Pursuing a Military Degree? Be Sure to Get Credit for Your Hands-on Experience!

militaryPursuing a military degree is a smart step for transitioning out of the military and into the civilian world. The benefit of a college degree, combined with the real life experience that the military offers, builds a strong resume. It is important to research colleges that will give credit both for the training received and years of enlistment service. These factors combined with choosing the right degree can save money and time.

Save Money and Time

Colleges differ in the amount of credit they will offer for both classes taken in the course of a military member’s service and the actual time enlisted. It is worth the time and effort to research which colleges will offer credit. Depending on the qualifications, this time spent in research could save you up to $600 and as much as 5 months of classroom time for a 3 credit college course.

Evaluating Transcripts

It is important to know before starting course work what credits you can receive. This will prevent unnecessary hours spent in lectures and classrooms. One important resource available to military members is the American Council on Education (ACE). This organization was formed in 1942 because the founding members recognized the educational value that a military service person receives in the course of their enlistment. You can find the resources that ACE offers at Military Students. Most of the time, colleges will apply these credits to the necessary electives for a degree. However, how many of the credits will be applied differs from college to college, so it is important to shop around to ensure financial and time savings.

Choosing the Right Degree

Reducing the ratio of lecture to hands-on learning can be increased by choosing the right degree. The further away from the military experience the degree is the less credit you are likely to receive. An example of this would be a B.S. in Computer Engineering when combined with computer experience in the military. The courses required by this field are easier to transfer across towards a degree. In addition, in the work world the combined B.S. and the real life work experience offers a strong competitive edge in companies that have defense contracts.

It is important not to discount the training and time spent in the military. The hands-on experience of applying those skills in the field of study, even before entering the classroom, can increase grade scores and build a strong foundation for future employment. It all comes down to taking the time to have the transcripts that can be provided to the service member, through ACE, evaluated; then choosing the right college and the degree to get the best amount of credit possible. This builds a strong resume when the time comes to apply that degree to employment.