We’ve come to see a pattern that some military affiliated students enroll in a two year associate’s degree program after getting out of the military. It has gotten us to wonder, why? Why limit yourself to a two-year program when (depending upon your service) you have the opportunity to enroll in a 4 year bachelor’s program paid for with your GI Bill benefits? Furthermore, an individual with a bachelor’s degree will make more money than someone with an associate’s degree.
“The only person standing in your way is you.”
So we got to talking to different college-bound veterans to find out their reasoning. The most common reasons were,
- Based on how I performed in high school, I wasn’t convinced I could succeed at a 4-year bachelor’s program.
- I’m only looking for a skilled trade for my career pursuits (welding, masonry, plumbing, etc.)
- I want to get my feet wet again in the education space before starting at a 4 year program.
Why You Shouldn’t Discredit a Bachelor’s Degree
While we aren’t here to discredit those concerns and reasons, we wanted to address them. At the end of the day, a bachelor’s degree is going to set you up for success in the civilian world, and if you have the opportunity to enroll in a 4-year program at no added cost, why not? We’ve addressed each of the aforementioned concerns below:
- We are all basically still children in high school. (Don’t let your high school experiences dictate your future.) Military service forces individuals to grow up. After years of service you have learned, grown, and matured. You are uniquely positioned to use the skills you’ve acquired through service and apply them to a degree program. Also, you can explore how to turn your military experience into college credit through the Joint Services Transcript, CLEP Exam, or DSST Exam. (Don’t let your past dictate your future.)
- While the world can’t function without welders, plumbers, and masonries, the world also can’t keep spinning without highly educated individuals. Don’t limit yourself by only seeking out a trade-school. You never know the doors & opportunities that a university campus and bachelor’s degree can open for you.
- We totally understand! Going from military service straight into an academic setting is one of the toughest transitions. Thankfully there are different ‘academic bootcamp’ programs to get you back in ‘academic shape’! Learn about them here…
Veteran-Friendly Bachelor’s Programs
Here are a few colleges and universities that have loads of military and veteran programming and assistance both on campus and virtually.
- Southern New Hampshire University Online
- Syracuse University
- East Tennessee State University
- Concordia University – Wisconsin
- Rutgers University – Camden
Choosing the right program for your post-military lifestyle is the most important factor. Do some research into both options so you can make the best decision for you.
- Veteran Friendly Engineering Programs
- Hot Degrees for Vets: Information Technology
- How to Become a Nurse as a Military Spouse
- Hot Degrees for Vets: Business Administration