What are your interests? How do you want to make a living?

You’ll need to find a school that paves the path towards a career, so take some time to think about what you want your education to do for you. Explore your vocational interests in-depth; the self-assessment tool CareerScope® on the GI Bill website is designed to help you determine your vocational aptitudes as well as academic readiness. CareerScope® is free to you and selfadministered. It will provide an assessment of your interests and aptitudes, give recommendations about which careers you may enjoy, and help you decide which courses or training programs you should focus on to pursue those careers.

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) career search tool My Next Move for Vets is the nation’s primary source of occupational information. You can review information about careers for hundreds of standardized and industry-specific descriptors; “Retail,” “Government,” “Health and Counseling,” and “Self-Employed” are a few examples. DOL updates the tool by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation. There is also a search engine to find careers similar to your military job and it has assessment instruments for workers and students who want to find or change careers.

You might also want to research the projected demand for career fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook provides information on the expected job prospects for different types of jobs, the education needed, earnings, what workers do on the job, and working conditions.

Types of Degrees
There are different types of post-secondary degrees you can obtain when you choose to pursue higher education. These include Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees.

An Associate’s degree program is typically two years, and is usually completed at a community college; some four-year universities also offer Associate’s degree programs. Traditional degrees offered are Associate’s of Arts (A.A.) or Associate’s of Science (A.S.). If a student is enrolled in an Associate’s program in fine arts, he or she will earn an Associate’s of Fine Arts degree after completing the program. An Associate’s degree generally requires 60 credit hours of training and takes two years of full-time attendance to earn. A student with an Associate’s can seek employment afterwards or can transfer into a four-year program at a college or university and work towards earning a Bachelor’s degree.

A Bachelor’s degree program is obtained at a college or university, with degree programs that usually last four years; the two primary degrees are Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.). A Bachelor’s degree is a required academic credential you will need if you plan to earn a graduate or professional degree. If a student declares a major in environmental science, he or she will earn a B.S. in Environmental Science. A Bachelor’s degree generally requires 120 credit hours of training and takes four years of full-time attendance to earn. After receiving this degree, a student can seek employment or increase their knowledge and skills by enrolling in a
graduate program.

Universities offer intensive two-year graduate programs for students seeking their Master’s degrees. Graduate school course study is demanding. The programs are designed to provide a more in-depth and analytical approach to your desired discipline. Most programs will have fulland part-time options available.

A Doctoral degree is the highest academic degree in a field of study. Though not required, many choose to earn these degrees to further their knowledge in their discipline or to increase their earnings. Doctoral programs are strategic and require a student’s full attention; completing these programs can take three to six years. Typically, a student must already have received his or her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees before obtaining a Doctoral degree. Types of Doctoral degrees include: Ph.D., law degrees (J.D), and medical degrees (M.D.). Whether you want to earn a Bachelor’s in English or a Ph.D. in Higher Education, the GI Bill will help you reach your goals.

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