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How to Use Your GI Bill® Benefits to Secure Your Future

    

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Leaving the military can be a difficult process. You’re leaving a job with clear responsibilities, chain of command, and structure, and when you jump into the civilian world, that foundation is gone.

Thankfully, the military offers plenty of opportunities for building an in-demand skill set, and you can translate much of your experience to the civilian workplace. Translating and leveraging those skills for a civilian context will set you apart from the competition, and career training and certifications are a perfect way to prove your knowledge.

Career training may seem like a big investment of time and money, but it’s worth the cost. And if you’ve served in the military, you can use your GI Bill® to pay for training programs. You can jump into a new career in a lucrative, exciting career with little to no out of pocket expense.

Strategize

A successful military operation needs strategy, as does successfully enhancing your career. Start by carefully considering your starting point, experience, existing skillset, and goals. Figure out how to emphasize the benefits of your military service in a civilian workforce. Learn the details of your benefits.

Start looking at the funding options available to you. The GI Bill® is one of the most prominent ways for veterans to pursue career training, but it might not be your only option. Enlisted members of the Air Force can, for example, participate in the AF COOL Program to earn industry recognized professional certifications and licenses.

As you plan your next step, use our free checklist, Questions to Consider When  Looking into Further Career Training.

Why Career Training?

As bachelor degrees become more ubiquitous in the modern workforce, you might be wondering why you should use your benefits to pursue career training instead of investing into a college degree. But career training has a number of benefits on a college degree.

College degrees are often considered a de-facto sign of quality, but companies are increasingly recognizing that this is an outdated view for the modern workforce. In a world with the internet and the ability to learn just about anything online, companies such as Google and Apple look for quality, not college degrees, according to Glassdoor.com.

Technology is increasingly important in modern life, and companies need qualified workers to help them manage it. They want employees that know technology, and a college degree doesn’t prove a lot. Knowledge, certifications to prove that knowledge, and delivering results are more important to these game-changing companies than a piece of paper. If you've got the skills and the certifications to back it up, you can break into a lucrative, challenging field with a median annual wage of $86,320, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Additionally, if you’ve got a well-defined strategy for your career, college can be a waste of time and money. You get bogged down with general courses, and you spend four years obtaining the skills and proof that you could get in months with career training and certification.

Anthony’s Story

Anthony Voce served in the military, and afterward he landed a decent job at Boeing, where he worked for over 10 years. Unfortunately, he was laid off, and he faced unemployment for the first time in his life.

Anthony got to work, and he quickly connected with New Horizons Career Development Solutions. He still hadn’t used his benefits, and he wanted to branch out and try something new in his career. So he took the chance to work with New Horizons, use his GI Bill® benefits to learn new vocational skills and earn technical certifications, and reinvent his career.

With benefits paying for IT training, cybersecurity training, and even some living expenses, Anthony earned his CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certifications, and he quickly found a position as an information assurance specialist for a defense contractor.

Anthony believes in the power of career training, and he says that “New Horizons has made me more successful in college and on the job. It gives me more technical skills that make me a better student, and I am sharper than kids one-third my age because I know what I want and I am out to get it.”

“Developing new skill sets is important,” says Anthony, and he continues to pursue training at New Horizons Career Development Solutions. He also participates in a peer mentorship program to help fellow veterans make the most of their benefits to improve their career outlook.

So if you’re interested in advancing your career or pursuing an exciting and lucrative job in a specialized technology roll, reach out to a career adviser at New Horizons Career Development Solutions. We can help you identify the certifications you need to meet your goals, and we can help you maximize your GI Bill® benefits to get the training and support you deserve.

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