Author : kelli-mckinney

Friday Fun: Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operation

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militarytauthority.com fun friday murphys lawsThe current state of affairs both in D.C. and abroad bring to mind a fellow named Murphy who wrote a little self-appointed law about things that can go wrong. You might be familiar with it. And even though we’re typically an optimistic bunch here at militaryauthority.com, we couldn’t help but get a kick out of some of the tongue-in-cheek variations on Murphy’s Laws we found out on the interwebs. Here are a few that made us laugh – hope they make you laugh, too.

 

If it’s stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid.

If at first you don’t succeed, call in an airstrike.

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.

Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

Things which must be shipped together as a set, aren’t.

The one item you need is always in short supply.

Combat will occur on the ground between two adjoining maps.

The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small.

If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.

 

Did we leave out your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

 

Sources:

http://www.ahajokes.com/war046.html

http://www.military-quotes.com/murphy.htm

Five Habits of Highly Successful Military Online College Students

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militaryauthority.com 5 habits of successful online studentsThe semester is underway. Books are bought. Highlighters uncapped. And yet for some military online students, there remains a lingering feeling of dread. If you’re in that crowd – already wondering if you’re going to make it to midterms, much less graduation – now is the time to turn it around.

Check out these five habits that successful students practice daily for some things you can incorporate into your routine:

  1. Break it down. No, this is not about dancing. This is about taking a good look at what you have to accomplish during the semester and deconstructing big, unwieldy goals into smaller, achievable tasks. For example: If you know you have to read two chapters each week, break that down into ten pages a day. Or if you have a 50-page term paper due in a month, plan to write 13 pages a week. Plan the work and work the plan.
  2. Show up. It sounds easy, but we all know it’s not. Online classes are different than red brick classrooms. It can be extremely tempting to gloss over assigned videos, multi-task during lectures and slip in and out of the room. Don’t do it or (trust me) it will become a habit. A bad habit, one that causes you to miss test-worthy information and damage your grade. A huge part of success in life is simply showing up. When you don’t, you miss out. Don’t miss out.
  3. Be a joiner. This one can be tough for introverts. Give it a try anyway. Seek out productive study groups, labs, discussion boards, weekly Skype review sessions or any other group resources that allow you to connect with other people, clarify any confusing topics, get study hints or just exchange ideas. The biggest benefit to this is the human connection. If you’re struggling in a class you will probably find quickly that you’re not alone in your struggle. There’s strength in numbers if you’ll make room for them.
  4. Maintain. A lot of times, people who feel pressure start neglecting the basics. Don’t. Make sure you get enough rest, eat healthfully, and exercise your body. Talk with trusted friends or family if you are stressed and listen if they offer coping suggestions. Managing a complicated schedule leaves little time for dealing with illness or burnout. The best way to avoid either is by practicing daily self-care – especially when you don’t feel like it.
  5. Protect your time. Give family and friends clear “no-fly-zone” instructions – and enforce them. Letting people know ahead of time when you’ll be studying or doing homework sends the message that your studies are important to you, and it lets them know not to interrupt. True friends will support your goals and be understanding if you have to decline social activities for a little while.

Success in online education is a result of hard work, discipline and persistence. It doesn’t happen by accident. It can happen for you. These tips are just a handful of key habits adopted by successful online students.

Have you tried any of these tips? Tell us how they worked for you in the comments.

Six Rules of Professional Networking

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militaryauthority.com networking for a post military jobMention networking to most people and you’ll be met with reactions that range from an audible groan and an eyeroll to a blank stare. But landing a new job today is tough, and relationships matter. After all, that’s precisely why sites like LinkedIn and their ilk exist.

In a completely-unscientific survey of people I know, four out of six got their current job through a personal referral. The referrals were not necessarily from a “friend,” but from a contact, people they met at a conference, a professional organization, and even a former employer. The other two were contacted by corporate recruiters who had viewed their resumes on a service like Monster or Indeed.

When you’ve been in the military, you have not only the network of people with whom you served, but connections through your spouse, your family, and the instant recognition that comes from having the US Armed Forces on your resume. But that doesn’t mean you won’t need to continue developing and expanding your network once you’ve left the service.

Most people don’t get excited by the prospect of networking. But if you can think of it less in terms of “do they have a job opening for me” and more along the lines of “how can I help someone,” you can find it becomes a satisfying part of your professional life.

There are tons of resources out there offering networking tips and relationship-building guidance. At the risk of bogging readers down with loads of advice, here are six simple rules of professional networking that can help you get off to a great start (or pick up where you may have left off).

 

Rule #1: Be a giver, not a taker.

 

People can spot a taker right away. He or she is a familiar face at group gatherings, with a fist full of business cards and a permanently plastered over-wide smile. This person collects (and drops) names like others might collect baseball cards: they’re neat to look at, but he only spends time on them when he  want something out of them.

When you’re building a network, you are really building a group of people you trust – and who trust you. You want to be someone your group can rely on to listen and deliver results. Focus your effort not on trying to sell yourself, but on getting to know what other people seek. When you listen, follow up and add value to their goals, they will remember and respond in kind. You have to cultivate trust – that’s not something you gain with a “what’s in it for me” attitude.

 

Rule #2: Be thoughtful.

 

Shakespeare said, “There are no small parts, only small players” about the theater, but the same can be said about building your professional relationships. No one is irrelevant, except for those who would treat people poorly. Be deliberate and thoughtful about the associations you join and events you attend. Consider people you already know as well as people you’d like to know. Both are important. You might think twice before dismissing a small group of local business owners  – it’s the quality of people in your group that matters, not quantity. It’s better to have 5 people you know well and who are willing to help each other than to have 305 contacts who don’t know much about each other or you. First think about what your contacts need and how you might be able to help them achieve their goals. Then think about your own plans.

 

Rule #3: Use your ears more than your mouth. But use them both wisely.

 

We’ve all been trapped at parties with someone who insists on telling you their life story, interrupts anything you have to say with a “one-up,” and offers unsolicited advice on problems you didn’t know you had. Don’t be that person. And if you encounter them, don’t put up with them too long, either.

Before you go anywhere there might be an opportunity to network, prepare two or three questions as conversation starters, and prepare graceful exit lines for those situations where it’s clear the other person is a “taker” (see Rule #1).

There’s a reason villains always monologue. Heroes are too busy helping other people to talk. If your conversation partner seems like more of a Joker than a Batman, make a graceful exit. Networking is about building a mutually-beneficial, trusting relationship. You have to demonstrate you’re there for the good of others as well as yourself.

 

Rule #4: Keep it professional.

 

It’s true that networking can happen on the sidelines of your child’s soccer game as easily as it can happen at a professional meeting. But if you’re reaching out to people with the sole purpose of giving or getting professional advice or advancement, keep to a professional setting. Don’t hound contacts on the playground or grocery store. Some day a friendship could develop, sure, but until everyone involved is comfortable with that, keep professional boundaries at all times.

Professional boundaries include taking steps to prevent unnecessary gossip and inappropriate assumptions on other peoples’ part. Don’t meet outside the office with people of the opposite gender. It might seem old fashioned and a bit absurd, but people tend toward speculation and gossip, and your professional reputation is too important to risk. Lunch with the boss or co-worker in a well-lit, busy restaurant could be acceptable, but no dinner/drinks/dessert in any quiet, dark place that might suggest you’re trying to hide something.

Having said that: If someone’s behavior makes you uncomfortable – if they’re calling or emailing too much, perhaps acting like they’re a bit too familiar with you, set them straight clearly but gently. And let a friend or family member know what’s going on so they can help if needed.

 

Rule #5: Spread wealth and expect nothing.

 

Just because you’ve had a great conversation with someone doesn’t mean they are obligated to do anything for you. In fact, now that you’ve had a great conversation, the ball is in your court to follow up – not theirs. Once you’ve made a connection, it’s time to start learning more about them. Your new contacts’ interests, challenges, and needs all offer you an opportunity to demonstrate your value. Follow up with a brief, specific email or phone call that shares something worthwhile and shows sincere interest. Here’s some ideas for following up after a connection at an association function:

Email: John, I enjoyed our conversation Thursday about your widget project. The attached article on widgets 3.0 caught my attention and I thought I’d share. Would like to hear your thoughts on it when you have a chance. Best regards, Jamie

Phone call: Hi John, this is Jamie – we met at Thursday’s AWA meeting and talked about your widget project. I’d love to send you a copy of an article I just read on widgets 3.0 – would that be okay?

Delivery: Pick up a copy of the publication or copy the relevant article and either drop it off personally or send it in the mail to your new contact with an attached note similar to email above.

The very best thing you can do to grow your network is share information. Whether it’s something you’ve read, a tool you’ve acquired, or music you’ve heard, share something with your connections that’s relevant and useful to them. Your contact may or may not respond to your attempts. They may even say “no, thanks” when you offer something. Don’t take it personally. Simply chalk it up as a learning experience and move on. Either way, you gain information and practice. There’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Rule #6: Networking is a lot like brushing your teeth: You must do it daily for best results.

 

Networking is a habit. When you do it a little bit each day, it doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming and the results consistently pile up. Make no mistake, though: Networking is often disguised as work. Volunteer opportunities, group projects, committee activities – all are great opportunities to meet some fascinating people and learn about them. You can also make a habit of introducing two people with the same backgrounds, interests, or goals. What happens next is up to them, but do this a few times and you become the go-to resource for people in your network who seek to meet new talent.

Now what?

Getting started is a lot simpler than you might think. Consider who your network is and think about who you want it to include. Pick up the phone, use email, or go to an event or activity. Be sincere. Listen. Be useful. That’s pretty much it, and it’s not so scary when you think about it that way.

Do you have any networking strategies or stories to share? We’d love to hear them. Dish them out in the comments below.

Create a Personal Scorecard to Ease Transition

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militaryauthority.com transition to civilian lifeIf you’re this guy, you have a pretty solid life plan going. You’ve reverse engineered your career, starting with your vision of successful retirement, and back-stepped your way toward where you are now. It’s highly probable that you have either physically or mentally documented every milestone along the way. Kudos to you, and you can stop reading this now and go read something VanSteenwyk wrote.

If you’re like the rest of us, you need a little help from time to time. One tool that gets results in both the professional and the personal world is the scorecard. The scorecard works because it prompts you to consider your decision-making criteria, set standards, and evaluate against your standards.

The scorecard method can help you weigh your options as you prepare to transition into the civilian world. For example, if you’re considering relocation from your current post, you might be interested in living in New York, Albuquerque, and LaJolla. Your scorecard might look like this: 

 

 

 NYC

 Albuquerque

 LaJolla

Cost of housing

   1

   2

   1

Job opportunities

   3

   2

   1

Friends/Family near

   1

   3

   1

Weather

   2

   2

   3

TOTAL

    7

    9

    6

 

In this scorecard, we’ve set four criteria for evaluation: housing, jobs, friends/family, and weather (you can set your own criteria). On a scale of 1-3, with one being poorest and three being best, we ranked each city based on those criteria. Cost of housing is highest in NY and LaJolla; it’s okay in Albuquerque. This example is a pretty simple one, but you can create your own and make it as complicated or simple as necessary.

You can weight the scorecards if you want to add an element of complexity. Using the same criteria and subjects from above, let’s look at how weighting can add value to your scorecard. 

 

 Weight

 NYC

 Albuquerque

 LaJolla

Cost of housing

   2

   2

   4

   2

Job opportunities

   4

   12

   8

   4

Friends/Family near

   3

   3

   9

   3

Weather

   1

   2

   2

   3

TOTAL

 

   19

   23

   12

 

First we ranked the criteria in order of importance – we thought job opportunities were most important, so we gave it our highest weight (4). Friends, housing cost, and weather followed (in that order). Then we went through our previous scores and multiplied them by their weight – the resulting number is our weighted score.

The beauty of the scorecard exercise is that it imposes a structure to your decision-making process, and structure is a good thing to have when you’re making life decisions. If you’re deciding whether or not go to back to school, scorecards definitely come in handy during the selection process – so does our school finder, which you can visit here or from the military authority web site. What other tools do you turn to help you with important choices? Let us know in the comments below.

A Shift in Mindset Can Help Military Spouse’s Employment Search

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militaryauthority.com military spouse employment searchMarriage – whether military or civilian – is about cooperation. It’s hard work making a relationship between two unique people successful. And when one (or more) of those people are committed to a military career, it can feel like there’s a third person in the relationship at times. A military marriage often contains the needs and well being of three: the two spouses plus the nation.

Most military spouses are extremely proud of their career soldier, and share similar views of service, honor, duty, and integrity, whether or not they choose a military career for themselves. But what happens when the career aspirations of one spouse need to take a back seat to the other?

That’s not an uncommon situation in marriage. The vision of a 50-50 partnership might be a bit short-sighted, when you consider that, very likely, the single constant in any marriage is the love and commitment shared between the two people. Everything else – jobs, homes, hobbies, possessions, kids – changes.  Perhaps these few simple tips can help bring the military spouse some peace in their search for employment.

  1. Who you are is more important than what you do. Are you passionate about reading, or music? Do you have a passion for nutrition, or science, or serving others? Think about what you can contribute as opposed to whether your particular field has a set career path to follow (spoiler: most don’t). If you’re between jobs at the moment, just spending a little time doing something you enjoy – or even taking classes to learn about something you’re interested in – can help.
  2. You’re a professional. If you think of yourself as “an unemployed sales representative,” or “out-of-work aerobics instructor” guess what you’ll probably be? But if you shift your thoughts just a little bit, away from limiting job titles and toward what you want to do, that opens up your potential. For example, “sales rep” above might consider himself a “professional influencer.” The “aerobics instructor” might switch gears into “fitness professional.” This slight shift can help you make the leap from feeling like you’re being shuffled from job to job to realizing that you have knowledge and experience to give. Even if you have to wait tables a little while in a new town while you seek new opportunities, changing the way you think about your skills can make a huge difference.
  3. Remember why you’re here. It’s easy to get discouraged and bitter during a dry spell. Thinking of happier times, and remembering the excitement of the early days of your adventure will help the discomfort pass. Share your feelings with your spouse, friends or family, and remember that your service member also has days like this – you will carry each other through them.

Get more practical career advice and education tips for military spouses at militaryauthority.com.

The Five Most Useful Online Degrees for Transitioning Military

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militaryauthority.com useful online degrees for transitioning militaryThere’s no question that having a degree can open up job options for transitioning military members. But with the slew of degree options out there, how can service members tell which ones are the most relevant for today’s workplace? Plus, making the transition from military service to civilian life can be stressful enough without adding the added complication of going back to school.

Adding school to your work-life-transition mix can actually help simple things up, especially if you choose an online degree program. Online education programs offer flexibility, access to schools that might not be geographically easy to get to, and the ability to fit school into your life – not cram life around your school.

And if you choose one of these in-demand programs, you are signing up for a competitive edge, not just a piece of paper.

 

Bachelor’s in Business Administration

Why It’s Hot: Education Dynamics and Learning House’s recent study ranked business administration as the top online undergraduate degree program. Nearly one-third of all online students are studying business administration. Why? Because people want to understand the intricacies and theories of successful business, channel their inner entrepreneur and help improve our straggling economy.

What You Could Study: Business administration majors usually study operations management, economics, accounting, marketing, and organizational dynamics or structure, according to the College Board.

What You Can Do With It: A more appropriate question is “what can’t you do with it?” A wide variety of career paths open up in business and industry with a degree in business administration. Graduates can work in fields banking, finance, manufacturing, product development, human resources, and business analysis, all of which offer opportunities for advancement and professional development. 

Bonus: An online Masters in Business Administration is not only a terminal degree, just the act of completing it can give you the real life experience and understanding of what it means to lead a company while maintaining your personal life. That real-time work-life balance experience is priceless, and teaches you what it takes to take the business world by storm.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Marketing manager: $122,720
Financial manager: $116,970
Management analyst: $87,260

 

Bachelor’s Degree in Education

Why it’s Hot: A second career in education is a viable, honorable, rewarding career for many vets, and studying online is an accommodating way to transition from service to civilian life.

What You Could Study: Online bachelor’s degrees in education teach students about instructional design, education theories and methods, and offer a combination of self-directed classwork with hands-on practice. Online communities also provide a convenient, fulfilling way to connect with other students and share ideas.

What You Can Do With It:  You can take what you’ve learned and experienced and help shape the next generations of students, contribute to education policy by getting involved in educators’ groups or educational administration. 

Bonus: The Department of Labor confirms that the route to a career as a public school teacher is a pretty straightforward path. You earn a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program, and then pass a license exam.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Elementary school teacher: $54,330
Middle school teacher: $54,880
High school teacher: $55,990

 

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

Why It’s Hot: Technology changes each day. Nearly every company needs someone who understands it, can create it, wrangle it, or help other people use it. Plus –why study computer science offline? If you love technology, computers, and have a knack for both the creative and the technical, this is the field for you.

What You Could Study: Computer science majors study programming, web technologies, software design and theory, artificial intelligence, system analysis and digital systems.

What You Can Do With It: Network and computer systems administrators, application developers and software developers usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Bonus: This is a high-growth field that the Department of Labor predicts will see almost 50 percent increase in wage-and-salary employment between now and 2018. 

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Computer and information systems manager: $123,280
Computer systems analyst: $81,250
Network and computer systems administrator: $72,200

 

Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources

Why it’s Hot:  Companies are made up of people – human beings – and organizations will always need people who understand organizational structure, group behavior, laws and technologies that support human resources.

What You Could Study:  The College Board reports that most human resources programs include coursework in staffing, employment law, performance management, organizational structure and behavior, personnel actions, and payroll management. 

Bonus: The business of human resources is increasingly reliant upon technology. An online degree program offers an opportunity to become adept at some of these technologies. 

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Training and development specialist: $57,280
Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialist: $59,590
Human resources manager: $108,600

 

Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Why it’s Popular: It’s human nature to be intrigued by the seedy underbelly of criminal activity. Plus, because human nature is not geographically limited, you could be taking classes with students from all over the world.

What You Could Study: Every aspect of crime, criminal behavior, the justice system, and the law. You could take courses in criminology, law enforcement, statistics and sociology.

What You Can Do With It: A criminal justice degree holder could work at the local, state, or federal level in law enforcement, the corrections system, homeland security, or immigration.

Bonus: The qualities that support a successful military career are also some of the same qualities that drive a successful career in law enforcement. You already know you have what it takes to succeed.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries:*
Police and sheriff’s patrol officer: $55,620
Detective and criminal investigator: $73,010
Probation officer and correctional treatment specialist: $51,240

*All career and average salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, May 2010 statistics. There could be variances depending upon the level of degree completed.

Ready to get started? Click below to find an online school that’s right for you.

 

Five Hot Jobs for New Grads

Posted by Kelli McKinney

new college graduatesCollege graduations were happening all around us last month. With a little hard work and preparation, all those hours of study will pay off with that most coveted reward: A job.

That’s right –the job market is now full of another fresh wave of newly-minted college graduates just like you. If you haven’t already begun networking, interning, crafting a resume, volunteering and applying for work, now’s the time to get cracking.

In today’s competitive job market, it’s hard to know where to look to find professional, entry-level, well-paying positions.

Below are five solid, professional, entry-level positions for career-minded people who have earned their degree. These jobs are excellent launching pads for careers, have realistic starting salaries and offer potential for long-term professional growth.

And as a bonus, if you are a military spouse or dependent, or if you are planning to leave the service in the next year or so, working towards a degree in these fields can still pay off down the road. They are all expected to remain as hot jobs for the next few years.

 

Web Designer

If You Are: A hybrid, as keen with the technical as you are the creative. You stay abreast of technological developments, are deadline-oriented and enjoy teamwork.

And You Have: A bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science or related field.

Then You Can: Design Web sites and develop Web applications.

Salary and Growth Potential: Entry level Web designers generally earn a median salary of $50K. Those with more experience usually gain greater responsibility, including managing staff and more complex projects.

 

Computer Programmer

If You Are: An adept creator and problem solver.

And You Have: A bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Then You Can: Write and develop computer programs.

Salary and Growth Potential: Entry-level computer programmers typically earn a median salary of $54K. Those with a successful track record can grow into supervisory or managerial roles with additional responsibilities.

 

Database Analyst

If You Are: Someone with superb attention to detail and a methodical approach to problem solving, with a knack for uncovering project requirements and underlying needs.

And You Have: A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field.

Then You Can: Develop, coordinate and manage databases.

Salary and Growth Potential: Entry-level database analysts generally earn a median salary of $55K. Solid performance usually results in advancement to supervisory and managerial level.

 

Environmental Engineer

If You Are: An inquisitive person with excellent research skills who loves both the environment and problem solving.

And You Have: A bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Then You Can: Engineer solutions that work to control environmental health hazards.

Salary and Growth Potential: Entry-level environmental engineers usually earn a median salary of $52K while working with more experienced engineers. Successful performance will yield additional responsibility.

 

Marketing Coordinator

If You Are: An observer and appreciator of behavioral trends with keen research and strategic skills.

And You Have: A bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or economics.

Then You Can: Assist with product or service demand forecasting, demographic analysis and campaign planning.

Salary and Growth Potential: Entry-level marketing coordinators earn a median salary of $49K. Strong performance and experience can result in advancement to manager, director or vice president.

 

Regardless of the job field, an investment in your education is an investment in your growth potential. If you haven’t selected your degree program yet, research areas that are a good fit with your personal strengths, interests and career development potential.

Military students can also prepare by discussing their transition into school or civilian workforce with a transition counselor.

Find a school that fits your education goals with our School Finder and start planning your new career now! 

Great Online Degree Options for Transitioning Service Members or Military Spouses

Posted by Kelli McKinney

online degree programs for militaryYou’ve sacrificed for your country, traveled to places beyond your imagination and dedicated your life to your job. And now you’ve decided that it’s time to make a change. Perhaps education is part of your plan, but you know that you will need to work, care for your growing family and go to school in order to make it happen. It’s a scheduling challenge, to be sure, but it’s not impossible.

Exactly how is this supposed to work, you may be wondering?  Two words: Online. Education.

An online degree program gives you the structure of a degree program, deadlines to work against, and support from professors, advisors, and students – but puts you in the driver’s seat. They’re a smart choice for many working adults because they offer the prestige of an accredited university along with the flexibility that online services provide plus they acquaint you with technology like video conferencing and shared workspaces that you will encounter in many workplaces.

If this sounds like an option for you, consider these popular online degree programs.

 

Business Administration

Looking for an entrance to the business world? Look no further than a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

The Appeal: It’s the closest to a “jack-of-all-trades” degree you can find. The business administration degree provides a solid foundation in the basic building blocks of industry: finance, accounting, marketing and communication. These skills are what most employers seek, regardless of how the economy is performing.

The Degree: The College Board, an academic group that administers exams like the SAT, says that a degree in business administration teaches students how to “plan, organize, direct, and control an organization’s activities. “

The Career Potential: Anything from a personal financial advisor to a marketing research analyst can begin with a bachelor in business administration. 

 

Accounting

If numbers are your thing, check out a degree program in accounting to jump-start a successful career.

The Appeal: When all is said and done, companies need someone who knows how to balance the books and pay the bills.  This makes the tools of the accounting trade desirable now and for years to come.

The Degree: Most accounting students learn about financial measurements and methodology, plus specialized areas like business law, government accounting, auditing and nonprofit financial performance.

The Career Potential: The possibilities are extensive with an accounting degree. From tax examiner or auditor to analyst or accountant, this degree can prepare you for a number of careers with staying power.

 

Health Care Administration

Thanks to the nearly indestructible baby boomers, a health care administration degree is a highly desirable asset.

The Appeal: Health care service providers are gearing up to serve their communities, and with the numerous changes taking place in the medical insurance industry, there will likely continue to be a need for savvy administrators for the foreseeable future.

The Degree: Health care administration majors learn all fathomable aspects of overseeing health care facilities.  According to the College Board, coursework can include health care law, ethics, aging, and long-term care.

The Career Potential: This degree is a must-have if you want to be an executive administrator in the medical field, according to the U. S. Department of Labor.

 

Communications

With the click of a mouse, any message can be delivered in virtually any media anywhere within seconds. If this fact fascinates you, you are not alone. This is why communications degrees are in demand.

The Appeal: Organizations need people who know how to craft, distribute, and monitor messaging in order to both protect their brand and help grow it successfully.

Degree Details: In addition to learning how to read, write and speak publicly, communication majors learn to deconstruct a media message and debate issues.

The Career Potential: A bachelor’s degree in communications is one option to help you prep to pursue a public relations management position, according to the U. S. Department of Labor. You can also take a communications degree to get a job in marketing, advertising and marketing communications.

 

Computer Science

To paraphrase Madonna, we live in a technological world.  If you’re tech-savvy and want to continue to adapt with the ever-changing times, a degree in computer science might give you the staying power you seek.

The Appeal: Application and software development are going to continue to be needed as long as we continue to work and play on mobile devices. 

The Degree: Courses in computer science degree programs usually include programming in various “languages” as well as software design and user interaction.

The Career Potential: Application and software developers, system administrators and technicians usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or in a related field.

 

Education

Molding the next generation of thinkers and do-ers is a noble – and much needed – pursuit. If this appeals to you, a bachelor’s degree in education could be the way to go.

The Appeal: Baby boomers are beginning to exit the workforce, and their absence is not going to go unnoticed.  The need for strong teachers is perhaps more urgent than it has been in several years.

The Degree: Education majors study curriculum theory, teaching strategies, special education needs, educational psychology, and practical issues like lesson plan design, school health, and safety issues. 

The Career Potential: To teach in a public school, you must have a license from the state plus a bachelor’s degree in education.  

 

To find a school that offers a program matching your interests, use the Military Authority School Finder. 

Seven Tips for Successful Interviews

Posted by Kelli McKinney

interviewingYou’ve heard it before: You only have one chance to make a great first impression. Those crucial first few minutes of a job interview can make or break your chances to get an offer – or at least a next interview. 

Whether you’re a service member, military retiree, or military spouse, if it’s been while since you’ve interviewed for a job, take a look at these simple tips to help you amaze and astound your prospective new boss. In a good way.

  1. Bring extra copies of your resume.
  2. Arrive early.
  3. Make eye contact and sit up straight.
  4. Use language that demonstrates you know their industry – or at least have done a little research.
  5. Speak clearly and professionally – no slang, profanity, complaining or abbrevs.
  6. Ask relevant questions about the job and the company that demonstrate your interest and your abilities.
  7. Always send a follow-up thank you letter or email.

Above all, relax, do your best, and know that the right job for you is just around the corner.  And if you’re thinking about taking your skills and knowledge to the next level, check out our school finder for an easy way to research the best school for you.

 

Have you had any luck interviewing for a new job as a military spouse or transitioning servicemember? Please tell us about your experience below.

Kids and PCS: Helping Little Ones Cope

Posted by Kelli McKinney

helping kids with PCS movesIf you’ve been in the military for any length of time, you know first-hand the reaction that comes when you hear these three little initials: P.C.S. Permanent Change of Station. When you consider that many military families relocate every two years, the “P” seems more like “Potential” than “Permanent.”

The stress that can come with relocating a family can be a major headache, or it can be fuel for excitement. The way you handle moves with your children can make all the difference. Here are a few tips:

Before the move:

  1. Talk it up. If you know the orders are coming, start laying the groundwork for a stress-free move by making relocation just another part of the routine. You can discuss how exciting it is to explore new parts of the amazing country we live in. Learn fun facts about different places and start a collection (my child keeps rocks from every place we’ve ever lived). You can even tack a map on the wall and wonder out loud where you’ll be stationed next time. (Important note – For this to fly, you have to genuinely be excited and full of wonder – kids can sense a phony a mile away. So if you’re not excited and looking forward to it, they won’t either. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it, and find another way to cope.)
  2. Plan together. Pull up a couple of chairs and go online together to map out the trip to your new home. Let the kiddos locate fun places to stop along the way – and actually stop there to have fun.
  3. Let them pack their own stuff. If they’re old enough to read, they’re old enough to pack their own boxes. This is a win in two ways: first, there’s one item crossed off your to-do list. Plus, little Suzy doesn’t have to worry that you’re going to throw out her collection of Monster High dolls “by accident” during the move. Giving kids control over their belongings also lets them feel a little more secure in an otherwise insecure situation, which can go a long way in helping them adjust.

 

On the road:

  1. Bring a “go” bag. Pack a suitcase of overnight clothes, toiletries and important stuff for the car – but also pack a “go” bag loaded with games, snacks, drinks, music or other special items just for them to make the drive more fun.
  2. Brake for fun. A lot of families build in time for a family vacation along the way. Whether that’s a trip to an amusement park, a state park, or just a stop to see the world’s largest thimble, make your time together memorable in a good way.

 

On arrival:

  1. Let them nest. Kids can choose where they want their belongings, and if they’re old enough, let them help direct the movers where to place the furniture.
  2. Get familiar with new surroundings. Explore the new post together. Find important places like school, church, shopping or favorite restaurants together.

Remember that younger kids might get confused about the difference between PCS and deployment. Reassure your youngsters that mommy and daddy aren’t going away without them and keep the lines of communication open.

Moving doesn’t have to mean stressing. You can contact your Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) representative or your unit chaplain to talk about any concerns, or find out how to talk with kids about moving. There are usually family counseling and parenting classes offered at installation family centers if you’d like to get additional help.

And remember to help your kids keep in touch with old friends even while they are developing bff’s at their new home. Before too long, you’ll have another new adventure to start, and you can trust that your children will be ready and resilient – just like their parents.