-level, professional, and general social work. You will also gain work experience while applying classroom training to real-world settings.

When going for your bachelor’s degree in social work, you will have classes such as Introduction to Social Work, Human Behavior, Social Work Practice in Research, and Issues in Social work.

It is possible to get your bachelor’s degree online, or in person. If you go with an online program, you will still need to get your field hours in. For online programs, the University of Utah, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Wayne State University all have top-rated programs. The University of California Berkeley, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and New York University all have top-rated in-person programs.

Jobs with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work:

  • Community Outreach Workers, who work to engage and educate the community, have an average salary of $43,288, according to Glassdoor, as of June 2019
  • Probation Officers, who work with and monitor offenders to prevent them from committing new crimes, have an average salary of $36,495, according to Glassdoor, as of April 2020.
  • Eligibility Workers, who help people secure the social services they need, have an average salary of $48,732, according to Glassdoor as of March 2020.

Master’s Degree in Social Work

When it comes to getting your master’s in social work, or MSW, you do not have to have a BSW in order to go for your MSW. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree. If you do have your BSW, you can find programs to get your master’s in a year, vs the standard two.

While you can find a job with your bachelor’s of social work, having a master’s in social work will help you find a job a little easier. Many jobs require you to have an MSW. With an MSW you can work in medical, mental health, and in education. Some of the classes you might take would be on death and dying, couple and family therapy, substance abuse, or other specific topics.

You can also find an online, or in-person master’s in social work program. The University of Southern California, Columbia University in the City of New York, and the University of South Florida all have top-rated online programs. The University of California-Los Angelos, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Maryland-Baltimore all have top-rated in-person programs.

Jobs with a Master’s Degree in Social Work

  • Child Welfare Social Workers, who make sure children’s needs are taken care of, have an average salary of $54,392 according to Salary.com, as of March 2020.
  • Substance Abuse Counselors, who specialize in treating patients with a dependence on drugs or alcohol, have an average salary of $53,910, according to Salary.com, as of March 2020.
  • School Social Workers, who help students in a school setting with mental health concerns, behavioral support, and work with teachers, parents, and administrators, have an average salary of $49,450, according to Glassdoor as of April 2020.

Doctorate Degree in Social Work

If you want to go on to teach at a college or a university, you would need a doctorate in social work, DSW, or a PH.D. This will take you at least an additional four years. For a doctorate,  you would be taking courses focused more on clinical practice, clinical research, and advanced practice leadership. With a Ph.D., you would focus more on advanced research methods, theory, behavioral science, and policy and teaching.

In order to go for your doctorate degree or Ph.D., you will need to have an MSW or master’s degree in a related field. You can go in-person or online for your degree. The University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California, and the University of St. Thomas all have top-rated online programs. The University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and Washington University in St. Louis all have top-rated in-person programs.

Jobs with a Doctorate or Ph.D. in Social Work

  • College Professors, who teach at the college level, have an average salary of $68,949, according to Glassdoor, as of December 2019.
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers, who work with clients to help them deal with issues involving mental and emotional health, have an average salary of $48,732, according to Glassdoor, as of April 2020.
  • Mental Health Clinicians, who work with people or groups to help promote, mental, and emotional health, have an average salary of $48,297, according to Glassdoor as of April 2020.

Social Work Licenses

In order to practice as a social worker, you will most likely need to get your social work license. In order to get your license, you would need to take certain courses, and have a certain amount of work experience as well as take a written exam. The requirements depend on your state. You may need to keep up your license with continuing education classes over the years.

If you are a military spouse, you can receive up to $1,000 in reimbursement per move for spouses who move within the US or OCONUS to stateside due to a PCS. It is important to know that policies and reimbursement procedures can differ by branch.

Military Social Work

Since service members, veterans, and families have special needs that could require a social worker, there is a field of social work specializing in the military. These social workers work with members of the armed forces, and their families to help address and support them. If you go to get your degree in military social work, you would be trained to specifically work with military members and families. With this type of degree, you would be able to find a job on a military base, with a private practice, a veteran’s service organization, or a government-funded military agency. From USAJobs, the average salary can be from $50,000-$75,000.

Related Majors

Scholarships For Social Work

There are many scholarships for those going into social work or similar fields. Here are a couple of them:

Carl A. Scott Book Scholarship

This scholarship is established by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Directors in recognition of Carl A. Scott’s contributions to CSWE and the social work profession.

This scholarship is for two book scholarships, $500 each, for students who have demonstrated a commitment to work for equality and social justice in social work.

Verne LaMarr Lyons Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to master’s degree candidates in social work who demonstrate an interest in or who have experience with a health or mental health practice and have a commitment to working in African American communities.

$4,000 will go to the winner’s school, and $1,500 will be earmarked for each recipient for conference attendance and leadership development.

Students must be an NASW member and have applied or have been accepted into an accredited MSW program.





6 GI Bill Myths Debunked

Maximizing Your GI Bill Opportunities

Don’t miss out on maximizing your GI Bill opportunities because you believe one of these six myths.

  • GI Bill benefits are only available for colleges and universities in the United States
  • You can only use your GI Bill for a traditional college or university degree
  • It doesn’t matter what school you use your GI Bill at
  • Scholarships cannot be combined with your GI Bill
  • You’re can only be eligible for one GI Bill
  • You can’t use the GI Bill if you want to be an entrepreneur or franchise owner

GI Bill Myth #1

You can only use your GI Bill benefits for colleges and universities in the United States.

Do you dream of getting your bachelor’s in business administration in London? How about a Masters in International Security in Paris? Can you imagine a study session in the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne?


Your GI Bill can make that happen.

If you are eligible for VA benefits in the United States, you are eligible to use your GI Bill to study overseas. The process is pretty straightforward but does require some planning.

After you’ve received your Certificate of Eligibility for your VA benefits and you’ve decided where you want to go to school, just confirm the program is approved for VA benefits, get squared away with the school on acceptance, enrollment, tuition and the usual college entrance requirements.  Then settle all the travel and overseas living stuff like passports, visa and health insurance obligations.

It might take some time for the VA’s evaluation of you program. Make sure you’ve got money to cover expenses in case the VA evaluation and payment process takes longer than you expect.

GI Bill Myth #2

You can only use your GI Bill for a traditional college or university degree

Maybe the whole “hit the books” idea of a college degree sounds really boring. Does an on-the-job (OTJ) or an apprenticeship program get your hands itching to start a new career? Are you interested in becoming an EMT or aesthetician? Would an industry certificate like a CISSP get you to your next career goal.


The GI Bill can be used for a lot more than just college and university degrees

Your GI Bill can be used for an incredible range of career and professional development options. OJT and apprenticeship programs let you learn a trade or skill on the job as you actually do the job, not just read about it in a classroom. The Department of Labor has a list of hundreds of registered apprenticeships. Each state has its own agency to approve the programs – check yours.

While Active Duty folks can’t use their GI Bills for OJT and Apprenticeship programs, there are other ways both military members and veterans can use their educational benefits. For example, if you want to be an EMT or aesthetician, your GI Bill could cover the schooling for it because is it a Non-College Degree Program.

Are you feeling like you’re at dead end in your job? You can use your GI Bill to get a certification or license and get ahead in your career or branch out into different one. There are tons of licenses and certifications  out there. While your education benefits may not cover the actual training course costs of say, the CISSP or a realtor’s license, they will cover the test fees, even if you fail and have to take it again.

There are even more ways to use a GI Bill for non-traditional education paths.  For example, the Post-911 GI Bill has at least 10.

GI Bill Myth #3

It doesn’t matter what school you use your GI Bill at.

You want the school you choose to process your admissions and billing without problems, right? in addition, you probably would like a chance to hang out with students who understand how the military shaped your worldview. You don’t want to run out of money before your degree is done, either.


Not all colleges and universities are equal when it comes to serving the military and veteran community and their GI Bill needs. Just like you took time to decide on your major, give some thought to the school you trust to help you get it done.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is finding out the school you picked isn’t the right one for you. Head on over to College Recon and check on their article “The Biggest Mistake GI Bill Users Make” for some great tips on how to avoid a waste of time and VA benefits because you settled for an easy college choice and not the best college fit.

GI Bill Myth #4

You can’t combine scholarships with your GI Bill

Are you worried that your VA benefits won’t cover all your school expenses? Maybe getting to classes mean you have to pay a babysitter or your grocery bill goes up.  Maybe you just don’t want to pay anything out of pocket for your schooling.


You sure can use scholarships with your GI Bill.

Okay, yes, it’s complicated. There are two things to know. First, it depends on what GI Bill you are using, and second, what type of scholarship you are talking about. When looking into scholarships, make sure you understand how they pay out. If you use the wrong type, you can waste your VA tuition benefit and lose a lot of money you could’ve had for non-tuition expenses. Different GI Bills have different rules for how they work with scholarships. You have to know the scholarship rules for the one you are going to be using. Check with your VA benefits advisor for more information.

Don’t forget, the VA has some other programs that can combine with your GI Bill to help with your college expenses. The Yellow Ribbon Program helps with tuition costs that your Post – 911 GI Bill doesn’t cover. The Tuition Assistance Top-Up  can also help with tuition costs for both Post – 911 and Montgomery GI Bill. The $600 Montgomery GI Bill Buy-Up program can help increase your monthly benefit it you are using the Montgomery GI Bill for your schooling.

GI Bill Myth #5

You can only use one GI Bill

Ok, so you have the Post-911 GI Bill. And, you also have the Montgomery GI Bill. Wondering if you can use them both?


The VA permits you to use more than one GI Bill.

According to the VA, you can be eligible for more than one GI Bill, but you can only use them one at a time. If you combine them carefully, you can extend your benefit period to 48 months, instead of the 36 that you get individually. You’ll want to check with your benefits advisor to get the right combo for your school goals.

GI Bill Myth #6

You can’t use your GI Bill if you want to be an entrepreneur or franchise owner

You’re ready to take on the challenge of starting your own business and don’t want to waste time with a degree. Confident you’ll learn everything you’ll need to know about running a business from the franchisee handbook? Maybe you just want to pick up a few tips and skills to make your business better.


The VA lets you use your GI Bill for Entrepreneurship Training.

If you have a GI Bill, and are interested in opening a business or already have one, the VA wants to support you. You can use your GI Bill and get reimbursed for classes you take through your local Small Business Development Center. According to the VA, you can use your benefits more than once to take approved entrepreneurship classes. You can find out more about what’s available by checking out the Small Business Development Center online or at an office near you.

Now What?

We’ve debunked 6 myths about what you can and can’t do with a GI Bill. Hopefully you’re inspired by all the options you have with yours. Check out College Recon for tons of articles to help you maximize your education and career opportunities now that you have the facts.




Explore a Career Where You Can Be a HERO

Post-Military Career Opportunity: Be a HERO

Aptly named, The Human Exploitation Rescue Operative (HERO) Child-Rescue Corps is a program designed to give veterans a second career as a hero.

HERO specifically aims to, “recruit and train wounded, ill, or injured active-duty service members, transitioning active-duty service members, and military veterans for employment to support law enforcement” in the fight against child-exploitation.

HERO Is a Joint Venture Between Several Government Agencies

HERO is a joint venture created by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE)  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and the non-profit National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT).

Combination of High Tech and Law Enforcement Skills

HERO is a career that combines high-tech computer forensics and law enforcement skills to work in conjunction with federal agents in the fight against online child exploitation.

Undoubtedly, boot camp was physically more difficult. However, the mental and emotional aspects of this job require a distinctive kind of strength.

This career is not for the faint of heart; veterans are in a unique position with their prior work experience to excel in combating the evil that preys upon and exploits innocent victims.

Training For a Second Career as a Hero

HERO has an initial three-month training in computer forensics and law enforcement support. This includes 3 weeks of training in child exploitation with The National Association to Protect Children and 9 weeks of intensive computer forensics training. Upon completion of the initial three-month training, HEROs will transition to ICE field offices across the nation to begin hands-on training experience.

Each HERO will be placed in a field office for 9 months in a paid law enforcement internship. During the internship HEROs earn practical experience serving as computer forensic analysts (CFAs) and assisting special agents with criminal cases and prosecutions.

While the focus of the internship is primarily on becoming a highly skilled CFA, there is also great emphasis on supporting case investigators where HERO’s knowledge and skills are crucial.

HERO duties include:

  • Forensic analysis
  • Assisting to identify high-value targets
  • Locating child victims
  • Crime scene investigations
  • Preparing for prosecutions

There is no need to have a strong background in computers and technology to enter the HERO training program. However, applicants should have an interest in and aptitude for this field of study. While training as a CFA, HEROs will learn computer forensic techniques such as: searching for evidence using hard drives and software,  searching for embedded images and information, accessing and analyzing random access memory on a live system to search for evidence, and conducting analysis of internet artifacts. HERO participants will be given the knowledge and training needed to obtain a CompTIA A+ certification, which is a necessary component to demonstrate computer competency and advance in the HEROs training program.

Upon successful completion of the program (3 months of initial training, CompTIA A+ certification, and 9 months of paid internship) participants will have the knowledge, skills, and experience to successfully pursue careers with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies as well as jobs in the public and private sectors. While there is no guarantee of employment after completing the program, HERO Corps undoubtedly serves as a gateway to a wide variety of careers including law enforcement, child protection, victim advocacy, and computer forensics. The entire first graduating HERO class of 2013 was offered employment by HSI. Since that first class, additional classes have been held each year with the most recent 10th class graduating in September 2019.

Unfortunately, innocent children are victimized every day. The arrest of child predators and the rescue of their victims will not negate the damage that has been done but is an impressive attempt to help balance the scales. Since 2003, ICE reports that HSI has initiated more than 40,000 cases globally, recued more than 5,000 child victims, and arrested more than 15,000 child predators. On average, HSI arrests seven child predators and processes 17 terabytes of data every day. Not all superheroes wear capes!

You can find more info here.


Veteran Careers with the U.S. Marshals Service

U.S. Marshals Careers for Veterans

The U.S. Marshals Service has served the nation since 1789, making the USMS the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the U.S. Much of their work goes unseen by the general public.  The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) is the enforcement arm of the federal court system. Deputies participate in nearly every federal law enforcement activity. U.S. Marshals have jurisdiction in 94 federal judicial districts.

Special Hiring Rules for Veterans

Many of the educational and experience requirements may be waived for military veteran candidates. In addition, as a veteran, you are given priority for many federal jobs, especially in the case of federal law enforcement given that your training, experience and learned skills translate well into the law enforcement field.

If you are eligible, you can also apply for Veterans’ Preference Points. To learn more about Veterans’ Preference, click here.

U.S. Marshal Service Career Paths

Like many of the federal law enforcement agencies you have several career paths to choose from, from direct law enforcement roles to behind scenes careers in logistics and administration. The U.S. Marshal Service offers three main paths: Deputy Marshals, Detention and Aviation Enforcement, and Administration. For the sake of this article we will focus on the U.S. Marshal career opportunities.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Duties

Deputy Marshals serve in several specialized roles including Judicial Security, Prisoner Services, Special Missions and Programs. Asset Forfeiture, and Witness Security (WitSec).

Judicial Security – Protecting federal judicial officials (judges, attorneys and jurors) is a foundational mission for the U.S. Marshals.

Transporting Prisoners/JPATS – Marshals and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement operate the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS).

Fugitive Operations – Marshals are the government’s primary team for pursuing fugitive. In 2014, the U.S. Marshals arrested more than 33,500 federal fugitive felons, clearing 36,700 felony warrants – more than all other law enforcement agencies combined.

Foreign Fugitives – The U.S. Marshals is the premier agency for capturing foreign fugitives believed to be in the United States, and it is the agency responsible for locating and extraditing American fugitives, who flee to foreign countries. In 2014, the U.S. Marshals Service coordinated 883 extraditions/deportations.

The USMS also works with the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service and hold key positions at Interpol.

Prisoner Operations – The USMS detains prisoners in federal, state, local and private jails throughout the nation.

Special Operations Group  – The USMS  Special Operations Group is a specially trained, tactical unit made up of Deputy Marshals, who can respond immediately to incidents anywhere in the United States or its common wealths and territories.

Asset Forfeiture – The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for managing and disposing of seized properties acquired by criminals through illegal activities. Marshals currently manages and disposes of nearly $2.2 billion in property.

Witness Security (WitSec) – The U.S. Marshals ensure the safety of witnesses, who are at risk for testifying for the government in cases involving organized crime and other significant criminal activities. The Marshals have protected, relocated and given new identities to more than 8,500 witnesses and more than 9,900 of their family members, since 1971.

Visit the U.S. Marshals Service website for specific eligibility and  fitness requirements.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Hiring Programs

Hiring Opportunities – If you would like to pursue a career with the USMS, please visit USAJOBS.

Applications for Deputy U.S. Marshal Positions are ONLY accepted through the USAJOBS site during posted announcement open periods.

If you have career or employment questions, please call (703) 740-4001 or send an email to: usms.recruitment@usdoj.gov.

All applications must be submitted through USAJOBS





Operation Warfighter – Homeland Security Internship

Operation Warfighter (OWF)

Operation Warfighter (OWF) is a short-term internship program developed by the Department of Defense for service members that are recuperating at military treatment facilities throughout the United States.

Like the FBI’s Wounded Warrior Internship, Operation Warfighter provides recovering service members a transition assistance program outside of the hospital.

Operation Warfighter is an opportunity for those on medical hold to build out their resumes, explore career interests, develop job skills, and get invaluable government work experience that can help them adjust to the civilian workforce.

To be eligible you must be on active duty in the military (including the National Guard and Reserves) and be a U.S. citizen. In addition, you must also fulfill the appropriate security clearance requirements.

How Operation Warfighter Works

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) career opportunities include administration, security, operations, and human resources. If you are accepted, you will be assigned a supervisor, and a mentor based on your skills, expertise, and interests.

Your mentor will assist you with the in-processing process and throughout your assignment. Your mentor’s job is to help you integrate into your specific department, provide guidance on how to perform your specific work duties, and answer your questions.

OWF Duty Schedules and Assignment Length

Duty schedules for Operation Warfighter interns are based on your medical treatment schedule. You will work half-time (about 20 hours per week), depending on your availability. The DoD will provide transportation to and from your temporary assignment site.

The average length of an assignment is 3-5 months. You may be given training to enhance your existing skills and/or learn new skills. The length of your assignment is also determined by your medical status.

Operation Warfighter Salary

Since the service members are still receiving their military salaries, they are not compensated by the Department and there is no cost to the Department for bringing a Warfighter onboard.

Future Employment Opportunities with DHS

Service members released from medical hold are considered potential candidates for full-time employment with DHS. However, there is no guarantee of full-time employment.

Applying for the Operation Warfighter Program

To apply for an internship through the Operation Warfighter Initiative, please submit your resume and a brief description of the type of temporary assignment you are seeking to owf@hq.dhs.gov.

If you have any questions about the Operation Warfighter Initiative, please contact the DoD’s OWF Program Manager at 202-357-1268 or by email at warriorcare@osd.mil.





Federal Law Enforcement Jobs at the Department of Justice

Federal Law Enforcement Jobs at the Justice Department

Given that leadership, integrity, teamwork, and dedication are all traits shared by military personnel; it seems a no-brainer that law enforcement is one of the most common civilian career paths taken by former military service members.

Depending on your branch of service, you likely already have many of the basic skills needed in law enforcement such as weapons handling, crowd management, risk assessment, and the use-of-force or rules of engagement. But those skills are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Federal law enforcement.

Why Federal Law Enforcement?

Nearly every agency and department within the Federal Government actively seek to hire Veterans for law enforcement roles. This is especially true of the Department of Justice law enforcement agencies like the FBI, U.S. Marshals, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BoP).

Special Hiring Rules for Veterans

Many of the educational and experience requirements may be waived for military veteran candidates. In addition, as a veteran, you are given priority for many federal jobs, especially in the case of federal law enforcement given that your training, experience and learned skills translate well into the law enforcement field.

If you are eligible, you can also apply for Veterans’ Preference Points. To learn more about Veterans’ Preference, click here.

Visit FedsHireVets.gov for more information on benefits for veterans and service members.

FBI Career Opportunities

The FBI’s priority is to investigate a wide range of crimes like terrorism, espionage, cybercrimes, corruption, organized crime, street gangs, child predators, and serial killers.

As a veteran you may apply for any of the jobs at the FBI, from Special Agent to any of the professional positions, like forensics, accounting, information technology/cybersecurity, surveillance, intelligence analysis, and more. There are two main career paths within the FBI. The best known is Operations & Intelligence, which is most often seen in movies and TV shows. See details on these FBI career opportunities.

U.S. Marshal Career Opportunities

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) was founded in 1789 making it the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the U.S.. The USMS work often goes unseen by the general public, except in films and TV. The Marshals main role is centered on supporting the federal justice system.

The USMS central role is as the enforcement arm of the federal courts. U.S. Marshals serve in 94 federal judicial districts. Deputy Marshals and Criminal Investigators are the foundation of the USMS; their roles include capturing federal fugitives, securing the federal court system, operating the Witness Security Program (WitSec), and transporting prisoners. See details on these career opportunities.

Federal Bureau of Prisons Career Opportunities

The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BoP) mission is to protect our communities by operating our federal prisons and ensuring the prisons are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure.

There are four main career areas within the Federal Bureau of Prisons – Inmate Custody & Programs, Health Services, Careers in Operational, Careers in Support & Administration. This means that as a veteran you can choose from several career paths, including several that do not deal directly with inmates. See details on these career opportunities.

If you are interested in finding a Federal job in law enforcement, you can start at the Dept. of Justice Veteran Recruitment website.






Wounded Warriors Internship Opportunities with the FBI

Source: The following content was provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation

The FBI’s Wounded Warriors Internship Program enables the FBI to support veterans during their medical recovery, and provide career development opportunities for active duty service members recovering from a medical procedure.

The FBI’s Wounded Warrior Internship Program

The Wounded Warrior Internship Program offers wounded warriors a path for transitioning back to the military or civilian workforce through rewarding assignments and career-driven experiences.

The program gives wounded warriors the opportunity to:

  • Build or update their resume
  • Explore career paths and employment interests
  • Develop valuable job skills
  • Gain federal government work experience prior to their transition back into the civilian workforce

The WWIP is like a working interview and a chance to evaluate candidates for possible permanent positions with the FBI. Internship opportunities are available at both FBI headquarters and field offices.

The Wounded Warriors Internship Program is available throughout the FBI. To qualify you must:

  • Be an active-duty service member recovering from a medical procedure and be authorized by the Department of Defense (DoD) to participate in the Wounded Warrior Internship Program.
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, have been favorably adjudicated in a single-scope Top Secret background investigation, or have the ability to secure such adjudication.

All Wounded Warriors are expected to meet the FBI’s basic requirements. If any of theses factors apply to you, you are not eligible:

  • Conviction of a felony (Special Agent candidates only: conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor or more serious offense)
  • Violation of the FBI Employment Drug Policy (please see below for additional details).
  • Default on a student loan insured by the U.S. Government
  • Failure of an FBI-administered urinalysis drug test.
  • Failure to register with the Selective Service System (for males only, exceptions apply – please click here to find out more).
  • Knowingly or willfully engaged in acts or activities designed to overthrow the U.S. government by force.
  • Failure to pay court ordered child support.
  • Failure to file federal, state, or local income tax returns.

Please note that if you are disqualified by any of the above tests, you are not eligible for employment with the FBI. Please make sure you can meet FBI employment requirements and pass all disqualifiers before you apply for an FBI position.

Participants in the Wounded Warriors Internship program may also be eligible for full-time employment after the internship. Applicants are considered based on their skills, abilities, and needs of the FBI.

To apply, please contact your regional Operation War Fighter Coordinator.


VET TEC Possible Program Expansion

Technology is something we cannot live without in today’s society. We are dazzled, delighted, and inundated by it, and it reaches into nearly every aspect of our lives. These days, most kids seem to have IT skills innately woven into their DNA. I watch in awe as my children program on Minecraft, create their own apps, and build mini robots using Legos.

If you’re like me, you love to learn about and assimilate new technologies. Many in the military community, in addition to management and leadership experience, have a vast number of marketable skills, some of which may or may not be in technology. If you find yourself lacking in the technology field, these VA-approved training providers can help. 

VET TEC Program Possible Expansion

On February 5th, 2020, House Resolution (H.R.) 5766, also known as the VET TEC Expansion Act, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Kevin McCarthy [R-CA-23] and co-sponsored by Representative Ro Khanna [D-CA-17]. It was referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs the same day it was introduced. On February 7th, 2020, it was referred to the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

>> VET TEC Program Update

The popularity of the VET TEC program is evident. In a recent statement, the VA announced that the funds for the program have been exhausted and further funding has been suspended until October 1, 2020.  

You can read more about these changes here.

CollegeRecon will, of course, keep you updated as to any changes with this program.

Proposed Changes to the Program

There are three major changes to the program proposed in this legislation: 

1. Authorize Current Service Members

The first would authorize current service members to participate in the VET TEC program “if the VA determines that they will become eligible veterans within 180 days.”

Currently, only veterans are eligible for the program, while service members have to wait until they are transitioned out before taking advantage of the training.

This bill would allow those service members who are less than 180 days out from separation to get some high-speed technology training on their way out the door.

I took 93 days of terminal leave when I retired, and a program in VET TEC would have been possible for me during that time.

2. Allow Part-Time and Shorter Duration Programs

The second change would allow for program offerings that are part-time and less than six months in duration.  As of now, the requirement is for full-time programs, and student veterans must maintain full-time attendance or they could be dropped from the program. This is beneficial for a guy like me who stays home with six kids while my wife works, allowing me to still take the training on a more manageable part-time schedule.

3. Authorize Newer Training Providers

Finally, one of the more interesting changes would be to authorize training providers who have been in business for less than two years to participate in the VET TEC program.

Currently, there are many restrictions and regulations placed upon the training providers, as laid out in the May 2019 VET TEC Certifying Official Handbook. Each training provider must not only be approved to participate, but they must also undergo annual re-approvals. They must have been in operation for at least two years and they cannot be an institution of higher learning, like a college or university.

Removal of 2-Year Requirement May Be Mixed Bag

The elimination of the operational requirement is intriguing. While no information is given as to why such a restriction was added, its removal by H.R. 5766 could mean a number of things.

More Veterans Participating In Program

For one, it could mean that there are more veterans taking part in the program. The elimination of the two-year restriction could prove beneficial for veterans.  This would mean more training providers would allow for more veterans to obtain marketable skills that are in high demand.

Reduction in Quality Control Measures

The increase, though, may be more than the current training providers can service. In this case the restrictions were emplaced as a quality control measure.  This would help ensure that students are given the highest quality technology training.  By removing that restriction it may open the door for veterans entering the workplace with below-average training from substandard providers.

VET TEC Program Still May Prove Worthwhile

We have some time before the H.R. 5766 could be implemented, which means these changes will not happen right away. However, even with the program as it is, there is amazing training that can open a door to a very lucrative career.

As an example, the 2018 median pay for a computer programmer was $84.280 annually. That’s over $40 an hour!

Network and computer systems administrators averaged $82,050 in 2018.  In addition, employment within that field is expected to grow 5% through 2028.

To top it all off, an information security analyst was paid $98,350 in 2018.  This is almost double my active pay before I retired!

The best part is, the job outlook for this field is expected to grow by 32% through 2028, which means there are jobs aplenty, so go snag yourself one. A few months of VET TEC training could land you a pretty sweet job.

What is the VET TEC Program?

The Basics

VET TEC was started in 2018.  Within the program veterans can receive short-term training from VA-approved vendors in computer skills ranging from:

  • Information Science
  • Computer Programming
  • Data Processing
  • Media Applications
  • Computer Software

These programs are designed to focus on the functional areas of IT.  This differs from degrees from 2 and 4 year colleges which combine that functional knowledge with general academic subjects. The VET TEC program does not apply to those institutions of higher education.

RELATED: VET TEC Program Overview

VET TEC Eligibility

Any veteran who is eligible for either the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) or the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) can participate in VET TEC.

In most cases, a veteran will receive a housing allowance or stipend during their time in the program.

According to the VET TEC Buffalo office, the Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VRE) Chapter 31 benefit does not apply to the VET TEC program.

I came across VET TEC in early 2019, shortly after finishing my bachelor’s degree.  I applied to and was accepted into the VET TEC program.  However, I have not yet completed one of the programs. 

In the GI Bill universe, the VA will only authorize payment for one program at a time. I plan to enroll in Code Platoon’s program once my current degree is finished this summer!

Online VET TEC Training Programs

They have over 60 training programs from 20 training providers. There are only two that offer online training, and they are Sabio Enterprises, Inc., offering a 530 clock-hour program in Full Stack Web Development; and Code Platoon, which hosts a 560 clock-hour offering in Computer Programming Web Development.

They are constantly updating the list of approved training providers, so check back often if you don’t find one that interests you. Also, keep in mind that the program is only set to run through 2023, unless Congress changes something.

Other Vendors Program Examples

New Horizons
Galvanize Inc.

Offers courses in Data Science, Hack Reactor Software Engineering, and Full-Stack Software Development.

Lab Four

Offers in-person courses in CompTIA’s A+, Network+, Security+, and Linux+. They also offer courses in:

  • Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
Divergence Academy

Only offers one course called Cybersecurity Professional Penetration Tester.  This course sounds pretty cool when paired up with the ethical hacking class.

These are just a few examples of vendors and their courses that can help you break into the IT field.  These represent entry-level jobs as IT technicians, programmers, or cyber security professionals.

(Photo by Shamseer Sureash Kumar from FreeImages.com)



Veteran Job Opportunities with the U.S. Secret Service

Veteran’s Guide to Joining the U.S. Secret Service

The Secret Service is committed to employing Veterans like you because the agency’s five core values: justice, duty, courage, honesty, and loyalty align perfectly with the core values shared by every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Secret Service knows that leadership is instilled in Veterans, like you, as well as loyalty, dependability, enthusiasm, initiative, integrity, and judgment. These are the exact characteristics the Secret Service looks for in a qualified candidate.

As a Veteran you also have a leg up on the competition due to the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, you must be honorably separated and either 1).  preference point eligible or 2). have substantially completed three or more years of active service. For additional information visit www.fedshirevets.gov. Veterans with specific questions regarding Secret Service employment opportunities, may email the U.S. Secret Service directly.

Secret Service Careers

Like all federal agencies, the Secret Service has both operational law enforcement and administrative career opportunities. The U.S. Secret Service breaks these careers down to three types: Special Agents, the Uniformed Division (Officers), and the Administration, Professional, and Technical (APT).

Secret Service Special Agents

The job of special agent offers you a challenging and fulfilling career in one of their two integrated missions – investigation and protection. While the executive protection mission is known worldwide, the U.S. Secret Service’s investigative mission continues to grow due to developments in technology.

The Investigative Mission: Today the agency’s investigative mission has evolved from enforcing counterfeiting laws to safeguarding the payment and financial systems of the United States from a wide range of financial and computer-based crimes. In the field of protection Secret Service special agents develop and implement innovative strategies to mitigate threats to our nation’s leaders.

The U.S. Secret Service has a pivotal role in securing the nation’s critical infrastructures, specifically in the areas of cyber, banking and finance. In response to the globalization of technology- based threats, the U.S. Secret Service’s investigative mission abroad is growing as well, creating the need for a heightened overseas liaison presence.

The Protective Mission: The Secret Service is recognized for the physical protection it provides to the nation’s highest elected leaders, visiting foreign dignitaries, facilities and major events. In order to ensure a secure environment for protectees, the Secret Service integrates a variety of innovative technologies and maintains a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Much of the Protective Service mission engages both Special Agents and Uniformed Officers.

A typical special agent career path, depending upon performance and promotions that affect individual assignments, begins with the first six to eight years on the job assigned to a field office. Newly-appointed agents may be assigned to field offices anywhere in the United States. After their field experience, agents are usually transferred to a protective assignment where they will stay for three to five years.

The special agent position starts at a salary of $49,016 (GL-7, step 1), with promotion potential to $144,676 (GS-13, step 10).

Special Agent Entry Level Education Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with superior academic achievement (based on class standing, grade-point average, or honor society membership).   For more information please click here.
  • At least one full year of graduate level education (i.e. 18 semester hours).
  • At least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-5 level.

Secret Service Special Agent Recruit Eligibility/Qualifications

To be considered for Special Agent positions you must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be at least 21 years of age at time of application and younger than 37 at the time of receipt of a conditional offer of employment to continue in the application process. Applicants with veterans’ preference must be at least 21 years of age and younger than 40 at the time of receipt of a conditional offer of employment to continue in the application process.
  • Possess a current valid driver’s license.
  • Qualify for the GL-07 level or the GL-09 level
  • Have uncorrected vision no worse than 20/100 binocular; correctable to 20/20.
  • Be in excellent health and physical condition
  • Pass a written examination
  • Pass an Applicant Physical Abilities Test
  • Qualify for a Top Secret clearance and undergo a complete background investigation, to include in-depth interviews, drug screening, medical and polygraph examinations
  • Certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so, if you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959
  • The Secret Service prohibits employees from having visible body markings (including but not limited to tattoos, body art, and branding) on the head, face, neck, hand and fingers (any area below the wrist bone).

Special Agent Pay and Benefits

In addition to federal employee benefits, special agent benefits also include:

  • Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) that provides an opportunity for special agents to receive up to an additional 25 percent of their annual base pay
  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Individual or family membership in low-cost federal health benefit plans
  • Annual leave earned at the rate of 13 to 26 days per year, based on length of employment (prior federal civilian or military service is credited, as authorized)
  • Sick leave accumulated at the rate of 13 days per year without limit
  • Paid holidays
  • Comprehensive retirement benefits (retirement credit is granted for prior federal military or government service, as authorized)
  • Eligibility for participation in Flexible Spending Account Program (a tax-favored program offered to employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars)

Uniformed Division (Officers)

The Uniformed Division’s mission is to protect facilities and venues secured for U.S. Secret Service protectees. Throughout its history, the Uniformed Division has accomplished this mission through a tradition of honor, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. The Officer position starts at a salary of $63,970 in the Office of Protective Operations, Uniformed Division.

Secret Service Uniformed Division officers may be selected to participate in one of several specialized units, including the:

  • Canine Unit: Performing security sweeps and responding to bomb threats and suspicious packages.
  • Emergency Response Team: Providing a coordinated tactical response for the White House and other protected facilities.
  • Countersniper Team: Utilizing observation, sighting equipment and high-performance weapons to provide a secure environment for protectees.
  • Motorcade Support Unit: Providing motorcycle tactical support for official movements of motorcades.
  • Crime Scene Search Unit: Photographing, collecting and processing physical and latent evidence.
  • Office of Training: Serving as firearms and classroom instructors or recruiters.
  • Special Operations Section: Handling special duties and functions at the White House Complex, including conducting the daily congressional and public tours of the White House.

Uniformed Division Officer Eligibility

To be considered for Uniformed Division officer positions you must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be at least 20 years of age at time of application and younger than 37 at the time of receipt of a conditional offer of employment to continue in the application process. Applicants with veterans’ preference must be at least 20 years of age at time of application and younger than 40 at the time of receipt of a conditional offer of employment to continue in the application process.
  • Have uncorrected vision no worse than 20/100 binocular; correctable to 20/20 in each eye (NOTE: Lasik, ALK, RK and PRK corrective eye surgeries are acceptable eyes surgeries for applicants provided specific visual tests are passed. The following are the waiting periods before visual tests are conducted after the surgery: Lasik surgery–three months; PRK–six months; and ALK and RK–one year.) Applicants must meet the vision requirement at the time of application.
  • Be in excellent health and physical condition.
  • Complete an Applicant Physical Abilities Test.
  • Complete interviews and pass a written test.
  • Qualify for a Top Secret clearance and undergo a complete background investigation, to include driving record check, drug screening, medical and polygraph examinations
  • Certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so, if you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959
  • The Secret Service prohibits employees from having visible body markings (including but not limited to tattoos, body art, and branding) on the head, face, neck, hand and fingers (any area below the wrist bone).

Uniformed Division Officer Benefits

In addition to federal employee benefits, Uniformed Division officer benefits also include:

  • Competitive starting salary
  • Overtime compensation at the rate of time and one-half, or through compensatory time off
  • Uniforms and equipment furnished at no cost
  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Individual or family membership in low-cost federal health benefit plans
  • Annual leave earned at the rate of 13 to 26 days per year, based on length of employment (prior federal civilian or military service is credited, as authorized)
  • Sick leave accumulated at the rate of 13 days per year without limit
  • Paid holidays
  • Reasonable moving expenses paid for out-of-area hires
  • Comprehensive retirement benefits (retirement credit is granted for prior federal military or government service, as authorized)
  • Eligibility for participation in Flexible Spending Account Program (a tax-favored program offered to employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars)

For more information on the Secret Service Uniformed Division click here.

Administrative, Professional and Technical (APT)

If dedicated., mission driven and committed to excellence describe you, you should take a closer look at the APT job opportunities being offered at the United States Secret Service. The agency is seeking talented, diverse individuals from all segments of the American society to serve in the Secret Service. APT employees play a critical role in ensuring the overall success of our protective and investigative missions.

Here is a sampling of the APT jobs:

Administration, Professional, and Technical Eligibility

To be considered for administrative, professional and technical positions you must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Pass a drug test (urinalysis)
  • Certify you have registered with the Selective Service System if you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, or certify you are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law
  • Qualify for a Top Secret clearance and undergo a complete background investigation. Some positions require successful completion of a polygraph and/or medical examination.
  • The Secret Service prohibits employees from having visible body markings (including but not limited to tattoos, body art, and branding) on the head, face, neck, hand and fingers (any area below the wrist bone). If you have visible body markings, you will be required to medically remove such visible body markings at your own expense prior to entering on duty with the Secret Service.

Administration, Professional, and Technical Benefits

In addition to federal employee benefits, administrative, professional and technical position benefits also include:

  • Competitive starting salary
  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Individual or family membership in low-cost federal health benefit plans
  • Annual leave earned at the rate of 13 to 26 days per year, based on length of employment (prior federal civilian or military service is credited, as authorized)
  • Sick leave accumulated at the rate of 13 days per year without limit
  • Paid holidays
  • Comprehensive retirement benefits (retirement credit is granted for prior federal military or government service, as authorized)
  • Eligibility for participation in Flexible Spending Account Program (a tax-favored program offered to employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars)

Join the U.S. Secret Service

If you think you think you have the sense of justice, duty, courage, honesty, and loyalty it takes to join the U.S. Secret Service, then you should visit the Secret Service website to start the application process and check out the current openings for Special Agents Uniformed Officers, and Administrative, Professional and Technical positions.





FBI Law Enforcement Careers for Veterans

Careers for Veterans at the FBI in Law Enforcement

Like all Federal Agencies, the FBI values your military service and offers many opportunities for you to continue to serve the nation. But, unlike some federal agencies, the FBI actively recruits military and veteran candidates like you to apply for any of the positions that may interest you.

FBI Special Veterans Hiring Programs

If you are eligible, you can apply for Veterans’ Preference Points. To learn more about Veterans’ Preference, click here. The FBI also has a specific program for Wounded Warriors, also known as Operation War Fighter. Click here for more information about the FBI’s Wounded Warrior Internship program.

More information on benefits for veterans and servicemen and women is available on the FBI’s Benefits page, as well as on FedsHireVets.gov.

College Recon help you find the college or university that offers the degrees need to be successful in Law Enforcement. Click here to learn more.

FBI Career Paths for Veterans

As a veteran you may apply for any of the jobs at the FBI, from Special Agent to any of the professional positions, like forensics, accounting, information technology/cybersecurity, surveillance, intelligence analysis, and more. There are two main career paths within the FBI. The best known is Operations & Intelligence, which is most often seen in movies and TV shows.

FBI Operations and Intelligence

The FBI career opportunities in Operations and Intelligence include Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, Forensic Accountants, and Surveillance Specialists.

Special Agents

The mission of the FBI is to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States. Special Agents are responsible for enforcing more than 300 federal statutes, in addition to investigating criminal activities.

FBI Special Agents possess a broad range of education, experiences and skills. Special Agents often come from a unexpected professional backgrounds outside of law enforcement, including education, science, business and technology.

Intelligence Analysts

FBI Analysts scrutinize data and intel, make judgments and recommendations to help determine if action is needed to mitigate all threats. Having the right information and guidance is critical to protecting the United States. Intelligence Analysts’ recommendations and strategies help identify and combat threats, while working with state, local and federal partners and other members of the Intelligence Community to help diminish risks before they happen.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic Accountants tackle complicated challenges with every assignment. They work with Special Agents to keep our country safe by tracking and linking funding sources to criminal activity.

Surveillance Specialist

Surveillance Specialists keep the nation safe and take on both domestic and international threats, the FBI relies on a constant stream of intelligence gathered by a team of surveillance professionals.

Professionals doing surveillance work alongside case agents to discreetly gather intelligence in support of ongoing counterterrorism, foreign counterintelligence and criminal investigations.

FBI Opportunities in Specialized Careers

The second career path focus is on Specialized Careers that directly support the FBI’s efforts to protect the American people and the Constitution. Professional career path is less known, but these professional teams are also an important part of keeping our communities and our nation safe. FBI Professional teams include, Business Administration, Accounting and Finance, Facilities and Logistics, Legal, and Federal Security/Policing. For the sake of this article we will focus on the law enforcement related specialties.

Federal Security and Policing

Security personnel play a huge role in the FBI’s mission. There are several opportunities for security professionals including Physical Security Specialist, FBI Police Officers, Industrial Security Specialists, Personnel Security Specialists, which described below.

  • Physical Security Specialist is one of the first lines of defense against domestic and international threats. They are most often responsible for facility security and managing guest check in and staff access.
  • FBI Police Officers keep the FBI and surrounding areas secure. If you are selected for the FBI police force you will be required to complete the FBI’s 12-week, Uniformed Police Officer Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, GA. Cadets will then get an additional four weeks of specialized instruction at the FBI Academy and five weeks of on-the-job training at their new permanent duty station.  For more information about the FBI Police Officer position, please download the Police Officer Selection System Candidate Information Packet.
  • Security Specialists provide direct support and service to the administration of the FBI Personnel Security Program by conducting complex security assessment investigations and rendering appropriate adjudications.
  • Industrial Security Specialists safeguard FBI operations through the proactive identification, assessment, and mitigation of risks associated with the procurement of critical assets and classified contracts.
  • Personnel Security Specialists are responsible for managing background investigations of FBI employment candidates and employees. They give direct assistance to the background investigation procedures.

Entry-level applicants should apply to this position via the FBI’s Collegiate Hiring Initiative.

Eligibility for Joining the FBI

All FBI applicants must meet the FBI’s Employment Eligibility requirements. Below are specific non-starters that will get you instantly disqualified. These include:

  • Non-U.S. citizenship
  • Conviction of a felony (Special Agent candidates only: conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor or more serious offense)
  • Violation of the FBI Employment Drug Policy (please see below for additional details)
  • Default on a student loan insured by the U.S. Government
  • Failure of an FBI-administered urinalysis drug test
  • Failure to register with the Selective Service System (for males only, exceptions apply – please click here to find out more)
  • Knowingly or willfully engaged in acts or activities designed to overthrow the U.S. government by force
  • Failure to pay court ordered child support
  • Failure to file federal, state, or local income tax returns

If you are disqualified by any of the above criteria, you are not able to serve in the FBI at any level. Be sure you can meet FBI employment requirements and pass all disqualifiers before you apply.





Could a Role as an Account Executive Be the Perfect Career for You?

Sales Account Executive: Why This Could Be Your Dream Job

Wait, before you click away, hear me out. I realize that the thought of being a an Account Executive (a.k.a Sales Representative) may not align with what you thought of as your post-military “dream” career. But keep in mind that what you may think about sales, really comes down to how you think about sales. Let me explain…

Let’s start by asking, what do you want from your post-military career? Are you hoping for a career analyzing situations and helping people solve problems, that pays a good salary with a great opportunity to move up the ranks? If you said yes, then we may be on to something.

How you think about sales

Many people think an Account Executive’s job is to simply sell products, in fact your perception of sales may be tainted by your past experiences with pushy sales representatives and used car salesmen.

But, the AE’s role is much more about helping clients find solutions that can make their companies more profitable, their employees more productive, their processes more efficient, or their personal lives more convenient, meaningful, stress-free, or enjoyable.

Personally, I think Account Executives should be known as Solution Consultants. When you see the AE role as an opportunity to come along side and help others solve problems, the job stops being about about selling products and more about helping customers discover the solutions your company’s products can offer.

Consider the salary

As for salary, Glassdoor reports that the average salary for an AE is about $63,000 per year, with additional cash compensation (commissions) of $31,000.

That is just the median salary; Account Executive salaries can go well into the six-figure range. For example, an AE working at a large software company can make upwards of $350,000 a year, while an AE working at a smaller manufacturing firm may make somewhere in the range of $80,000 a year.

You already have what it takes

As a veteran, you have already demonstrated an ability to problem solve and work with others to ensure the success of your unit and/or completion of a mission. If you are like many veterans you may have given some thought to the idea of going into consulting – analyzing, problem solving, helping others, and sharing your insight and expertise.

An AE needs the following fundamental skills and characteristics to be successful:

  • Communication Skills
  • Organization Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Negotiating
  • Determination
  • Focused on Goals

Sales or Solutions? You choose

The reality is that no business can survive without committed, knowledgeable, ethical, and hard-working Account Executives (Solutions Consultants). Just like no company can survive without someone to help them determine which products will help their company be competitive and efficient.

Don’t let your bias about sales keep you from a career in problem solving, helping others, sharing your insight and expertise.

In the end, being an Account Executive is all what you make of it. You can approach it from the old-school salesperson point of view, or you can take on the solutions consultant approach and become a vital part of your client’s and your company’s success.





How to Find a Job as a Veteran

Whether you served for four years or twenty-four years, transitioning from the military to the civilian world is often an exciting yet stressful time. Many service members approach the end of their contract or retirement with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and excitement.

“What Next?”

Then, the big question: “What next”? This question and the series of questions that may follow often bring up feelings of apprehension, anxiety, or even fear of the unknown.  Losing military pay, benefits, and job security can place a lot of stress on service members and their families.

Fortunately, the skills that the military requires – resiliency, adaptability, and thinking outside the box – are major contributing factors to navigating the transition period.

With some planning and preparation, service members can take control of their transition process and set themselves up for a successful civilian career.

How to Find a Job as a Veteran

Identify Areas of Expertise, Skill Sets, and Passions

The initial step in preparing for civilian employment is to identify what you’re good at. What are your areas of expertise? Perhaps you are a skilled electrician, tax accountant, or physician assistant.

Make a list and write down your major skill sets and what you specialize in. Identify transferable skills that you acquired from experience in the military such as project management, leadership, or logistics coordination. What are you passionate about? Do you love working with people? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Perhaps you want to continue doing what you did in the military, or maybe you want to try something completely new.

Using a tool like Military Skills Translator from Military.com can provide a list of top skills based on branch of service and military job title as well as civilian job equivalents.



>> Find job opportunities with Staffing and Recruiting agencies looking to hire veterans.  Get Started today!


Determine Needs: Schedule, Salary & Benefits

Examine your new living and financial situation post-military. Are you part of a dual-income family or will you be a sole financial provider?

Military banking institutions like USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union have financial advisors who can help map out your financial needs and determine income requirements to support your current lifestyle and expenses.

When looking for jobs, having a minimum salary and benefits requirement can help you narrow down options. What benefits are an absolute must-have? Perks like tuition reimbursement, stock options, and paid vacation should be considered, but it helps to have a bottom-line requirement based on individual and family needs.

Consider additional factors like child care, work schedule needs, or commuting time.

Research Job Markets and Hiring Trends

Conduct some preliminary research on your current area or the area where you’ll be relocating to. What are the major companies or industries in that area? Who is hiring and what are they hiring for?

Having a solid understanding of the market is a critical factor in any job search. Websites like Glassdoor.com are a great resource to research companies and compare salaries.

You may discover that there are plenty of opportunities within your general search area or you may find that you need to extend the search to other cities or states to find a preferred type of work.

Identify Job Requirements

Now that you have a solid understanding of your skills, financial and family needs, and the job market where you’ll be searching, it’s time to identify job requirements. This can include years of experience, academic degrees, certifications, and licenses. Requirements may vary by state and even by company which is why this research is so critical.

Conduct targeted job searches to look at the requirements for several sample job postings that you’re interested in. What are the hard requirements and preferred skill sets? Look beyond the minimum requirements and consider what will help you stand out among other candidates.

Craft a Professional Resume

Resume writing is a daunting task for any job seeker, but transitioning service members face the unique challenge of translating military experience to the civilian sector.

This involves relating military skills to civilian jobs, spelling out commonly used acronyms, and using verbiage that civilian hiring managers will understand.

There is a lot of critical experience that can be lost in translation so it’s important to understand who the audience will be. Assume that the civilian hiring manager has no knowledge of military rank structure or occupational specialties. This will minimize the potential for critical experience to be lost in translation.

Consider working with a career and transition assistance program like Hire Heroes USA for personalized resume writing assistance and job search support.

Next Step: Find Resume Writing Services for Military and Veterans

Apply for Positions

Begin applying for positions using credible job search engines like Indeed, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn Job Search. For federal positions, visit sites like USAJOBS and ClearanceJobs.

Many sites will allow you to upload a copy of your resume for employers and recruiters to view. Keep track of what you’re applying for – note the company, job title, job listing number or link, closing date for the posting, and any contact information that is listed for future reference and follow-up.

Tailor the resume and cover letter for each position you apply for. Be strategic in your approach and avoid sending out general resumes to as many positions as possible; although easier upfront, this method is less likely to yield positive results. You may want to consider working with a headhunter or staffing agency to receive leads or placement opportunities.


Network, Network, Network

Networking is an essential part of any successful job search. Begin with established networks: coworkers, social groups, clubs, and even family members and friends.  Let people know you’re preparing for a career change and will be actively seeking employment.

Expand your network using social media sites like LinkedIn to reach valuable connections at specific companies or in your targeted industry. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is professional and all of the information is up-to-date before reaching out to potential contacts. Ask for recommendations, advice, and any tips they can provide or people they can introduce you to.

Attend Job Fairs, Hiring Events, and Professional Development Seminars

Attending fairs and events provides an opportunity to connect with employers and contacts in person. Even in today’s digital age, face-to-face interaction is more likely to leave a lasting impression than sending an email or connecting on social media.

Put your best foot forward.  Dress in business professional attire and come prepared with copies of your resume and business cards if you have them.

Don’t be shy! Introduce yourself to employers and use the time to meet people who you can add to your network. Organizations like FourBlock provide excellent professional development and networking opportunities.

Next Step: Find Military and Veteran Job Fairs

Consider Internships and Fellowships

Internships, fellowships, and training programs are an excellent way to learn more about a company and gain valuable experience. Consider paid and unpaid internships as a way to network within organizations and learn additional skill sets. This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and will likely open up opportunities in a specific company or industry.

Stay Positive

The job search is often described as a job in and of itself. Research, resume writing, networking, and job searching takes time, but the planning and hard work will pay off. Stay positive and look at every experience as a learning opportunity.

Every resume revision is a chance to practice resume tailoring. Every interview is an opportunity to connect with employers and get more comfortable answering interview questions. Commit to the process and remain consistent in your job search efforts.

It’s easy to get discouraged, but remind yourself that you have set yourself up for success and it’s only a matter of time before you receive that official job offer.

RELATED: Interview Tips to Land Your Next Job


>> Find job opportunities with Staffing and Recruiting agencies looking to hire veterans.  Get Started today!



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