Posted on Sep 14, 2015
LCpl Sam Brake
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When I made the transition to civilian life in 1994 it was hard to imagine going to college for four years without a paycheck. I just wanted to get a decent paying job in an industry in which I could grow. At the time, GI-Bill benefits could only be used for degree programs. But now, TA and VA funds will cover some short-term training programs that lead to industry-recognized certifications. Degrees and certifications can both lead to jobs with similar starting salaries. Both have their advantages but which would you, or did you, choose?
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Responses: 9
SFC Joe S. Davis Jr., MSM, DSL
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LCpl Sam Brake great post I would say certifications are valuable especially in the logistics world. College degrees are always great to have. Your self-worth comes down to technical and work experience in my opinion.
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LCpl Sam Brake
LCpl Sam Brake
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Couldn't agree more. Get the certification, get to work and gain the experience you need to be successful long-term. You'll be in a much better position after four years than going in to an entry-level position right out of college. I've come across some fantastic certification programs over the past 12 months.
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LCpl Sam Brake
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I personally went to college/grad school for 8 years. I enjoyed the education tremendously and excelled in both degree programs. In retrospect, I would have chosen the certification pathway and here are the main reasons why:
1. Eight years without a decent paycheck or industry experience
2. Students loans for graduate school alone totaled $102,140.34 (VocRehab paid for undergrad)
It is very challenging to overcome student loans when you are entering into a new career. You can defer them for 6-12 months but the dark cloud of debt is always there truly depressing.
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PO1 John Miller
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LCpl Sam Brake
I work in IT, so certifications is the way to go for my career field. Of course there are some IT-related jobs that require degrees, but those are advanced degrees. I'm talking PHD level (computer scientist for example).
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LCpl Sam Brake
LCpl Sam Brake
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Congratulations! You are setting a great example for others in your field. Were you able to earn any certifications while in the military? If so, where?
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PO1 John Miller
PO1 John Miller
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LCpl Sam Brake
Just one, Security+ while I was stationed in Hawaii. It was on the Navy's dime too.
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