Why Join the Military With a Bachelor’s Degree?

Many people join the military because it’s their best opportunity to get money for college, so they sign up for four years, serve their time, and leave to move on to other things. While in school, they meet other students who considered joining before college, but opted to get their education instead. While this latter group is approaching graduation, and the many opportunities before them, the military is still a viable option, but one might wonder, why join the military if I already have a bachelor’s degree?

Among the reasons that people join the military after getting a bachelor’s degree are:

  • Pursuing an adventure
  • Obtaining valuable leadership experience
  • Getting money for graduate school

There are other reasons, but these three really tend to resonate with young men and women who are seeking to serve their country.

The Military Offers Only a Small Window of Opportunity

There are certain things that we can only pursue at certain times in our lives. While there are rare exceptions of people who have joined the military in their later years, such as radio talk show host Clark Howard, the truth is that joining the military does not make much sense when one gets older.

Following college, young professionals usually embark on a career path that takes them into a state of great expertise. Will the military value that expertise? Of course. But will this professional’s spouse and children want to relocate from their home town to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, or head out to Albany, Georgia? It’s unlikely.

At a young age, though, an option such as this is wide open.

Valuable Leadership Experience

The typical service person with a bachelor’s degree becomes a commissioned officer, starting at the rank of second lieutenant or ensign. In this position, a platoon of 40 men and women will be under their command.

When an officer has to handle the administrative, training, and logistical details of a platoon of 40 or more, he is getting experience that his classmates are unlikely to get for a couple more years. While doing so, there are other officers and staff NCOs providing guidance and mentorship so as to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

While the corporate world may offer some co-workers who are more cut-throat (and may seek to sabotage a young leader) the military’s goals involve accomplishing tasks that are more dire. When there are lives on the line, people don’t have time for such nonsense.

Money for Graduate School

Lastly, many students leave school with a large amount of debt. When one joins the military they can have some or all of their loans paid off, and they will also be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

In addition to this, there is a large portion of one’s income that is tax-free, especially for those who serve overseas. This creates an environment where service members can save more money, pay down debt, or even invest while they serve.

The military is not for everyone, but for those who want to serve, it’s important to remember that the opportunity is not always going to be there, or desireable. For those who do serve, an incredible amount of experience is to be gained.