Veterans' College & Career Challenges

In today's economy, higher education can be critical for progressive career development. The job market continues to be competitive. More job seekers are pursuing a college degree that can enable them to acquire relevant employment opportunities as well as promotions.

Veterans notice that they also need a college education or training. A higher education can help them gain top positions within the military, as it is often required to progress beyond the rank of captain. This educational requirement is not always explicitly stated but it becomes a lesson that is learned by aspiring service members.

Some veterans learn about the need for a higher education after they separate from the military. As they transition into the civilian life, the need for a job becomes a reality for service members who have families. They need to earn a living but their search for civilian jobs can be limited without a higher education. Studies indicate that 60% of jobs in the future will require a college education.

These statistics and the competitive job market motivate some military veterans to go to school. Veterans have educational benefits that could financially assist their pursuit of a college degree. Only 4% of the students in U.S. postsecondary institutions are military veterans. With the growing need for higher education, why aren't there more veterans attending college?

There are several reasons why more service members are not pursuing a higher education. One reason for their low attendance is because some veterans struggle with the transition into college life. The classroom environment can be mundane to veterans who previously served in combat duty. It can also be difficult for veterans to sit in a classroom that is full of students who have unrelated backgrounds. Some service members may also miss the sense of comradery that was felt when they were in the forces.

The process of finding the right postsecondary institution can be stressful. However, veterans have unique situations that add a level of complexity to their college search. Military service members need to determine whether their targeted universities accept the government-sponsored educational assistance program. Not all academic institutions accept these military benefits.

Some veterans complete educational training courses while they are in the military. Service members often plan to transfer their military education and experience for college credit. Some academic institutions apply these credentials to help veterans complete their degree or certificates sooner. There are postsecondary institutions that actively help veterans transition into the college life. They have military-related clubs and associations that get veterans involved in a supportive community. Some colleges have mentors who can help service members with their academic and career planning. There are counselors on campus who are trained on VA benefits and can help veterans apply theirs. Admission officers have increased their focus on helping veterans' search for an academic major. Military service members should assess whether their targeted colleges have programs and staffing that support them and their educational goals.

These assessments and considerations make veterans' search for the right college difficult. Joshua Bistromowitz, Winthrop University's executive director of recruitment has encountered former service members who gave up after finding the process too challenging. Veterans are looking for better ways to find the right college.

More military service members are using web-based search engines to fine tune their college search. Brandon Gingras recently joined the Air Force and his personal goal is to earn a higher education. He uses to connect with college admissions officers and to discuss his academic goals. Gingras said that such online solutions helps to provide "a clearer vision of where I want to go and the path I am going to take to get there."

Veterans make up a small population of the students within American colleges and universities. Service members are noticing that a postsecondary education can help them attain higher ranks within the military and to get job offers outside of the military. Veterans' unique circumstances can make their college search difficult. Although there are challenges for veterans who seek a higher education, services are now available to help them find the right college and pursue their academic goals.

About has become one of the fastest growing college search engines for military service members. Its founders believe that veterans and their families deserve advanced opportunities to earn a career-enabling education because of their sacrifices for our country. This website equips veterans and their families with information that helps them find the right college. Veterans meet with college professionals on to determine how to achieve their academic and career goals.

Back to Articles