Posted on Mar 15, 2015
CW3 Brigade Standardization Officer/ Air Defense Artillery Fire Control Officer
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With all the different online universities and colleges available to us the question I hear a lot is, Does the college matter or is just having a degree enough for most employers? I realize the first step is looking to ensure the school is accredited but even then you hear different option’s of what that degree is actual worth. I have several friends attending different online programs such as AMU, Thomas Edison, Trident and Grantham and their requirements to get a degree tend to vary quite a bit as far as course work. Would love to here from some veterans/retired military who are working in the defense sector and their experiences with job searches and how their college degree was a positive or potently a negative.
Posted in these groups: Imgres Employment5a9f5691 College
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Responses: 12
COL Charles Williams
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That depends. If you are getting a degree for the Army... than no. If you are getting a degree for life after the Army, then yes. The school name on your diploma mean a lot in the civilian world. A BS from Columbia U is not the same, in the job market, as a BS from Central Texas College. The school matters on the outside.
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PFC Rebecca Robertson
PFC Rebecca Robertson
>1 y
Yes unfortunately. Readon being some schools are not accredited and that means a lot in the work force as well as school credits transferring.
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COL Charles Williams
COL Charles Williams
>1 y
Example...

1. You spend 5 years in the Army, as an Officer, and ETS with a degree from USMA (West Point), or Eastern Kentucky University. In the job market, which do you think generally means more?

2. For a retiring NCO, based on what I have seen, you must have a degree, if you want get the job(s) you are qualified and capable of doing. If you spend 20 years in the Ranger Regiment, have every badge the Army has, and are retiring with no college... What jobs are you going to land?

Education is very important, for many reasons, and is means more money.
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COL Charles Williams
COL Charles Williams
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SFC Jr Gonzalez I am not sure if you are ripping on me or JROTC or me for being JROTC, but I can offer my thoughts. First, JROTC is an awesome job, and I can't think of anything I would rather do.

When you retire as a Colonel... chances are, your post military job(s) will be based on your rank and experience, and who you made a positive (or a negative impression on). As a 30 year Colonel, or 30 year CSM, you are in a different job market than a 20 year MAJ, LTC, SFC or MSG... Or just a veteran.

All of my post military job offers were based on who I knew, not my degrees.. It was about what level I served in the Army. The last job I ever expected was JROTC; it was not even a job I was looking for. I figured, as a career MP, I would end in corporate or contract security somewhere with one of former bosses. That is where I was moving towards...

As a 20 year NCO, or just a Veteran, I think your level education will definitely matter, and will be a screening criteria.

I have a BS, and two MSs, and commanded thru Brigade Level. But, I got my post retirement job based on contacts and my reputation. I was the Garrison Commander here, and the Superintendent new I was retiring, and asked me what I was doing when I retired... I did not have a definitive plan yet (again, I was thinking security $$$ somewhere), and then they made me an offer I could not refuse.

Education is a big deal, as is experience, but so too is reputation. The higher you go in the Army, the more it is all about reputation.
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COL Charles Williams
COL Charles Williams
>1 y
Hooah SFC Jr Gonzalez... It is all good. Yes, I am a JROTC Instructor, and I could not be happier. Student loans are killer; another good business for the lender. Many folks think, as a former Colonel, I under utilized in JROTC... But, am a really happy and that matters most.
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SSgt Carmelo Rivas
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In my experience, the only people that care at times about where you went to school is co-workers, not bosses. Like many others have said, you are mostly filling a box requirement with your degree. Those coworkers with the huge student loan debt and the ivy league degrees are the ones who care. And, who cares what they think?
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COL Charles Williams
COL Charles Williams
>1 y
SSgt Carmelo Rivas I think your comments have merit as well... I think the degree matters when you get hired... or land an interview... I am sure many have opinions on this. I know plenty of folks who have got their foot in the door solely based on the new on their degree... Then, it is up to you.
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TSgt Joshua Copeland
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Edited >1 y ago
This has been hit upon before. Nonprofit is viewed better than for profit schools. Degrees linked to schools with brick and mortar campus are views better than online only schools. Ivy League is viewed better than State which is viewed better than for profit. Etc, etc, etc.

Is it right? No, but it is the truth.
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CW3 Brigade Standardization Officer/ Air Defense Artillery Fire Control Officer
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Thank you MSgt Copeland, We're thinking like most of the feedback I'm getting is to at least have a degree to get your foot in the door!
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TSgt Joshua Copeland
TSgt Joshua Copeland
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Absolutely, Most of the HR folks use some automated system. No degree (regardless of source) doesn't even get you past the computers no matter how strong your resume is.
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