5 Reasons Why Active-Duty Military Personnel Should Pursue A College Degree

Getting enlisted in the military is truly an achievement for many men and women in the United States who are passionate about serving our great nation. While the army serves as a full-time career for most military personnel who are likely to continue in it for the rest of their lives, many choose to retire early and take up a civilian life as well. Hence, it is a good idea for active-duty members to continue their education and attain a college degree in the long run.


A growing number of higher education institutes are recognizing this need and are catering to active-duty military personnel by running military friendly online colleges with programs designed specifically to suit their needs. Below find the main reasons why active-duty military personnel should consider investing their time and resources into obtaining a college degree alongside their military service:

  • You need a college degree to attain a higher rank or a promotion

If you choose to continue in the military and make it your lifetime career, chances are that you most indefinitely need a college degree to progress in your ranks. In most branches, you need a relevant four-year college degree in order to become a commissioned officer. A degree can also help you get a raise in your salary, responsibilities, and can help open up future avenues.

  • Not all military members serve in the military for a lifetime

It has been stated by the United States Census Bureau that the average service time for a military member ranges anywhere between 12 to 15 years. In fact, certain branches of the military only enlist personnel for a limited number of years as members of reserves only spend about 3 to 6 years in the military. These numbers indicate a large number of military personnel return to their civilian lives and hence getting a college degree would guarantee them career advancement in other fields post their military career.

  • Your time in the military can qualify as college credit hours

Military training and coursework for active-duty military members can qualify as course credit hours in most colleges and universities, which would translate into a shortened degree program for many. Members would however have to do their research in terms of finding a college that accepts the highest number of credits by reviewing college requirements and by going over their own transcripts and training records. They can also seek help from academic and admission counselors within university premises.

  • To improve your chances of employment post-military

Many employers give preference to ex-military personnel for leadership roles in comparison to individuals who do not have military experience. The killer combination of military experience combined with a college degree would make you an eligible candidate for most leadership positions and would make it difficult for employers to pass on. 

  • To smoothly transition into your civilian life

It can often be quite an adjustment for many to transition from an active-duty military life to civilian life. Military duty is unlike any other working space or career, and hence even a professional transition can be troublesome. By pursuing an academic degree, active-duty members can get dual-sided knowledge from both perspectives and can understand corporate culture alongside their military experience.

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