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.

4 Routes to Take After High School Graduation Reply

Your approaching graduation is going to be one of the biggest events in your life and therefore, it will be followed by a great deal of responsibility and decision making. It is a milestone and it can feel like a huge burden on such a young person. That is why many of us tend to get overwhelmed and confused in the process. Being 19 and having to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life seems like a bit too much for such a young and inexperienced person. To be honest, advice from family and friends isn’t always useful and it can be confusing as well, but regardless of what anyone tells you, you’ll only have yourself to blame if you make the wrong choice. All this sounds incredibly scary and that’s fine. It’s normal to feel insecure and it’s OK to be afraid of making the wrong choice. The truth is that there’s quite a high probability of you making a choice you’ll regret later on. However, your decision is not set in stone and what you decide to do after graduation is not beyond repair, even if you do make a mistake. Nevertheless, let us focus on unveiling your options and giving you the freedom to choose on your own. No pressure.

Gap year

One of the safest things you can do is have a gap year. This is advised if you are completely clueless about what to do next. Taking a gap year is becoming more and more popular among young people of the world simply because it allows them to spend a year doing what they want to do and figuring out what they’d like to do next. You can travel the world, volunteer, learn languages, do yoga, sports, explore a hobby you never had time to do until now or literally anything else. Of course, you will be limited by your parents’ budget, but that can also be surpassed if you want to take up a part-time job or volunteer in order to travel affordably. This option seems to not have any possible negative consequences. However, things that definitely will happen are the following: you will ‘’lose’’ your generation if you decide to go to university next year and you will lose the hardworking skills you acquired during the long tradition of going to school and studying for tests.


If you decided that you don’t care for further education and you know what it is that you want to do, you can and should start working. Explore your working options in your hometown and surroundings if you plan on staying there. If not, go online and search for job offers that concern your field of expertise and interest. However, if you don’t want to be an employee and you have great ideas, you can easily register a business and start your own company. Of course, being a young entrepreneur is a very challenging endeavor, but if your will and motivation are strong, you shouldn’t let anything put you off. Of course, this path is usually a path to complete independence, because once you start working and having your own money, there’s no need to keep living with your parents and on their budget.


A natural choice for a large percentage of people is going to university. This is a great choice for those who have a clear goal in their head and know what they want to study and do later in life, or at least know what their main interests are. It’s fine if you just like a certain subject and want to know more hoping that in a few years’ time you’ll be able to know which job you want to do. Plus, you’ll be jumping from books and classes onto more books and classes, which means you’ll be well-trained to keep studying.

Starting a family

Another option that can be combined with some of the above is starting a family. Of course, this cannot be your occupation, but it is also a major life decision that can follow graduation. Some people want to be young parents and start a family at an early age. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re aware of the responsibilities that follow.

Regardless of what you choose, you’ll always be able to alter your plans in the future. Don’t get too stressed about the decision, but don’t take it lightly either, because every decision has consequences and the fewer mistakes you make, the easier you’ll have it in the future. Good luck!

Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focus is digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog and a mother of two.

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

How to Thrive in College Programs Geared to STEM Disciplines Reply

STEM careers count among the hottest and best-paying jobs around. A sampling of salaries for engineers on the Glassdoor website shows that the average salary for people working in this STEM field is just above $76,000 per year. It is salaries like these that make these fields attractive to incoming college students. If you’re entering a STEM-related degree program in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, here are a couple of tips to help you thrive in your new college environment.

Prep Courses

Most STEM fields require a foundation in the sciences and in mathematics. The early years of your education should be spent taking coursework in fields like biology, trigonometry, or geometry, (depending upon the demands of your program). If you aren’t sure which of these prep courses you should take for your major, be sure to talk to your guidance counselor or refer to your college catalog.

Specialized Knowledge

According the University of Illinois at Chicago website, regulations may play a role in how software like mobile apps for the medical field gets developed (or not). There can be issues pertaining to unclear regulations or privacy laws. If you’d like to use your STEM career to go into a specific field such as this, it might also be helpful to take coursework that deals with ethics or law in your future field. This specialized knowledge can help you define a career niche as well as help you make decisions about future internships.

Non-STEM Options

If you’re interested in a STEM career, but aren’t sure if you actually want to work in a STEM job, say as an engineer or a computer programmer, it’s possible to work in positions that support these types of jobs. For example, Ohio University offers a Master in Engineering Management.

This field of study builds on an engineer’s education and adds coursework in project management, communication, and engineering process improvement. This is just an example. Chances are there is a management or support position in your STEM field of interest. When you are looking at your STEM field, think about taking coursework that would support a STEM job. These skills allow you to work in your STEM field, but in a different capacity.

Soft Skills

A lack of STEM skills isn’t the only reason people don’t get jobs post-college. These graduates often lack communication, critical-thinking, or even creative skills. (In other words, they need more soft skills). While it’s important for you to get a solid foundation in math and science, don’t completely overlook classes like speech and debate, creative writing, or even art. Having these skills could mean the difference between getting a job after you graduate or not.

People who pursue STEM degrees position themselves to get good jobs and good incomes once they graduate. If you’ve committed yourself to getting a STEM degree, be sure to take coursework in both basic math and science—as they relate to your field—as well as classes in disciplines that teach you soft skills.

Additionally, if you know you want to work in a STEM field, it’s often helpful to know which one specifically in order to build the skills necessary to work within the regulations of that industry. Finally, remember that not all STEM-field jobs require you to have degrees in engineering or math. You might find a job in a support position. Be sure to take some classes that deal with these positions as well.

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.

Evolving Healthcare: Top 4 Reasons a Medical Degree is a Safe Bet Reply

All careers evolve. It’s one thing that college students should always keep in mind, especially as they’re preparing to make a choice of major. One field that seems like a safe bet is that of medicine. Below are just a few of the reasons why these degrees will likely continue to pay off for many years.

The Field Will Always Exist

Medical care certainly isn’t going anywhere. As long as there are people, there will be a need for people to care for them. While jobs will inevitably be lost to field changes and technology, there will never be a point where humans aren’t needed to care for humans. Knowing that there is a kind of stability in the field is one of the best reasons to pursue a medical degree. After all, it’s nice to know that your job won’t ever really be rendered obsolete.

The Medical Field is Huge

The medical field is bigger than you might think. While the average person immediately thinks of doctors and nurses, there are dozens of highly-specialized technical positions that must be filled in the industry. Medical lab technicians, for example, are in high demand across the country. Pursuing a medical degree of any sort is a great way to look at the careers available in medicine. The availability of NP, BSN, and MLS online programs also allows for greater flexibility in pursuing these careers. The sheer scope of the field makes it more likely that jobs will stick around for the foreseeable future.

Medical Professionals are in Demand

Medical professionals are more in demand than ever, as there is a huge shortage of primary care providers. This means that for at least the next several years, those who hold medical degrees will have an easier time finding work than most of their similarly-educated peers. As demand increases, so too will the number of jobs available for properly-trained candidates.

Changes in Technology are Creating New Jobs

Having a medical degree will also give degree holders access to jobs that don’t even exist yet. Simply being in the field will give medical workers a chance to be on the cutting edge of employment, working with new technologies and using new techniques. Those who pursue degrees today will be able to use them in ways that might not even be imaginable in the current field.

Your medical degree can help you find a job that’s in demand and will pay well. It will also let you become part of a community that’s not going anywhere in the near future. If you’re looking for something that’s relatively future-proof, medicine is the first place to start.



Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter  or Facebook.

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.

4 Things You Can Offer Businesses After Graduating with a CS Degree Reply

If you’re fascinated by technology and thrive on intellectual challenges, a career in computer science may be the best option for you. This can be a demanding field and is certainly not for everyone, but it leads to more opportunities and rewards than many other professions. Here are four key benefits you bring to an employer when you’ve earned a computer degree.

Provide Value to Many Industries

In our increasingly technical culture, computers are vital to every organization. Software programming, digital marketing campaigns, websites, data processing, and many more computer fields are essential to the success of modern business in every industry. An employee that demonstrates in-depth understanding of computer systems and concepts is an asset to any company, whether it’s a major bank or a local clothing store. With specialized skills such as programming or network security, you’ll always be in demand.

The Future of IT

Computer science applies to an ever-increasing range of needs and devices. Apart from traditional notions like desktops and servers, computing is integral to our phones and communications, as well as to the new era of smart devices. This can include anything from fitness wearables to smart appliances. Tomorrow’s homes will likely have 3-D printers, robotic servants, and AI controlling the lights and AC. With a current computer science degree, you’ll be empowered to help shape industry to meet these demands.

Fast-Growing Information

With enormous amounts of data now being collected via sensors, cameras, scanners, and interactive websites, every organization is looking for ways to organize and leverage this information. Every company is struggling to both monitor and forecast its operations to understand their customers and gain a business advantage. As a computer scientist, you can work on the hardware, software, and techniques that make timely analysis and data-driven decisions easier. This is a need of crucial importance to today’s companies.

Make the World Better

It isn’t just profit-driven businesses that need computer professionals. Non-profits, education, healthcare, and government are all looking for digital solutions. This provides them better tools to serve the public. For instance, after the NYPD first implemented computer analysis, crime dropped by 12 percent in the first year. As a computer scientist, you can help society to develop digital solutions that will save lives.

Computers are amazing tools that can help immensely in every aspect of life. Becoming a computer specialist means you could have a dramatic impact on any organization you choose to work for.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can follow her on twitter and LinkedIn.

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.

Learning about Learning: Using Your Schooling Experience to Succeed in an Education Career Reply

There are few careers more honorable and rewarding than a job in education. Being a teacher, school administrator, or other position takes a special sort of personality, as your actions and methods will directly impact how young minds eager to learn will develop. If you treated your college education with seriousness and dedication, then you are well equipped with the tools needed to succeed in an education career.

Embrace Technology

While physically attending classes on campus used to be the norm, many modern students opt to take classes within the comfort of their own homes. Whether you’re earning an online master’s in education policy or a degree in early childhood development, these programs make it clear that technology has a powerful part to play in education. For school administrators and policymakers, technology provides the perfect tool for both internal communication and maintaining a dialogue with parents. Everything from notices regarding events or closings due to weather down to issuing report cards can be completed through a web portal, similar to how such issues were handled during your own schooling experience.

The only limit to technology’s place in the classroom is your own ingenuity. Take advantage of tech to provide your students with a multimedia learning experience. Digital whiteboards, educational games, and similar enhancements to the curriculum will not only more deeply engage students, but they’ll also give students the computer experience they need to succeed in their own higher education experience later in life.

Continue to Learn

The most successful educators are those who remain lifelong students. Succeeding in an education career requires you keep the same open minded perspective you had during your own schooling experience. Whether it’s advice from more established coworkers, new teaching methodologies and ways to develop lesson plans, or simply staying sensitive to the needs of each individual students, putting yourself mentally in the position of a student again will keep your mind open to new perspectives.

Stay Adaptable

Many education professionals choose to specialize in a single area, be it an administrative role, teaching a specific subject, or other well defined career track. However, during the course of your own education experience, you were doubtless required to take general education requirements that didn’t relate to your career path. That said, this experience teaches a valuable lesson: adaptability. No school system, student, or faculty is alike, and you’re likely to encounter countless variables each academic year. Therefore, staying adaptable to the temperaments of your students or fellow teachers, changes to academic standards, new testing paradigms, and other mutable aspects of your education career can go a long way towards ensuring your success.

A Rewarding Experience

Working in education is about more than earning a paycheck. It’s an opportunity for you to improve the lives of the next generation, whether as a teacher or school administrator. Always remember that you too were once a student and continue to apply the lessons of your own schooling experience, as it’s a tried and tested path to career fulfillment and success.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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.

Digital Degrees: How to Thrive in an Online College Program Reply

Online education has opened up many opportunities for people who need a flexible and affordable way to study. There are now digital degrees in every conceivable subject. As with any type of education, however, it’s important to do your research and choose the degree program and institution that’s right for you.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of an online college program.

Pursue Online Studies in an Organized Manner

Although online studies are extremely flexible and convenient, in some ways they requires more discipline than a traditional degree program. You have the freedom to create your own schedule. However, this also means you have to find the right place to study and avoid distractions.

Be careful that you don’t approach your studies in a manner that’s too casual. Create a consistent time and place for studying and stick to it. While you’re attending online classes or completing assignments, stay away from social media, your phone and other distractions.

Consider Healthcare Degrees

The healthcare industry is booming. There is actually a shortage of people to fill many positions in this field. There are ample opportunities for nurse practitioners, physical therapists, pharmacists, laboratory assistants and others in the fast-growing medical field.

One of the most convenient ways to pursue a healthcare degree is online. You can find lots of quality digital degrees that will prepare you for a lucrative healthcare career.

Research Online Degree Programs in Unexpected Subjects

While you can certainly get an online degree in healthcare, business administration, computer science and other popular fields, there are also dozens of other possibilities. You can prepare for a career as a casino worker, forest ranger, sports agent and many other less typical jobs.

There may be online degree programs you’ve never considered. For example, an online bachelor’s degree in safety prepares you for a job that helps keep employees safe at work. The possibilities are endless.

Take Advantage of All Available Resources

When you enroll in an online degree program, you have many helpful resources at your disposal. Many of these can help you succeed in your coursework and avoid feeling isolated. For example, you should not hesitate to contact instructors with questions and comments.

Most online courses provide ways for students to connect as well. When you have study partners and ask each other questions, your online course is more like a traditional class. Every digital degree program has its own features and benefits. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these so you get the most out of your studies.

Online education has come a long way over the last decade. You can now study almost anything online that you could study in a traditional classroom. By identifying the degree program that matches your goals, you can earn a degree at your own pace and study wherever and whenever it’s convenient for you.

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.

3 Gaps In The Workforce We Should Be Educating Our Children For Reply

Making good career choices requires looking ahead to the society’s needs in the future. As children begin to choose their academic programs, it’s important to keep realistic expectations in mind. Parents can provide important information on future career fields that have a high expectation of needing more workers. The aging of the American population and the expansion of healthcare services to more people means that many more workers will be needed to fill positions in the medical field. Here are just 3 of the positions that are expected to be needed in future years.

1 – Medical Laboratory Specialists

A critical area of providing healthcare services is the broad panel of laboratory tests that aid diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Medical laboratory technicians and technologists will be needed to process and analyze the data provided by a growing array of medical tests. Medical laboratories are often connected to hospitals, clinics and other medical institutions, but a number of private corporations also provide laboratory services for physicians in private practice. Students with a detail-oriented personality and a drive toward precision can be assured of a satisfying career in the medical laboratory sciences.

2 – Nurses

Nurses will have to take on a variety of new responsibilities as more healthcare is provided to the general population. The healthcare system will require nursing professionals at a number of levels of training to care for patients at various points of the care process. Online bachelor degrees in nursing programs, such as rn to bsn online programs can prepare individuals to advance their nursing careers in order to be ready to fill the growing need for medical services.

3 – Health Services Managers

Another field that has an expectation for employment growth is in health service management. The hospitals and clinics that serve the medical needs of the community will require administrative professionals that can plan, organize and coordinate multiple healthcare areas. Knowledge of the healthcare system and how it functions will be critical in providing effective and cost-efficient care to the population.

Helping children decide on a career path is not always easy. The changing needs of the society can have a significant bearing on whether the jobs will be available in their chosen field. However, these 3 areas are clearly on track for expanded need in the near future. Students that gear their studies toward these areas will have an advantage in the employment marketplace.

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2 or Facebook.

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.

4 Ways Social Workers are Making a Difference In Your Community Reply

Are you a college student who is unsure about what to study? It’s important to consider what you find important. If you’re someone who wants to make a lasting, positive difference, you should consider social work. As a social worker, you work with different individuals to help them to succeed in society. Here are four ways social workers are making a difference in your community.

Working with marginalized individuals

As a social worker, many your clients are going to be people who might feel as though they’ve been completely shunned by society. This could include people with addiction problems and mental health issues, ex-convicts, impoverished people and children. While many in society might look down upon these people, as a social worker, you have the opportunity to build them up. By working with and advocating for them, you can help improve their confidence and overall self-worth.

Offering more perspectives

There’s an old adage that you can’t understand someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. As a social worker, you will be walking countless miles in all sorts of shoes as you work with different cases and different people. If you are drawn to this field, you’ll quickly understand how learning from the experiences of others can really open your heart and make you understand just how difficult certain situations and environments can be.

Being a voice

Being a social worker is not something that only happens when you’re on the clock. It is sure to have an influence on the majority of your life. When you speak with people about their problems, you’re bound to notice trends and things that are affecting your community and its people. Great social workers are ones who see problems and become determined to eradicate them. It’s not an instantaneous process, but the first step in enacting change is speaking out.

The public sector encompasses a variety of improvement initiatives for everything from education to the environment. With all of the things clamoring for attention, sometimes simply being a voice for someone who is drowned out by the crowd can be the biggest difference you can make.

Letting people know someone cares

Those who feel burdened by problems like addiction and mental illness can feel like a burden themselves. They might think that their issues are too great and that they’ve gone too far to be saved. As a social worker, you can prove otherwise. You can give them a chance to be heard and realize that they can be the person they want to be.

Hopefully this has given you a good idea of how social workers are making a difference in your community. You might not be able to save the entire world, but by focusing on your community you can greatly better plenty of people’s lives. If this sounds like an appealing career path to you, consider looking into an online master of social work program or something similar. There’s no need to delay making your own impact on the community.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys tennis and spending time with her family. Kara recommends looking into diplomacy programs for more information on degrees that can help save the world.

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.

Work And Play: 3 Degrees That Would Allow You To Travel Regularly Reply

Starting a career doesn’t mean you have to settle down. Frequent travel is becoming an occupational feature for professionals in a variety of industries. As private companies and public organizations continue to expand their reach on a global scale, there are many different types occupations that require travel on a regular basis. Individuals who crave an on-the-go lifestyle with plenty of opportunities to check out new destinations should consider one of these 3 degrees to prepare themselves for their dream job.

Diplomatic Studies

Virtually all nations on the planet employ numerous diplomatic staff to maintain relationships with other countries and international organizations, but there is also a rising demand for the skill-set in the private sector. Students of diplomatic studies often focus on a particular aspect of their field as they advance their degree, like international commerce, issues regarding terrorism or cyber diplomacy. Students who are interested in a career in diplomacy should also consider learning one or more foreign languages to establish niche expertise. Schools like Norwich University offer advanced degrees to students, including a diplomacy degree with several specialization options.

Accounting And Business Management

The language of finance and business is spoken around the globe. Companies frequently span national borders to take advantage of new markets and grow their enterprise even more. Businesses need educated financial professionals to study and connect with suppliers, potential acquisitions and other entities associated with their employer. Public accounts employed by regulatory or other government agencies can also find themselves on the road frequently. They may travel to different locations to conduct thorough reviews and audits of a particularly organization, which requires access to physical files. Business management consultants also spend a lot of time on the road, since they usually work on temporary contracts with a number of different companies.

Journalism And Public Relations

Whether you work for the media or with them, there are many positions that involve travel to a wide range of destinations. Journalists may spend months or years in other countries reporting on diplomatic developments or an emerging news story in the region. Professionals who bend their career towards public relations may also find themselves traveling to manage events, connect with media influencers and perform other essential responsibilities for their clients. Individuals interested in this career may pursue a degree in journalism, public relations or similar communications program.

If you want travel to be a part of your professional life, then there are plenty of options to consider. While there will certainly be opportunities to enjoy fresh scenery and exciting destinations, these careers are also demanding and can be stressful from time to time. A career on the road is not for everyone and can have a negative impact on family life, so it’s a good idea to discuss this decision with loved ones before launching off on a new adventure.

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2 or Facebook.

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.