Posted on Dec 31, 2017
SPC Cryptologic Linguist
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I want a second Bachelor's degree while on active duty. Yes, I also want a Master's but I don't see that as urgent and I'm okay with getting my Master's degree when I separate. I plan to get this degree completely online. It won't be possible yet until I have everything I need. I figure, I might as well get the degree now rather than later. Any advice is appreciated.

***MORE DETAILS
My first Bachelor's is in Management and Music-Vocal Performance (I was able to Double Major). I would like to get a Master's in Vocal Performance/Opera AFTER I leave active duty, and attempt to come back in as a military musician (likely reserves). To me it never mattered what branch of the military either. For the type of Master's I want it really can't be done online. However, a certificate in Guitar can! I'm looking at Berklee. My recruiter was working on his first degree from Berklee School of Music with TA. Thanks to online courses the military can get a musical education from a fairly prestigious conservatory while on active duty these days.

But as many have mentioned on here it's probably best to go for a Master's with TA. So, maybe I should look into a Master's degree program that I could complete online instead. And perhaps I could have 2 master's degrees! The one I earn on active duty doesn't even need to be music.

I'm NOT against getting something from Berklee. I see they have online certificates I can pay for out of pocket for around $5,000. I'm not even in a field related to the arts or production at all right now but I'm seeking ways to keep myself current and competitive once I leave active duty. It's very likely that I will go reserves after this first enlistment.

Thank you so much everyone! I've determined a Master's would be best on TA...now I just have to sit down and determine what I want a Master's in.
Edited 2 y ago
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Responses: 12
1LT Flight Student
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What is your current bachelors in? You don't have to get a whole other degree if you want a masters in that field. You can get a masters in any field you want regardless of your bachelors, within reason of course. I contemplated getting a whole other bachelors but found that it would just be better to get a masters in the field I want to go into despite the undergrad degree that I got.
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SSG Lyle O'Rorke
SSG Lyle O'Rorke
2 y
My associates is in Dociology, my Bachelors is in Crim Justice and Masters in Marketing just depends on interest
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MAJ Raul Rovira
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I commend you for your academic goals. Never stop learning and growing. It is always inspiring to hear of young soldiers setting really high goals.

One question I have for you is why another bachelor degree? It takes more resource (time and money) to earn a bachelor than a master. A lot of this will depend on which schools we use to compare of course.

You can earn a master's degree in about 2 to 4 years. Less time, less money(TA) and it is a higher level degree that will open more doors once out of the Army.

Also consider that you will not get TA for another degree at the same level of what you have. TA is only to pay for the next higher degree up to a master's.

The 9/11 GI Bill works best when out of the Army in part because of the BAH that goes with it. If you use it while in active duty you loose $2000+ in BAH.

If anything, you could earn a master while on active duty and then work on a second master or Doctoral level degree after service.

My second question is, "what do you want to study?" In today's work market the level of education tends to be more important than the subject. But no so much unless it is in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math).

My last question is, "What is your long term career goal?" Where do you want to be 5 or 10 years form now. Use that answer to align your academic goals. Time and money should be spent in a strategic way. "By earning X degree it will help me with Y career because of Z"

Best of luck Denisha
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MSG Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
MSG (Join to see)
2 y
Utilizing my GI Bill while on active duty to complete my doctoral degree was well worth not receiving BAH at the E5 rate.
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SSG Lyle O'Rorke
SSG Lyle O'Rorke
2 y
Yeah the drop in BAH works for you but not a SPC
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MAJ Raul Rovira
MAJ Raul Rovira
2 y
MSG (Join to see) - Congratulations on you doctoral. Do you have any advice for SPC Denisha Brace?
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SGT Russell Wickham
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If you are using TA only, you are looking at 16 hours per year, or about 8 years, unless something has changed in the years since I got out. If you're paying your own way, a lot depends on your unit and MOS, whether any military training counts toward your degree, etc. My op tempo was such that it was impossible for me to do classes. However, if you are support, not deployed a lot or in the field for a month at a time every two or three months, and if your unit is supportive and you are willing to us your GI Bill or pay out of pocket, you should be able to finish a degree in as little as four years.
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