How Do Members of the U.S. Military Get Master’s Degrees While Currently Serving?

A recent report issued by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed that more than 39 percent of all military officers have obtained at least a master’s degree level of education. This shouldn’t be surprising since earning an advanced degree has proven beneficial to practically any career. There are unique challenges inherent in military careers such as deployments, TDY,and other situations that make earning a master’s degree while on active duty especially tough.  But tough or not, earning a master’s degree can be done. In fact, there are many aspects to military service that encourage service members to reach higher educational goals. This article will serve as a guide for you to reach those goals.

Speak with Someone at your Installation’s Education Center

For years, all branches of the military have encouraged their members to complete diplomas and degrees. After all, just as is the case with any profession, a better educated person makes for a better professional, regardless of the profession. It’s for this reason that nearly all installations have an education center which is a one-stop shop for getting all of the information you need to find a degree program that is most appropriate for you as well as to get funding to earn that degree.

Find the School and Programs

Another benefit of being located on an installation is the fact that in recent years many colleges and universities have embraced outreach programs that have created offices for those institutions directly on bases. In most cases, coursework is taught by faculty members who come from the local communities. The only downside to these programs is that many of them offer a very limited variety of master’s degree programs. If you want a wider choice, there’s a good possibility that there will be a school in the local area that offers more.

Don’t Forget Online Education

Thanks to the explosion in technology that has taken place over the past few years, there are many colleges and universities that have embraced online learning for students who want to pursue virtually any degree they wish. There are major universities that offer professional certificates, and degrees through programs that are held entirely online. This coursework can be completed virtually anywhere, even while on deployment. All you need to complete coursework is a computer with either an Internet connection or a DVD drive. Even assignments are completed online.

It’s Up to You

Just as is the case with any college or university degree program, your ultimate success or failure is completely your responsibility. Obviously, due to certain peculiarities of the military profession, special exceptions must be made. Fortunately, the universities and colleges that have done the most work to ease the burden for military members as students understand this and make considerable efforts to accommodate students with these issues. These allowances are made via weekend sessions, evenings, and special make up sessions for all members.

The military, as well as the colleges and universities that offer their programs to members, have made considerable strides to offer exceptional degree programs. These even include such prestigious institutions as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. The most important aspect of these programs, however, is the commitment you decide to make in pursuit of your educational goals. You have to want it bad enough, but once you decide that, the programs are there for the asking.