There is a common misconception that if you are serving in the military on active duty, you can’t also earn a college degree. The reality is that military personnel on active duty have plenty of choices available to them, and an online program can fit into your busy life if you want to make it a priority.
Whether you are interested in earning a full bachelor’s degree while serving in the military or simply pursuing a short accreditation course in a specific subject, use these tips to determine what is most important in an online program.
Program That Qualifies for Military Financial Assistance
One of the benefits of taking online educational programs while in the military is that you will typically qualify for a variety of military financial assistance programs. Those eligible for a stipend or the Montgomery GI Bill will want to ensure that any potential online program accepts these scholarships and means of payment.
Otherwise, you might be paying for your education out of pocket, which is not something you should do while serving in the military. Thankfully, most accredited online colleges will have no trouble accepting military financial assistance for your tuition.
Program That is Flexible Enough For Your Schedule
One of the biggest restrictions that you may face when completing an online program while on active duty is scheduling. If you work a traditional 9-to-5 job each day, you can essentially guarantee that there won’t be any problems logging in to your live streaming lecture each night. However, for someone in the military, a regular time table might be harder to achieve, particularly if you are stationed overseas.
You will want to look for an online program that gives you the flexibility you require as a member of the military. Specifically, check that you can access lectures when it is convenient to you, and look for long windows where you can submit assignments or take online exams.
Program That is Accredited and Reputable
Whatever your online program focuses on, you should ensure that it is offered by an accredited online college. If you put lots of work, time and effort into completing the program, it should be able to open doors for you in the future, and only an accredited program will be accepted by major employers.
Program That Fits Into Your Plan for the Future
Finally, think about what you want to do 10 years from now. For many active duty personnel, that might be serving in the military as a non-commissioned officer, or it could be transitioning into civilian life with a job in the private sector.
Before you enroll into an online program, give some serious thought to how that program could help you now as well as a decade from now. Credits earned through online programs can go toward an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree depending on your goals and your current level of education.
Even when you’re serving on active duty in the military, online programs are a way for you to get ahead and advance your education. Before choosing an online program, make sure that it meets your needs, your finances and your plans for the future.