At a time when employment is a moving target and life seems to be more and more expensive, the military can provide the perfect foundation and bridge to succeed in the civilian sector. But you have to take advantage of resources and be willing to go the extra mile when you’re transitioning out of the military.

Whether someone is getting out after four or 24 years, they need to have a plan. The world is extremely competitive. Just because you served in the military doesn’t mean you will automatically land your dream job or get some insane salary that you read about online. People may be quick to thank you for your service, but they will scrutinize you hard when it comes to deciding if you’re the right person for the job.

Transitioning Out of the Military With Education

The first leg-up the military offers is free education. College is not a requirement for success; there are many veterans that are crushing life, who never spent one day taking a college course. With that said, my argument is, why not make the effort and get a degree? It will only make you more valuable and help with your transition process. You can earn a degree for free while on active duty, by taking advantage of the Tuition Assistance Program. With the transition to online learning, with just a laptop, you can earn your college degree anywhere in the world. The best part is that Tuition Assistance doesn’t affect your GI Bill.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill may be the greatest benefit a military member is eligible for. It’s literally a scholarship on steroids. The GI Bill will cover a full Bachelor’s and some of a Master’s if you’re efficient with your credit hours and don’t waste time going to school for extra semesters. The government provides you a housing allowance, which means you are getting paid to go to school. Of course, not everyone wants to go to school full-time at a campus, which is understandable. The GI Bill will cover an online degree as well, providing a reduced, but still respectable, monthly housing allowance. This is perfect for veterans that are ready to get to work and make an income, but still want to further their education.