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If you are an active-duty service member in one of the branches of the military, your thoughts may not be on earning a degree right now. You may be considering using the  GI Bill® entitlement to pay for your education after you finish your time in the military. But postponing your degree could mean missing out on some important benefits.

Your time on active duty is actually an excellent time to focus on your education. Not only is it possible that some of your military service could be applied as college credit under a number of programs, but you will enjoy some perks now that you would have to wait to enjoy if you don’t start your degree before completing your service time. Take a look at these six reasons why it makes sense for today’s soldiers to explore their education, even before completing their time in the military.

Download your Military Service Member’s Guide to learn everything you need to
know about earning a college degree online.

1. Show a High Level of Dedication

The military rewards those who are dedicated to service. Earning a degree shows a high level of dedication. This, in turn, will help further both your civilian and military careers.

Being seen as a person who is dedicated and committed can help you in a number of ways. If you earn a degree before entering the military, then your military branch will know that you have the dedication it takes to succeed. If you graduate with a bachelor’s degree, and you have a military career as well, future employers will know that you are a dedicated professional who will be an asset to the team as someone who can handle multiple responsibilities, when needed. If you choose to pursue a degree after enlisting, then you will be able to show potential employers that you are well-qualified for your future role because you earned a degree and fulfilled military service requirements simultaneously.

2. Land a Civilian Job More Easily

After finishing your military career, finding a civilian job can be challenging. While many employers are eager to hire veterans, they also need to hire qualified individuals with the right training to do the job. Pursuing your degree while in the service means you have both. In fact, many employers consider military veterans over other applicants when all other factors are equal, so the combination of your degree and your service time can help you land a job.

3. Understand Your Service Is Short-Lived

When you first enlist in the military, you may have goals of making your career a long-term one, but your initial enlistments requirement may be just four years of active duty and two years inactive or in the reserve. Many choose to fulfill just this minimum rather than make their military career a long-term one. Even if you do stay maintain your commitment, the average enlistment time is around 15 years. You have many years of work ahead of you after you are done with your military career—earning a degree gives you options.

4. Learn New Skills for Your Military Role

As a soldier, sailor, airman, marine, or guardsman, you are likely passionate about being the best you can be. Earning a degree while enlisted in the military not only helps you develop skills for your future career, but also for your current role in the military. Whether you need advanced mathematics training, need to learn a new type of technology, or need to learn better communication and presentation skills, earning your college degree can get you there.

5. Advance Your Career and Prepare for Civilization life

If you think that the military is your future career path, a degree can help you advance through the ranks. Earn promotion points within your branch, so you can advance. If you wish to become a commissioned officer, most branches require a four-year bachelor’s degree, so earning your degree while on active duty is a necessity. With advancement within the military, you will enjoy greater income and greater responsibilities. In fact, eight in ten DOD active-duty officers have a bachelor’s degree, while 42% have an advanced degree, according to data from Pew Research. This is compared to just 19% of the general population. Having at least a bachelor’s degree will make you more competitive in your branch of service and the workplace.

6. Flexible Degree Programs Make Degree Attainment Easier

One more reason to pursue your degree while enlisted in the military is the sheer number of options for learning now available to you. There are a number of flexible degree programs designed to help meet the needs of working adults, including our military professionals. You can work during the day and attend school at night from your home or on-campus, depending on your needs. This allows you to continue pursuing your military career while also attaining a helpful degree. The key is finding a school that understands the unique needs of military professionals.

Post University is here to help. We are a military-friendly school that regularly ranks among the top schools for active-duty service members and veterans. We have flexible degree programs that make it easy for you to pursue a four-year degree even while pursuing your military career. Through the Post Eagle Program, you can maximize your military service and education credits to earn your degree as quickly as possible. Reach out to one of our counselors to learn more about what it takes to earn a degree, check your eligibility for the program, and get the right support while completing your military service through Post University.

Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!