Posted on Nov 24, 2013
SGM Matthew Quick
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How did you select your degree and have you worked in that specialized field?

What would you recommend to service members trying to decide what degree path to follow?
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WO1 Humint Technician
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I pursued a liberal arts degree for my Bachelor's from Excelsior. Here's my reasoning:

A Bachelor's Degree is frankly worthless. It's the "new high school diploma". You can't really do anything with a BS.

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.

Anyhow back off to my reasoning.

You can't do crap without a Master's these days.

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.

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.

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.
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CH (CPT) Heather Davis
CH (CPT) Heather Davis
5 y

SFC Jones:


You bring up valid points and especially how you were competitive in your selection to SFC.

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Maj Space Systems Engineer
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>1 y
In general, you are on track. When you get down to the specifics, not all bachelor's degrees are worthless. It depends on the program, and what you plan on doing with the degree. You have to marry up the degree with the future plan. If your plan is to check the box by getting any bachelor's degree in hopes that your competition lacks that degree, then you are right. If you specifically pick a degree that leads to the dream job, then a bachelor's degree is a powerful instrument. Does it have to be a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science? No. It has to be the right degree for you and your goals. Unfortunately, geography plays into this for military folks. If you are stuck in Podunk, Wyoming, your school and degree choices are limited. Factor in your job, and maybe you are further limited by duty hours, duty location, access to schools, access to Internet, et cetera. We each have unique challenges to overcome, and the degree is just one of those challenges. How we overcome those challenges is what becomes marketable to employers.
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SPC Sql/Business Intelligence Consultant
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>1 y
A BS is not worthless. If your BS is in an employable subject, it will land you employment. With my BS in Finance, I landed great consulting opportunities in Microsoft.
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SGT Suraj Dave
SGT Suraj Dave
4 y
I disagree. A BS in Psychology is pretty worthless by itself. Psychology.about.com even has an article on it. Psych Major's have the highest unemployment rates. Its too popular.

http://psychology.about.com/od/psychology101/fl/Are-There-Too-Many-Psychology-Majors.htm
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MSG Logistics (S4)
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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!
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CH (CPT) Heather Davis
CH (CPT) Heather Davis
5 y

I was a CW2 Signal warrant, and I obtained a Bachelor with Liberty University in Multidisciplinary Services. Liberty University took all of my
credits, and I transferred over 152 credit hours.

I could finish a Master in two years in a 90 hr program by going to two Colleges at the same time. I just recently finished a Master in Human Services through Liberty University.


Liberty University is Military friendly and offers generous discounts for being in the Military.

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CPT Human Resources Officer
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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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CPT Human Resources Officer
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5 y
I would also say that your GPA and work matter. Before all else, what you produce in college is the most important factor. Secondly, name. Choose a school with a good reputation or name. Failing that, choose a school that is well-known for the major you choose. EG: a philosophy degree from Harvard goes far because anything from Harvard goes far. However, Rugers has a philosophy department which is rated far better than Harvard, and it's cheaper; you won't have to "apologize" for your degree from there.

Of course, if you go to Wayne State and if you do very well, you can still do amazing things.


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CPL(P) Cyber Threat Intelligence Consultant
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@ Cpt Mike - "...do what you love...."

Love and fresh air may not sustain a transitioning solider, family and dependents.
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