You don’t have to put your education on hold to join the military. In fact, many colleges have special programs just for active-duty military members and veterans who have chosen to serve their country. Here are just a few ways to get your degree even while enlisted.
Despite their name, military universities aren’t only for members of the military, and many of them don’t even have service requirements for graduation. However, they do have an emphasis on military instruction that can prepare you for life in the Army, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard. They also tend to have a stronger academic focus on military-related subjects like engineering, marine transportation, operations research, and computer and data analysis.
Online colleges have seen a significant upswing in recent years, and many of them have become more or less the same as regular colleges. All classes, instructors, and materials are the same; it’s just the learning format that’s different. It’s also easier than ever to find an online university for military members that offers things like self-paced or asynchronous courses. You might be able to take classes, submit assignments, and even attend virtual graduations while abroad.
You don’t have to write off traditional colleges just because you’ve joined the armed forces. Many schools have online classes or satellite campuses even for those enrolled as “regular” students, and these flexible learning options can help you stay on track despite the demands of military life. You can also look for schools that offer special perks and privileges for military students. They might have reduced tuition for service members, for example, or they might offer academic credit in exchange for military experience or training.
Continuing education (CE) can be an excellent way to keep your skills sharp even after you’ve graduated or completed a few tours overseas. Continuing education might also be necessitated by certain careers where tools and technologies are constantly evolving. Some branches of the military have their own CE programs; others are open to receiving general or specialized CE credits for specific subjects and skills. There are also military grants and scholarships that count CE credits the same as regular college credits, which can be a boon to students on a budget.
These are just a few ways to keep studying while you’re serving. Earning your degree doesn’t have to be something that you put on the backburner while serving your country. It can be an active effort that builds your future success in life and service.