VFW Magazine June/July 2017 : Page 8
ISSUES UP FRONT CURRENT VETERANS CONCERNS Student Vets are Chasing High-Paying Careers An in-depth study of how veterans use the Post-9/11 GI Bill shows they’re tackling challenging majors in exchange for lucrative jobs in stable career elds. BY TIM DYHOUSE A fter more than six years of exis-tence, the Post-9/11 GI Bill proves that veterans are serious about their schooling. The ﬁrst of three reports by the Student Veterans of America (SVA) to gauge the academic success of vets using the education beneﬁt was released earlier this year. So far, it appears these scholars are attacking their lessons like a military objective. “Based on the initial results, today’s student vet-erans represent the best source of potential and cur-rent achievers in higher education,” according to the National Veteran Education Success Tracker (NVEST) report. SOURCE: STUDENT VETERANS OF AMERICA One section of the report studied the types of degrees that luck, and a vice president was willing Post-9/11 GI Bill users are pursuing. It to take a risk on me,” Moore said. “I noted that these student-vets are using quickly fell in love with the job, and my their education beneﬁts “to position vice president told me about six months themselves for the civilian workforce by later that I was the best buyer he’d ever earning degrees in marketable and high-hired. I decided on a business degree to demand majors.” help me move up in my newfound ﬁeld.” Moore, a former petty ofﬁcer 2nd BUSINESS DEGREES LEAD THE WAY class who served as a mass communica-The most popular degrees — by a wide tions specialist, is currently a buyer for margin — were those in business man-U-Haul in Tempe, Ariz. Her job entails agement, marketing and related support ﬁnding new vendors, negotiating costs, services ﬁelds. The NVEST report found managing inventory and purchasing that some 27 percent of vets earned a repair parts for rental trucks. degree in these disciplines. “It keeps me busy and on my toes,” That was the case for Kara Moore, she said. who graduated in 2014 from Franklin Moore added that she plans to pursue University in Columbus, Ohio, with a a master’s degree and hopes to move business degree. Moore, who served in into a project management position. the Navy from 2003-2012, including a “I love buying, but project manage-deployment to the Middle East region ment will allow me to expand on what aboard the USS Tarawa in 2007-08, said I’m already doing and learn some new her degree is invaluable. things,” she said. “My ﬁrst job as a buyer was dumb After business degrees, the NVEST report found that the next most popular disciplines were those in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math-ematics) ﬁelds. When grouped together, the NVEST study found that 14.4 percent of student vets had either earned or were pursuing STEM degrees. Coming in as the third-most-sought degrees were health-related. More than one in 10 (10.4 percent) stu-dent vets claimed these majors. Overall, SVA — which has been an ofﬁcial partner of VFW since 2013 — found that nearly 350,000 vets have obtained degrees since the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s inception in August 2009. It predicted that “if the trend remains accurate,” the program will allow some 100,000 vets annually to earn degrees. One question the initial study did not answer is why student vets were so suc-cessful in college. Statistics did show that vets using the Post-9/11 GI Bill were slightly older than their classmates. But that might only be part of it. Moore sup-plied what could be the real reason. “My military experience was invalu-able to earning my degree,” she said. “The work ethic instilled in me in the Navy helped me be successful. In the Navy, I learned the importance of dead-lines and putting my responsibilities ahead of everything else.” To access the full report, visit nvest. studentveterans.org. -EMAIL email@example.com 100,000 DEGREES ANNUALLY 8 • VFW • JUNE/JULY 2017
ISSUES UP FRONT
Student Vets are Chasing High-Paying Careers
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