Article written by Rosie Jenison

Despite the economic difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas’s economic landscape in 2021 continues to provide great opportunities for job seekers and entrepreneurs alike. Open roles in the booming construction, agriculture, and hospitality industries allow veterans to move back into the workforce without needing tertiary education.

However, for veterans that want to expand their career options, completing a college degree might be a smart move. The National Center for Education Statistics shows that the employment rate of college graduates is 86%. In comparison, the employment rate of high school graduates is only 69%. A college degree can open doors to better job opportunities. Through college, veterans can build specialized skills, cultivate professional networks, and increase their earning potential.

Below, we’ve listed a few degrees veterans can take to build new careers.

Business Administration

The values learned in military experiences — such as leadership, discipline, and stress resilience — make veterans well-equipped to succeed in business. Leadership skills help entrepreneurs guide and motivate employees, discipline keeps them focused on their goals, while a resilience to stress ensures that they perform well under pressure. Degrees in business administration can help veterans blend their military-instilled skills with business knowledge and strategies. Through these programs, students can explore deeper business subjects, such as management, finance, and law. From there, they can start their own businesses or use their entrepreneurial prowess in corporate settings.

Education

Teaching careers let veterans serve their communities in an entirely new way. Through teaching, veterans get to use their real-world experiences to pass down knowledge, provide guidance, and set examples to young students. Veterans that want to take degrees in education can even get support from the government. The Troops to Teachers program, founded in 1993, provides financial support and career placement assistance to veterans interested in teaching. Since the program’s inception, an estimated total of 23,000 veterans have built careers as educators.

Information Technology

As the country becomes more dependent on technology, the demand for skilled IT professionals increases. Through information technology programs, students get to deepen their knowledge of the complex tech systems humans use in their daily lives, learning subjects like electronics, programming, web design, and much more. Veterans with good logical reasoning skills are well-suited to pursue IT degrees, especially since military training prepares them to learn new skills efficiently. And because IT skills are extremely in-demand, veterans who complete IT courses can have a competitive edge in today’s job market.

Nursing

Healthcare settings need disciplined, collaborative workers who can remain calm in the face of adversity. Fittingly, military culture primes veterans to value teamwork, discipline, and fortitude. By taking degrees in nursing, veterans can combine their military training with lessons in anatomy, physiology, psychology, and healthcare and train themselves to serve their American brothers and sisters in a new way. Nurses are especially needed now, as labor shortages limit the country’s access to quality care. Researchers predict that the need for qualified nurses will exceed 3.6 million by the next decade.

When it comes to career-building, veterans have many options. The skills they learned from military service can make them efficient learners and employees. Those that want to take their potential even further can develop their skills through college degrees, such as business administration, education, IT, and nursing.