It's exciting when you decide to go back to school to improve your career prospects. You can use new certifications or degrees to enter a new industry or to learn skills that will help you win promotions.
However, it’s not always easy to decide where you want to get your education. Many schools claim they can give you the skills and experience you need, but they aren’t all equally useful. You should choose wisely to make the most of your military benefits. Here’s what you need to know about how your military benefits apply to different schools and how to pick the right school for you.
If you’re planning on using your Army benefits to pay for your education, you should familiarize yourself with the Army Credentialing Assistance (CA) Program. This credentialing assistance for Army veterans and service members can let you pay for courses and exams that will lead to industry-recognized civilian credentials for future careers.
The Army CA Program doesn’t cover courses at every school, however. It maintains a list of approved schools that provide quality credentials. You need to choose one of these approved schools to use your Army benefits to continue your education. You can find a list of approved schools and the requirements for these schools on the Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) website.
Once you’ve found schools approved by the Army CA Program, you can start narrowing down your choices. To pick the right school for you, try the following steps:
Define your (program and career) goals: What do you want from your educational program? What do you want out of your future career? Clarify what you want from your education so you know what to look for.
Define your priorities: Decide what’s most important to you about a program, whether that’s digital delivery, a flexible schedule, or Army CA approval. MedCerts offers all of these, so you don’t have to compromise.
Research all available options: Once you know what you want from a program, research the available options to see which ones have the best features and benefits.
Explore costs and budget: The Army CA program provides up to $4000 financial assistance annually. Double-check every program to understand how much it will cost and whether you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket to cover extra expenses.
Consider the quality of instruction: Not every school provides the same quality of teaching. Make sure you pick a school that offers nationally recognized, accredited programs to get the education you need.
Look for reviews: The best schools should have thousands of satisfied students who can provide positive reviews of their education. Always look for reviews to get a feel for what to expect.
Audit the school’s support services for military students: When using benefits to pay for your education, it’s wise to check out the school’s military student support services. The right school should have dedicated services to help you navigate your military benefits education.
With military benefits, education becomes more accessible. Make sure you make the most of your benefits by choosing an approved school like MedCerts to continue your schooling. You can learn more by reaching out to MedCerts today.
Mickey is a Platoon Leader for the Nevada Army National Guard and has been serving since September 2019. He joined the Army in an act of “now or never” as he neared his 30th birthday and had always dreamed of serving. Mickey is also an ASVAB coach and uses his education background to assist other soldiers through Gamonal Tutors.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and spent two and a half years in Morocco with the United States Peace Corps. He joined MedCerts in January 2020 and uses his combined Army and education experience to help soldiers take advantage of their Army Credentialing Assistance funding to pursue career training.
Mickey lives in Las Vegas, NV with his wife Sheena, who he considers his “rock”, and enjoys teaching snowboarding in his free time. He also has completed MedCerts Project Management program and hosts the ASVAB Domination podcast.