Is Engineering a Good Degree for Former Military?

Engineering DegreeIf you are a detail-oriented, number-loving, problem-solver who is former military, you have probably asked yourself whether engineering is a good degree for you. Perhaps you have earned a GI Bill and are pondering the possible benefits and disadvantages of pursuing an engineering degree. As former military, there are at least four important factors to keep in mind when considering a degree in engineering.

Consider Your Skill Set

Although it may seem obvious, determining whether engineering is a good degree for former military depends heavily on individual personality and skills. Thus, your first question for yourself regards whether you thoroughly enjoy problem-solving and detail-oriented projects. If so, then an engineering degree may well be a good fit.

Consider Your Employment Interests

As former military, you may remain significantly interested in further supporting military operations, which would be an excellent reason for pursuing an engineering degree. As former military, you have a unique perspective on military operations that civilian engineers may lack. In addition, if you pursued an engineering degree with the intention of supporting military operations, you would likely have ample opportunities for military-related employment, as engineers are sought after and prevalent in the defense industry, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers.  For example, many former military employees have gone on to serve as civilian engineers with military contractors, such as General Dynamics Land Systems, which employs a wide variety of engineers and has locations around the globe. Your insight into military operations and your desire to support and protect our troops may be the most beneficial reasons for obtaining an engineering degree as former military.

Consider the Employment Openings and Geographical Freedom

Regardless of whether you traveled briefly or extensively while serving, you would probably enjoy the flexibility of choosing your next location. Charts of engineering prevalence and wages in the United States from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that engineering experience provides significant geographical freedom, as there are engineers working throughout the country. If you wished to change employers in order to relocate, for instance, your engineering experience and degree would likely allow you to relocate relatively easily. Further, regardless of the location, your military experience would undoubtedly look impressive on almost all engineering-related employment applications, especially on applications for military-related industries.

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The Academic Requirements

While no one would deny that engineering curricula are demanding, you may have a head start if you were employed in a technical area while in the military. Compared to your technical knowledge before military training, your military-related technical background and experience would give you an academic advantage. That is, you would have on-the-job experience that you would not have had before the military training.

Is an engineering degree a good degree for former military? Indeed, for former military personnel with a technical aptitude who enjoy math and science, an engineering degree would very likely provide a good, rewarding, and profitable career.