Will Having My Degree Give Me Better Job Placement In The Army?

armyThe recent economic crisis and high unemployment rates are leaving college graduates with few career opportunities. Since the economy started to decline, more and more college graduates have turned to the Army for employment. The benefits of having a bachelor’s degree for joining the Army are not insignificant, either. Instead of joining as regular recruits, many college graduates are able to enlist as commissioned officers with on the job training, higher pay, and other employment benefits. Also, most jobs in the Army that require a college education do not require members to move too far from home. In general, college graduates in the Army are given greater power and responsibility than as those who join without a bachelor’s degree. While the benefits are excellent for Army members with degrees, a degree does not necessarily mean a job. The economy and unemployment have affected the military the same as they have the rest of the country.

What Is Currently Available?

The number of college graduates enlisting in the military has jumped fifty percent since the middle 2000’s. Because so many college graduates are applying for jobs with the military in this recession, recruiting centers are meeting their quotas early and often. The lack of jobs in the Army, however, can also be attributed to the fact that the United States is downsizing its troops in the Middle East. NPR’s Michael Tomsic has reported that nearly “all the people being turned away have college degrees.” Since the benefits of a government job are particularly attractive at this time, more and more qualified college graduates are being denied a position in the Army. That, though, does not mean that only college graduates are being turned away from the Army and other military jobs. CNN’s Annalyn Kurtz has stated that those applying with GED’s are also being denied, and recruiters are even suggesting they complete some college courses before reapplying. In short, however, recruiters are typically looking at many more aspects of a candidate’s qualifications than education alone.

Will A Degree Benefit Me?

While a college degree cannot at the moment guarantee a job in the Army, it can guarantee greater benefits for those who are able to enlist. College graduates in the Army can instantly become officers with higher pay. Army officers with college degrees also usually make more money than their college educated peers working in civilian jobs. While receiving regular paychecks, the government also will provide up to $65,000 dollars towards paying off an Army member’s student loans. Health insurance for an officer and his/her family are also guaranteed for life after just 20 years of service – at which point that officer is eligible to retire with a full pension. Vacation time is also typically quite extensive for Army officers.

The Advantage of Your Degree

Clearly the benefits of an Army job are considerable, especially in today’s economy. The fact is, however, that a college degree is not a sure indicator that an applicant is qualified for the job. Many recruiters have to turn down not only college graduates, but also high school graduates annually because of the lack of available positions. One thing a college degree can guarantee in the military, however, is greater perks.