4 Great College Programs for Vets to Enter with the GI Bill Reply

After returning home from active duty, veterans are at a pivotal point in their lives: they must decide what to do next. For many veterans, going back to school is the optimal choice. After several years of duty, transitioning to a different lifestyle and choosing a different goal might seem like a daunting task, but the military teaches service men and women many skills that are an asset in several fields. Moreover, the GI Bill will pay for specialized education to ease the transition into a new career.

Military Skills in Real Life

Men and women who serve in the military learn leadership, communication, and planning skills. They also have an ability to be clear-headed under pressure, have an ability to work in a team, can conform to rules and structure, and they often receive specialized training. This training lays the groundwork for many career paths outside of the military that are easily applied to civilian life.  These can be a great asset to any serviceman or woman in everyday life.


Nursing is a smart choice for many veterans because most military personnel learn basic medical care, especially if they were combat medics. Moreover, nursing is a career path that allows veterans to continue to be of service to others. It’s also an ideal path for many veterans because there is currently a need for trained nurses and there are multiple education options for achieving this career goal. Associate and bachelor-level degrees are available, so a veteran can choose how long he or she wants to attend school before entering the workforce.

Civil Engineering

For many veterans who are mathematically and scientifically-inclined, civil engineering is an ideal choice. Civil engineers design infrastructure including roads, bridges, and buildings. It is possible to become a civil engineer with only a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree in civil engineering will give an edge over bachelor-degree holders and will also provide more specialized training. Moreover, the civil engineering field is expected to grow at a steady rate.

Criminal Justice

Like nursing, criminal justice gives veterans the opportunity to continue to serve others and connect with a community. Criminal justice programs tend to be heavy on social sciences including sociology and psychology. There are several different programs that a person can enter into including associate and bachelor-level programs.

Information Technology

The military uses advanced information technology systems, and military personnel that work in this field in the military are often poised for careers in cyber security or information technology management. A veteran can choose to obtain an associate, bachelor, master, or doctorate-level degree, so there are many options for a veteran, depending on his or her current education level.

Serving in the military gives veterans many skills that are an asset for employers. While it might seem intimidating at first, veterans who do some research on career options and programs are actually well-poised to successfully make the transition from active duty to the civilian workforce.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook@RachelleWilber

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com.

How to Narrow Down Your Options When Picking a Major Reply

One of the most exciting experiences in an individual’s life is attaining a degree. Taking this step provides people with a wide range of vocational opportunities that can dramatically improve their quality of life by fostering socioeconomic mobility and self-actualization.

As an individual begins thinking about how to get the most out of college, one of the subjects that tends to come up is how to pick a major. This decision is immensely important because it can determine things like job opportunities, pay rate, and networking ability.

Below you’ll find several strategies you can implement to narrow down your options when picking a major.

1. Consider the Length of the Program

One of the things you should take into consideration when selecting a major is how long the program will take to complete. This is a particularly important question for individuals who are attempting to complete a degree program as quickly as possible so they can enter the world of work and begin generating an income.

As one example, by pursuing an online master’s degree in civil engineering program, you can attain your degree in just 18 to 24 months. Note that this degree could be an incredible resource as it provides the student with engineering competence, management skills, and technical knowledge that will be applicable in multiple fields.

2. Research Job Opportunities

Another thing you should take into consideration when picking a major is the type of job opportunities that the degree program will create for you. For example, individuals who opt to attain a degree in business management can pursue the following positions:

  • Business adviser
  • Actuarial analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Corporate investment banker
  • Data analyst
  • Chartered management accountant
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Insurance underwriter
  • Stockbroker
  • Forensic accountant
  • Operational researcher
  • Management consultant
  • Project manager
  • Risk manager
  • Product manager
  • Social media manager

Keep in mind that each major will make you more marketable within specific fields. For example, individuals who earn an English major may find it easier than others to attain positions such as content writer, editor, newspaper journalist, or proofreader.

3. Consider What Type of Salary You Want to Earn

Make sure you determine what type of salary you can attain with your major before making your final decision. As noted in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, chemical engineers earn an average annual income of $98,340. To work in this field, you need to obtain a degree in chemical engineering.

Another career option you might want to consider is that of an operations research analyst. Individuals who choose this career path can earn about $79,200 annually, and they typically obtain a degree in a field like computer science, math, analytics, management science, operations research, and engineering.

4. Think About Your Deepest Passions

Oftentimes, people pick specific majors because they know that they want to pursue a career path that will entail financial stability. In other cases, individuals select a certain major because their parents expect them to continue the family tradition of pursuing a specific vocation like veterinarian or teacher.
However, it’s immensely important to think about what you’re actually passionate about when it’s time to determine what your major will be. In many cases, people find that pursuing a field that they’re not really intrigued with leads to burnout, frustration, and even mental disorders.

In some cases, people find that they are deeply passionate about a field but fail to pursue it because the pay is low. Yet in these instances, it is often possible to employ unique entrepreneurial or networking strategies to ensure that you can generate a substantive salary while still pursuing a field that you love.

Choose the Right Major Now!

If you want to ensure that you can lead an amazing, rewarding life, choosing the right major is immensely important. To increase the likelihood that you will find the ideal major, review the information and advice outlined in this quick reference guide.

About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Planning for the Future: 6 Ways to Get Ahead When You’re a Recent College Grad Reply

If you’ve recently graduated from school, now is the time to start thinking about the future. You might be focused on landing that dream job, but what happens after that?

It’s important to think about this stuff as early as possible because finances can be a major source of stress further down the road. In some cases, those who haven’t carefully planned find themselves depressed (or worse). Having a plan in place will reduce your stress level and allow you to stay motivated, so take time to sit down and think about what your goals are. Financial planning may not be fun, but it’s a necessary part of life. Talk to people who have lived through it–your parents, grandparents, or an older friend–and get some advice on where to begin.

After that, use these 6 tips to start planning for the future

1. Explore your options

Now is the time to figure out what you really want when it comes to a job, a house, and a stable future. Do you want to do some traveling? Start saving for retirement? It’s all possible, but now is the time to strike. Look at your career options and don’t be afraid to take some risks.

“Your 20s really are the time to explore. Before you get married and before you have kids, you don’t have a lot of financial responsibilities,” says author Jean Chatzky.

2. Consider living rent-free

If it’s an option, consider living with your parents or other family members just after graduation. This is a short-term situation that could help you save money for a car or your first place. Just remember to stay motivated where money saving is concerned, otherwise you’ll get a little too comfortable and it will be harder for you to get out on your own.

3. Watch your credit

Your credit score might not mean much now, but when you’re ready to buy a house or a car, it will be a very important part of your life. If you have student loans, start paying them off as soon as possible and add a little extra to your monthly payment to get ahead. Credit cards should be used for big purchases or emergencies only to avoid running up debt. Taking care of your credit now means you’ll have much more stability in the future.

4. Make saving automatic

Saving money is much easier if you don’t even have to think about it, so consider investing in a 401(k) plan that your employer takes out of your paycheck. This means you’ll have a plan for retirement that requires no effort on your part, and since it’s taken right out of your check you won’t even miss it.

5. Have a backup plan

Even if you’ve already secured your dream job, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan just in case. Keep your resume updated and make connections with other people in your field so you can always have an ear to the ground. Even the best jobs can come with nasty surprises, or you may find that you just don’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would.

6. Earn extra money

Whether you already have a day job or are trying to score one, it may be necessary to earn a little extra money now and then, so consider putting your skills to use as a tutor, a babysitter, or a dog walker. You can start your own business making jewelry, or maintain a blog that earns money through ads.

Saving and planning for the future doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience; start with a plan and talk to some people who have been through it already to gain some insight. After that, it’s just a matter of staying focused.

Gloria runs WomenLed.org, which celebrates women’s achievements in the workplace and beyond. She believes that while women have made many advancements toward “shattering the glass ceiling,” there is still much to be done. It is her aim to help increase the number of women-led businesses by educating others about the topic.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.