When I decided to go to school full-time, I wanted my undergraduate degree to be the degree that I would enjoy (considering that I did not have to pay for school- the State of Illinois has the Illinois Veterans Grant). My undergrad degree is in English Literature, with a minor in African American History. I graduated with Honors, because I enjoyed the reading and writing aspect.
Afterwards, I needed a degree for a career. I decided that since I liked working with people, I would get a Masters degree in Human Resources. It was a 18 month degree, and since I now had another full ride for school (Honors degree = a full fellowship at the University of Illinois for me!), I finished in the 18 months (taking a full load). I now work in HR for a major petroleum company in the Midwest, right out of college.
What would I recommend to a fellow service member?
Take your time while you still have a job, to explore what you want to do for a living. I had a friend (fellow military) who went to school for 4 years for Nursing. The month she graduated was when she decided that she 'didn't like Nursing'. Now she works for UPS, not because she wants to, but she needs a job. Four years and thousands of dollars wasted, when she could have did some research on what she did or did not want to do with her life.
You can always take one of those interest tests, which asks different questions which can help guide you to areas that you may have an interest in.
Ask people about their jobs; consider 'job shadowing' with different organizations to see what the day to day aspect of a job that you may be interested are. Many companies will be willing to allow you to spend some time with their workforce, in order to see whether a job there would be something beneficial for you and the company.
Lastly, remember the saying: "Choose the job you'll love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life". Make a goal, lay out a plan on how to get to that goal, and make adjustments as necessary. I decided 2 years ago that I would build my dream house in 5 years, and that goal gets me out of the house every morning. Dream big; and stay Proud.
PS- Please excuse any typos; my cat 'helped' me type this out!
I pursued a liberal arts degree for my Bachelor's from Excelsior. Here's my reasoning:<div><br></div><div>A Bachelor's Degree is frankly worthless. It's the "new high school diploma". You can't really do anything with a BS.</div><div><br></div><div>My minor or focus is basically in Psychology because I feel that it is relevant to the interrogation field etc. So I actually have a Bachelors of Science instead of a Bachelors of Arts that you usually would with a BS.</div><div><br></div><div>Anyhow back off to my reasoning. </div><div><br></div><div>You can't do crap without a Master's these days.</div><div><br></div><div>So I just took classes that I enjoyed. I can also still apply for a Master's program for Psychology from Excelsior even though my BS is in LA.</div><div><br></div><div>I got the Bachelor's to out-perform my peers for selection to SFC and I feel that the selection was partially due to that as I had my degree at my 7 year mark (as well as two AA degrees). I also got it just in case I got out of the Army (I hadn't decided to go indef until my re-enlistment AFTER my re-enlistment to make SFC as that re-enlistment I had 9 years, 5 months in the Army so I only re-up for 3 years) the FBI requires a BS from an accredited college - they don't care where from unless it's a specific application.</div><div><br></div><div>Realistically look at 90% of the officers you meet. Even from USMA have crap degrees. Poly Sci, History, etc. You can't do crap with those degrees except maybe teach, and that brings me back to my original point - to teach or get a decent job you need a Master's.</div>
I was a Classics major until I changed it my senior year. I didn't go far; I switched to Latin. I chose it because history is my passion, and I knew that I would have to learn a historical language. I fell in love with Latin and Greek literature (I took 16 credits of Greek as well), and knew that I would enjoy college more if I chose something that interested me. I was blessed to get a job teaching Latin so I can't complain.
My advice to service members is the same advice I give my students: do what you love. I've met a lot of miserable "successful" people, but I have never seen someone doing what he/she love who was unhappy.
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