Active-duty service members are no strangers to busy schedules filled with multiple tasks. This leaves many active-duty service members wondering: “Can I pursue my education while on active-duty?” Thankfully, the answer is yes, and may be more attainable than one thinks. Today, universities are more equipped than ever to accommodate people with busy lives, such as active-duty service members, with courses and programs that are flexible and cater to working individuals.
Though it will take effort, active-duty service members are more than able to pursue an education. Getting a college degree while on active duty can have a multitude of benefits that can help service members in both military and civilian life. Obtaining a university degree can be a viable and beneficial option for active-duty service members looking to further their education. For those thinking about pursuing a degree while on active duty, it can be helpful to have a good understanding of what the process entails.
The Benefits of Pursuing an Education While on Active Duty
Though one may think that there’s no reason to get a degree while on active-duty, there is a multitude of benefits to doing so. Here are some ways in which getting a degree while on active-duty can be beneficial:
Ranking Up in the Military
Believe it or not, getting a college degree while on active-duty can help you rank up in the military. The military gives out what are called “promotion points” for the college credits that one earns. This means that obtaining a college degree can benefit your military career and help you ascend ranks more efficiently. In addition, having a college degree can help you become an officer. Many active-duty service members become officers by participating in an officer training program, which all require that one has a four-year degree before entering.
One of the most appealing aspects of getting a degree while on active duty is the financial aid that the military will put towards one’s educational pursuits. For active-duty service members, it’s possible to get up to 100% of one’s college program paid for. With the cost of higher education rising, taking advantage of active-duty educational benefits can put active-duty service members in a much better position than their non-service member counterparts.
Smoother Transition Into Civilian Life
For many, transitioning from being an active-duty service member to being a civilian can be a difficult process. One aspect of this has to do with seeing one’s peers already have jobs and college degrees when returning to civilian life. By obtaining a college degree while on active-duty, one can transition into civilian life while feeling that they are on an equal playing field as their peers. A degree can also have a significant impact on the availability of jobs for active-duty service members transitioning into civilian life. This means that those who obtain a college degree while on active-duty will have a greater chance of landing a well-paying job quickly in civilian life.
How to Balance Active Duty and Education
Though at first glance the prospect of obtaining a degree while on active-duty may seem difficult, upon further investigation one will find that it is more accessible than it appears. With the recent shift in education, in which schools are utilizing remote learning and flexible schedule options, active-duty service members have more options available to them in regards to pursuing their education. Here are some ways that active-duty service members can balance pursuing their education:
- Remote learning options: When researching schools and programs, active-duty service members can benefit from taking advantage of remote learning options. Being that the schedule of an active-duty service member is typically extremely busy, having the option to attend classes remotely can be a huge time saver. In addition, utilizing the digital technology that allows classes to be conducted remotely will help active-duty service members become familiar with tools that they will likely use in their civilian careers.
- Flexible schedules: More and more adults and working professionals are returning to school to obtain degrees. This is great news for active-duty service members because it means that more flexible schedule options, such as night classes, are becoming available to students. Finding programs that can accommodate the schedule of a busy working professional is an important part of choosing a program that will allow those on active-duty service to succeed in their educational pursuits.
- Find programs that are military friendly: Finding schools and programs that are military-friendly can be a huge advantage to active-duty service members looking to pursue a degree. These schools will often provide extra time and energy into helping active-duty service members be successful in their academic pursuits. This can come in the form of significant financial aid and knowledgeable counselors who can aid you in choosing classes and programs that fit your schedule.
Where to Start
When thinking about pursuing a college degree, it can be helpful for active-duty service members to take advantage of the resources they have available to them. Believe it or not, every military base has an education office with people who can aid you in your educational journey.
Military educational offices have a variety of resources that can help you get a better understanding of the cost and process of getting a degree while on active duty. In addition, researching programs and schools that are military-friendly can be a great place to start your pursuit of higher education and discover the options that are available to you. Take advantage of the resources available to you and find the program that aligns with your needs.
Play Image from Pixabay
Guest Author Bio
With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.