The job market is raising its hiring standards. Formerly, till the year 2016, only 37% of job positions had post-secondary education requirements. But now, more than 65% of employers consider candidates with a post-secondary education degree. For a person who has been a part of military services, returning to the job market can place significant challenges. Although military students undergo different training, skills, and education, the disadvantage remains that they hold no bachelor's degree.
In the current job market, employees are encouraged to have at least sixteen years of education. However, being a person with a military background, you have to plan your future educational map according to your military service background. It is preferable to choose a major that best suits your interests and skills you learned in military services. There is also the option to ignore the military background and start fresh. It is natural to see veterans majoring in finance, accounting, medical, or business. However, keeping your skills and training in mind can give you a learning advantage and an edge in your career. How? Let's explore.
Utilize transferable skills
The transferable skills are not about mimicking the jobs and skills you learned in the military. Instead, it means molding those skills according to the need and translate them to serve your education. It may seem daunting and confusing, especially when you are so used to following direct orders. But universities have counselors and staff members that can help you understand and utilize these skills correctly.
Identify your career goals
You cannot decide which major you want to pursue if you are unsure of the career path you want to take. So the first step is to figure out your ideal career. For example, some veterans wish to serve in government positions, aiming to pursue IT, security, and business majors. However, with a military service background, students can enroll in suitable military majors in college.
Some of these majors include engineering, criminal justice, project management, accounting, finance, IT, cybersecurity, criminal psychology, etc. Now that we have discussed ways to identify your ideal career, here is a list of some of the most suitable college majors for veterans.
Kinesiology is the study of the human body and its movement. It mainly addresses the biochemical, physical, and psychological mechanism that ensures movement. A Kinesiologist's job is to prevent disorders and rehabilitate patients by helping them manage their conditions.
As physical training is a significant part of military training, this degree can give military veterans more in-depth insight into their experience. So we recommend this degree to those who enjoyed physical training to translate their skills into this career.
2. Outdoor education
Outdoor learning involves learning about organized activities in various settings. People with this degree can serve as rangers, guides, or organizers in outdoor surroundings. It also involves environmental studies. It is worth mentioning that an infantry veteran will particularly love this major. The field is related to their skills, experience, and love of the outdoor environment. They will majorly learn things like natural sciences, physical training, leadership, and organizational roles.
3. Health education
If you had a healthcare service background in the military, then health and medical majors are perfect for you. Pursuing a health education degree will enable you to transfer your experience and knowledge into a groundbreaking career, such as a teacher or a professional healthcare service provider. Notably, by enrolling in the health education programs, you can learn some critical information about epidemiology, education, research methodology, etc.
If there is any skill embedded in the consciousness of every veteran, it is their organizational skills. This particular major is perfect as you will get to translate your skills and get a degree. These skills are instrumental if you aim at a career in the business field. You will learn courses related to time management, project management, leadership, resource management, human resources, communication, etc.
5. Homeland/ national security
If you are not comfortable with transferring your skills into other majors, then don't worry. There are bachelor's degree programs that will expand upon your military training and prepare you for homeland and national security roles. The interest in homeland security and national security has risen in modern times as the need for international and domestic protection against terrorism has accelerated. Hence, your selected major will center on subjects such as leadership training, military history, criminal psychology, and sociology.
6. Criminal justice
If you have previously worked as a military officer, in that case, the criminal justice major can be a perfect choice for you. Having a bachelor's degree in criminal justice may open opportunities to enter into the field of law enforcement agencies, politics, and advocacy. Working as a criminal justice officer might provide you with insights into various fields such as psychology, criminology, sociology, ethics, and political sciences.
7. Military history
Any country's military history plays a vital role in defining its status and power quo in the world. Hence, if you have a keen interest in the history of your country's military background, you might be interested in starting a career in the same field. You can become an army analyst, professional historian, military author, etc. Some of the main subjects discussed in this program revolve around the military's history, strategies, critical analysis, and tradition.
8. Communication Studies
A degree in communication can get you jobs in the mass media, including the internet, TV, radio, press, etc. As communication plays an integral part in military training, your skills can help you understand the impact of communication. So veterans who particularly enjoyed communication in their military career will surely enjoy the subject. It is imperative to mention that communication studies is not limited to communication skills only. Perhaps, students opting for the subject might cover other areas such as critical analysis, rhetoric, research, journalism, mass communication, writing techniques, etc.
9. Computer engineering
Computer engineering is an amalgam of electronic engineering and computer sciences. Networking plays a vital role in the military, so engineering and computer sciences play a principal role in managing various military networks. In case your experience and training were concerned with this aspect of the military services, it is perfect for pursuing your career in computer engineering. You will learn subjects like mathematics, mechanics, networking, etc.
Choosing the right major to begin your civilian life is extremely important, as it will dictate your job experiences and career paths. It is essential to consider the above-stated points to plan your future thoroughly. Ask yourself questions like what are your interests? Hobbies? Skills? And then make a perfect choice. The list we have made consists of all the majors that will complement your military background. But you are in no way restricted to study only the above-listed subjects. Explore your interests and skills and choose accordingly.