Many current and former military service members are concerned about their transition to civilian life. Consider these answers by post-9/11 veterans in a recent survey from Pew Research Center:
- 47% of post-9/11 veterans reported that readjusting to civilian life was either “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult.”
- 67% of post-9/11 veterans reported that in the first few years after leaving the military, they did not frequently feel optimistic about their future.
What are some of the top concerns for veterans during that transition to civilian life? Health topped the list in a recent study by the VA Boston Healthcare System, but that same study also reported a decline in work satisfaction among veterans after their first year with a civilian job.
One of the key steps in the transition to civilian employment is furthering your education. Although it’s impossible to identify the “best” college degrees for veterans, in this article we highlight four of the most popular options for military service members here at Columbia Southern University.
1. B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health
Here at CSU, our B.S. in occupational safety and health is one of the most popular degrees for veterans. In completing this degree, students take such courses as Introduction to Workplace Safety, Interactions of Hazardous Materials, and OSHA Standards, just to name a few.
Listed by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals as a Qualified Academic Program, this online bachelor’s degree program prepares students for careers in safety, including safety and health specialists, industrial hygienists, or safety engineers. What’s more, the program’s QAP status means that graduates don’t need to take the Associate Safety Professional (ASP®) exam before completing the Certified Safety Professional (CSP®) exam.
2. B.S. in Information Systems and Cyber Security
Students who complete CSU’s Bachelor of Science in information systems and cyber security gain valuable knowledge about web development, networking, programming, and systems analysis. Specifically, they learn how to mitigate weaknesses in technology systems and learn cutting-edge security practices that will keep an organization’s IT infrastructures secure.
Some of the courses required in this 120-credit degree program are Critical Infrastructure Protection in Cybersecurity, Security Application Development, and Internet and Network Security. Veterans who complete this degree program would be prepared for cybersecurity jobs such as information security analysts or network administrators.
3. B.S. in Business Administration
A Bachelor of Science in business administration – like many business degrees – can prepare students for a wide variety of careers, from an operations research analyst to a financial manager or human resources specialist. In completing this bachelor’s degree program, students learn business concepts, financial strategies, and leadership principles.
Some of the required courses in this degree program include Principles of Accounting, Financial Management, and Business Ethics.
4. B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration - Forensics
CSU’s B.S. in criminal justice administration, forensics concentration prepares graduates to use forensics and forensic psychology – as well as evaluate crime scenes – to consider factors that can help solve cases. What’s more, students come to understand the interrelationship among courts, corrections, and law enforcement.
Students take 120 credits in courses that include Criminal Evidence and Legal Issues, Digital Forensics and the Courtroom, and Management and Supervision in Criminal Justice. This fully online bachelor’s degree program prepares students for forensics careers such as fingerprint technicians, forensic scientists, or forensic psychologists.
Enrolling in a Military-Friendly Degree Program
One of the most effective ways to transition from a military role to a civilian career is by pursuing higher education, but not every university is designed to accommodate veterans. Military-friendly colleges like Columbia Southern University offer flexible degree programs, veteran-specific support, and even processes to evaluate military transcripts.
Here at CSU, our Veterans Center and Career Services team specialize in providing support services to the approximately 40% of our students who are active-duty, veterans, spouses or dependents of military service members. For more information about our online degree options at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, visit our website.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography and degree field, affect career outcomes. CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.