Being married to someone in the military can be tough, especially if you're trying to pursue your education or a career. Frequent moves are a fact of life, but you now have options for completing a certification or other education online, no matter where you happen to land. These online certification programs can help you get a remote job and give you the opportunity to take your career anywhere you need to go.
Some degrees or certifications offer financial assistance to eligible candidates, including aid for military spouses. One of the programs you may qualify for is the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Program (MyCAA). This program provides up to $4,000 over two years to military spouses pursuing a license, certification, or Associate's Degree in a career field that's portable. This program is part of the Department of Defense's Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program.
There are a few criteria to be eligible for MyCAA. You must:
Be the spouse of an active duty service member (except Coast Guard, whose spouses aren't eligible)
Not be legally separated from your spouse in the service
Not be a service member yourself
Have a high school diploma or GED
Be enrolled in an approved program and school
Be able to start and complete your chosen program while your spouse is on Title 10 military orders
Your spouse must be on active duty in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, and O-1 to O-2
The first step in your education journey is to consider what you might like to study or the profession you may want to enter. You can research programs of study and schools that participate in the MyCAA program on the MyCAA website.
You can also check your eligibility and begin the process on the MyCAA website by registering to speak with a SECO career coach. These career coaches can guide you through the process or even help you enroll if you need support navigating the website. They can also help you choose the right program and later find employment once you complete your education.
You'll need to create a DS Logon to continue with the process if you don't already have one. This is the same login you use for TRICARE online or MySECO.
If you've chosen an approved school and/or program, you can begin the application process simultaneously. Schools that work closely with MyCAA, like MedCerts, can also help you complete the process. They can recommend programs that will be in-demand and portable, making them eligible for MyCAA. MedCerts enrollment and financial counselors can also help find alternative funding if you choose a program that isn't eligible for MyCAA.
The most important thing to do when choosing a program and school is to have all of the information necessary to make an informed choice. You can discuss all of your options, and any concerns you may have, with your SECO coach or a counselor in your school's enrollment office.