It’s common for military recruits to join the military right after high school. However, there may be some very big benefits to waiting. When you join the military after college, you may gain the ability to fly through the rankings. This is especially important for those wanting to become a military officer.
Before you make this decision, you should look at the military career you want and see what it will require. Some positions require a bachelor’s degree, which may be difficult to obtain after you’ve joined the military. However, if you join the military with a bachelor’s degree, you won’t have anything to worry about.
Below, you will find some of the many benefits of joining the military after college.
Fast Track to Officer
Becoming a military officer isn’t nearly as difficult if you join the military with a bachelor’s degree. Starting with a degree in hand when you enlist means you just have to complete Officer Candidate School or Officer Training School and basic training to become a military officer.
Once you’re an officer, you will be in charge of 15 to 40 service members and you will gain higher pay. In addition, you will gain more privileges, the ability to become a leader and better treatment. Officers also gain a better education and more skills, which helps when you leave the military and start searching for a civilian job.
Of course, one of the major reasons to join the military after college is the higher pay you’ll gain. When you join the military with a bachelor’s degree, you will make more money than joining as a high school graduate. Even starting as an entry-level officer means you will likely make more than twice what you’ll make if you join right out of high school.
Programs to Help Repay Your Student Loans
One of the top reasons why so many college graduates decide to join the military is the loan repayment programs offered. If you already have a bachelor’s degree when you join the military, you may be able to get a large portion of your loans repaid.
Each branch is a bit different, but the U.S. Army offers up to $20,000 in loan repayment. In some cases, the amount could be enough to pay off all your student loans, which would make your bachelor’s degree virtually free.
Better Options for Military Jobs
Getting a bachelor’s degree opens up a whole new world of military jobs. If you join the military with a bachelor’s degree already completed, you will have this world of jobs already open to you. The degree makes you an ideal candidate for promotions and you have the ability to swap jobs much easier than someone with just a high school diploma.
Go Even Further With More Education
Some of the highest paying careers in the military will require a Master’s Degree or some type of advanced degree. If you join the military right out of high school, you’ll have to complete a bachelor’s degree, during military service, before you can even start a master’s degree program.
However, if you join the military after college, you have the option to get your master’s degree during service. After getting a master’s degree, you can move up the ladder and make even more money in the military.
What to do Before Making Your Decision to Join The Military After College
If you’re just about to graduate high school and you’re not sure if you should join the military now or wait, there are a few things to consider first. Do you want to be a military officer? Which military career do you plan to join for?
Those seeking the ability to become a military officer may be better off getting a bachelor’s degree first. This may be the case for certain career paths in the military, as well.
Before you make the decision to join or go to college, make sure you look at all the pros and cons. It’s very possible to get your bachelor’s degree while in the military, but it may not be as easy, especially if you get deployed.
Speak with your military recruiter and find out what it would look like to join now or to wait to join the military until after college.