September 12, 2018  |  Purdue University Global

You’ve served our country honorably, and now your active service is coming to a close. This major life change can be an exciting time, but can also be stressful. The best way to shake off any anxiety is to create a plan to transition successfully into a civilian career.

Fortunately, many of the incredible skills you learned during your service are highly sought after by civilian employers. Things like leadership, discipline, and the ability to handle stress are needed in a variety of professions. This article explores five in-demand job fields that align well with skills learned in the military.

1. Health Sciences

Jobs in the health sciences are expected to grow 18% from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is much faster than the average for all occupations.*

These occupations serve patients in clinics, hospitals, community centers, and doctors’ offices. Skills learned in the military that can be useful in a health care career include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Integrity
  • Problem-solving
  • The ability to remain calm under pressure

Let’s examine three high-growth health sciences professions and the additional skills and education you’ll need to qualify:

Registered Nurse (RN)

What they do: Nurses assess patients’ conditions, coordinate their care, provide health care education, and offer emotional support.

Job growth: The BLS predicts RN jobs to increase 15% from 2016 to 2026.

To become an RN: You must earn at least an associate’s degree in nursing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN®). It’s also common today for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing as part of their journey to becoming an RN.

Community Health Worker (CHW)

What they do: These are frontline positions that provide outreach for health organizations; they serve as liaisons between the organization and community. Duties include improving access to health care resources and implementing educational and health programs in the community. Community health workers may also provide blood pressure and other health services.

Job growth: The BLS doesn’t project job growth for community health workers, however the projections for the industry at large suggest there could be growth.

To become a community health worker: Most CHWs have some postsecondary education, but the requirements differ by employer. An associate’s degree in health science or a bachelor’s degree in health science can help you get started in this field.

If you had a medical occupation, your prior military training transfers into a Purdue Global associate’s degree in health science as college credit, saving you time to earn your degree. Contact us today to learn more.

Medical Assistant

What they do: Medical assistants are essential to hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other health care organizations. They perform administrative tasks and some clinical duties, including recording test results and assisting with minor surgical procedures.

Job growth: The BLS projects these jobs to grow by 29% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than average.

To become a medical assistant: Most employers prefer you hold a Medical Assistant Certificate to gain the relevant skills. These certificate programs can take less than 18 months to complete.

2. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity experts help protect an organization’s data—such as personally identifiable information, financial records, and sensitive proprietary information—from online attacks.

Military skills that employers value in this position include:

  • Planning and organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Decision-making
  • The ability to remain calm under pressure

The BLS projects that employment of information security analysts will grow 28% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than average for all occupations.

To be competitive in this growing field, information security analysts usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information assurance, programming, or a related field, according to the BLS. A Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity can help you get started in this in-demand field.

3. Business

There are numerous business occupations that fit well with a military skillset. Skills used in this field include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Perseverance
  • Leadership
  • Flexibility
  • Integrity
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Decision-making
  • The ability to remain calm under pressure

Employment of business and financial occupations is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, according to BLS data. Some business occupations that may be a good fit for veterans include cost estimator, market research analyst, logistician, loan officer, and personal financial advisor.

According to the BLS, the positions mentioned above and most other business positions require a bachelor’s degree. A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration provides a well-rounded education in the fundamentals of business. Contact us today to learn more.

4. Criminal Justice

A career in law enforcement or corrections is a natural fit for many veterans, particularly if you served in the military police. Skills that transition well to a civilian criminal justice career include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Problem-solving
  • Discipline
  • Decision-making
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure

Below is a review of these two roles:

Police Officer

  • Employment of police officers is expected to grow 7% from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as average for all occupations, according to the BLS.
  • Police officers must have a high school diploma, while some federal agencies and state and local police departments require a bachelor’s degree.
  • You’ll need to pass special field and physical tests in addition to successfully completing a police academy.

Probation Officer

  • Employment of probation officers will grow about 6% from 2016 to 2026, the BLS projects. This is as fast as average for all occupations.
  • robation officers usually have a bachelor’s degree, and they typically have to pass competency exams as well.

A Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice gives you the opportunity to learn about issues and theories related to law, criminal behavior, and the justice system. 31Bs (Skill Level 30+) can earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice and criminology from Purdue Global in as little as 5 courses. Contact us today to learn more.

5. Firefighting

Providing emergency services is a respected profession. The military skills that can be used in this job include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Discipline
  • Tenacity
  • Adaptability
  • Decision-making
  • The ability to remain calm under pressure

The BLS projects firefighting jobs will grow 7% from 2016 to 2026, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Firefighters need to have a high school diploma. To be considered for positions at the assistant chief, deputy chief, and chief levels, many fire departments require applicants to have a bachelor's degree, according to the BLS.

Purdue Global offers a Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management, which can help you gain a competitive edge in this profession.

You May Qualify to Receive College Credit for Your Military Service

Regardless of which degree you choose, Purdue Global will evaluate your military transcripts to see if you qualify to receive college credits toward your degree. On average, military graduates have been awarded over 50% of the credit needed to earn an associate’s degree and 35% needed for a bachelor's degree.§

Learn more about Purdue University Global and our programs and discounts for military students.


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Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized, world-class education online that's tailored for adults. We offer 180 programs, including associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees as well as certificates, in areas such as business, IT, education, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, and more.


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NOTES AND CONDITIONS

*National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual growth. Certain health care positions may require further certification and/or licensing by individual states.

Based on a member of the military who transfers in the maximum amount of credit toward the stated degree. Coursework reduction reflects an educational mapping based on the completion of the standard courses required for rank advancement as well as credit for occupation duties. Credit awards have service-level requirements. Exact transfer amount may vary depending on completed military courses and occupations as listed on your official Joint Service Transcript(s). State-specific requirements, as listed in the University Catalog, may apply. All credits must be validated on official transcript(s) to be eligible for transfer.

Local, state, and federal correctional/probation officer jobs and law enforcement positions may require additional training or education including additional state-approved higher education beyond the Purdue Global degree. This program was not designed to meet any specific state’s requirements, and Purdue Global makes no representations or warranties as to whether the degree or any individual courses meet such requirements. Refer to the University Catalog for additional information. Graduates of Purdue Global criminal justice programs are not eligible to attend police academies in Minnesota.

§Source: The Year in Review: 2016–2017, Kaplan University Academic Report, winter 2017. Note: These data were reported prior to the March 2018 purchase of Kaplan University by Purdue University and subsequent creation of Purdue University Global.

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