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Many military veterans underestimate their skills when they try to transition into the civilian world. They might think that they don’t have anything transferable, because the working and living in the military is completely different from working and living in the civilian world. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, prior service members can bring skills to the table that many civilians won’t possess. Military members leave the service with strong leadership skills, discipline and drive. These are valuable skills in any industry, especially in the public service sector. Sometimes, military members can have a difficult time expressing these transferable skills to prospective employers when seeking employment. They frequently deal with misconceptions from employers who believe that military members have trouble transitioning to civilian life. Employers might believe that a former service member is too used to dealing with strict, structured schedules and are incapable of making decisive decisions without a direct order.

How To Transfer Military Skills To Civilian Jobs

A Masters in Public Administration degree can go a long way towards refining and highlights the skills that a service member picks up while they are in. An MPA program can prepare a soldier for a management position in local, state and federal governments, nonprofits, or the private sector. While they were serving in the military, these veterans may not have had the time to get the credentials they need to make it in the civilian world. Luckily, there are opportunities out there for veterans to earn the degree they need and do it quickly. The best part is that the degree program focuses on an area that military members are familiar with: working for the government. In addition, when hiring, many government entities actually give preference to veterans. An MPA degree will help that transitioning soldier stand out from all the other veterans and will help them land the job. In some cases, the skills learned in the military can even be transferable to college credits. This makes getting an MPA degree much faster. Any veteran signing up for an MPA program needs to talk to their adviser about programs that allow them to get credit for the skills they picked up while they were in the armed forces. One of these programs is called the DANTES Military Evaluations program. How these credits are determined changes based on the branch of service and job worked, so it is important to talk to an adviser who specifically works with veterans. Working in public administration can be an incredibly lucrative position. General and operations managers for government entities make a median income of $95,000 per year, with some wages going as high as $200,000. Of course, these positions aren’t available to just anyone. The person who manages a government entity must be extremely familiar with how they work, they must have strong leadership skills and they must be able to manage and work in a structured environment. These requirements make prior service members with MPA degrees ideal for public sector management jobs. An MPA degree can help refine and polish the skills of a transitioning military member, making it much easier for them to qualify for high paying positions. These days, military service might not be enough to guarantee employment. Because of that, many service members find themselves unemployed and frustrated when they try to find work in the civilian world. Getting a Masters Degree in Public Administration can be just what they need to display and supplements their skills.
This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator Logan Harper on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2U — an education technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which provides online masters of public administration programs.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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