Why The Military Is A Perfect Stepping Stone For Career Advancement

Sometimes high school graduates leave their secondary school experience with a lack of focus. They aren’t sure if college or a vocational school is right for them, but the appeal of jumping directly into the working world also leaves them wondering where will they be in five years after choosing one or the other. Can they combine an education track with military service? Yes! For many, having the experience of entering the military brings their aptitudes, skills, and preferences into alignment, so that their educational choices are more accurate, productive and fulfilling. Depending on which branch of the service one chooses to enter, the possibilities for career and college choices actually expand post-military. Read on for five benefits of the military as a stepping stone for career advancement.

1. Education

Ever since the enactment of The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (known informally as the G.I. Bill), U. S. citizens have been able to use this legislation to help offset the cost of higher education for those who have served in the military. Under this bill, benefits may be used to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university, a cooperative training program or an accredited independent study program leading to a degree. The coursework covered includes college, business school, technical or vocational courses, correspondence courses, apprenticeship/job training and flight training. For the most recent information about educational benefits of the G.I. Bill, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ website.

2. Monetary Benefits

Besides salary and compensation, there are different ways to benefit financially from a career in the military. There are bonuses and special pay determined by your area of expertise and the branch in which you choose to enlist. What’s more, “invisible pay” in the form of health insurance, food, pension and life insurance are costs that you will not pay as a member of the military.

3. Teamwork Mentality

Although this may seem like a “soft skill,” the simple truth is that more than likely, you’ll work with other people in your professional life. Very few jobs allow for complete solitude. Therefore, learning how to achieve common goals, delegate and work as part of a team are very important to your career satisfaction, promotability and, ultimately, your earning capacity. Team players fare better than those who cannot thrive in a group environment. Leadership, decision-making and other intangibles are benefits of having a military background.

4. Travel And Global Perspectives

The saying “it’s a small world” has never been more true than it is today. We live in an increasingly shrinking world, where things like social media bring us closer together. We see shared experiences on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. That being said, there is no substitute for travel or living abroad to experience other cultures. While stationed abroad in the military, you’ll have access to other languages, cultural observations and landscapes. If you’re a kid who grew up in the desert of Arizona, being stationed in Japan will give you an entirely new perspective about the world in which we live. Click here for a complete list of U.S. military bases.

5. Structure, Maturity, And Discipline

It’s also a simple fact that sometimes, having the experience of an ordered environment brings dormant skills to the foreground. Being entrusted with the safety, training and even lives of others engenders a certain amount of maturity and poise where it may not have been previously necessary. These skills are directly applicable when pursuing an education. Knowing how to discipline yourself to apply yourself to a program of study is much easier if you have experienced the hierarchical structure of the military. This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator Joshua John on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2tor — an education technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the University of Southern California which provides a Masters in Military Social Work degree online. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles:   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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