Different Kinds of Education Opportunities Available for Veterans

Who are you?

My name is Julio Martinez and I am a Marine Corps Veteran.

What do you do at NextOp?

I serve as the Operations Manager and my mission is to insure NextOp and its members have the support they need to help our fellow veterans with their transition.

College Education and Veterans

          How do some post 9/11 veteran not see the importance of obtaining a college education after the military? Higher education is essential and a must for career progression and professional development. Yet, a portion of our veteran community has the mentality that their experiences while in the service should be good enough to obtain a meaningful career after the military. Unfortunately, only a select few will come across the right people who will take a chance and offer a position based on merit and character alone. For the vast majority, obtaining a rewarding career in the civilian sector will be a challenge and a pain if you do not have the proper school certification or college degree.

The college road is not an easy one, especially if you have other responsibilities such as providing for family. However, this is a necessary road that must be traveled to help with career placement. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate for people with a High School diploma was 5.2%, Associate’s 3.6%, and Bachelor’s degree with 2.7%.[1] Just two years of college education will make a difference on how recruiters view your potential.

The mindset of a veteran needs to be flexible and adaptable in order to succeed in the civilian sector and as a college student. You cannot rely on just your veteran identity and character to get you through the civilian sector.

A common question we ask to our fellow veterans in transition is: “Are you planning to go back to school?” Some say, “Nah! I don’t have the patience to deal with those whinny kids or listen to a dude that has never done anything important.” The answer was not surprising because I had the same mindset at one point during my transition period. Our mindset and our attitude towards college education need to improve in order to help us become competitive and marketable with our civilian peers. If we adjust our mindset and look at college like any other tactical task we had to analyze while serving it would be a great step in the right direction.

If I asked you, the reader, “What do you think is the best option tactically; Concealed carry or Open carry and why?” What would your response be? In my opinion, open carry makes you a target and more prone to unwanted attention in general. While conceal carry, lets me blend in with the community and gives me the element of surprise; giving me the upper hand to an extent. My point is this, veterans that attend college with the open carry mentality, in this case, self-identifying as a veteran every chance they get and impose their opinion or believes because they are better due to veteran status, will have a tougher time getting through school. The veteran with the conceal carry mentality will blend in, take advantage of the element of surprise, will interact with other classmates to gather intelligence and adapt and overcome to achieve success.

In Conclusion, education is an important requirement for many job opportunities. Use your education benefits wisely and have a solid plan that has flexibility built into it because you will have to adjust at one point. Civilian life is not hard but, it is challenging and if you don’t keep your guard up, it will punch you in the mouth.

[1] https://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm