Tagged: military education

The Education You Need for the Job You Want

Posted by Christine A. Shelly
education for the job you wantWhen a major retailer announced last week that it would increase salaries for its hourly employees, many people took notice. Whether the move was a byproduct of pressure from lobbyists or unions, no one but the decision-maker truly knows. A spokesperson for the retailer stated that this long-awaited increase was driven by the desire to retain, and attract, good employees and reduce costly turnover. This move is yet another indication that competition for jobs is fierce – and it’s also a signal that companies want to attract well qualified people – hiring for good-paying, career-building jobs. That’s good news. So what does it take to find a one of these jobs?  That’s a great question, and if we had a guaranteed solution, we could retire early. Based on a look at some of the top employers’ most sought-after jobs, the most common denominator is a bachelor’s degree. Among the top five employers from the Top 100 Military Friendly Employers list, a look at their websites reveals that they are actively hiring for a variety of roles: administrative, engineering, and human resources to name a few. Let’s take a look at what kind of responsibilities are entailed, and what kind of education is required to qualify for an Office Manager position. Administrative Roles:  Office Manager The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes these tasks as those performed by office managers or administrators regardless of the business:
  • Oversee the purchasing, storage of distribution of office supplies
  • Manage all administrative and clerical personnel
  • Oversee the budget for contracts, equipment and supplies
  • In factories, overseeing the maintenance and repair of machinery and electrical and mechanical systems.
  • Office managers also often keep track of environmental and health regulations and make sure a company adheres to those standards.
Education:  College degrees are not always required for entry-level roles in these positions, but in leadership roles, a bachelor’s degree is a requirement. A master’s in business administration can boost chances for promotion.   Engineering Roles: Industrial Engineer The BLS Occupational Handbook states that Industrial engineers typically:
  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods and activities in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Work with customers and management to develop standards for design and production
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects
Education: A bachelor’s degree in industrial, mechanical or civil engineering is a must for these roles. In addition, applicants may want to become licensed so they may carry the designation PE (professional engineer). Licensure requires:
  • A degree from an engineering program accredited by ABET
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam
  Human Resources:   Labor Relations Specialist The BLS Occupational Outlook states that Labor relations specialists typically:
  • Advise management on contracts, worker grievances, and disciplinary procedures
  • Lead meetings between management and labor
  • Draft proposals and rules or regulations in order to help facilitate collective bargaining
  • Interpret formal communications between management and labor
  • Investigate validity of labor grievances
  • Train management on labor relations
Education: Generally speaking, labor relations specialists usually have a bachelor’s degree in a human resources or business field with coursework in human resource management. However, the level of education and experience required can vary by position and employer. Some organizations prefer specialists who have had coursework in mediation.  There are universities and colleges who offer labor relations certifications, as well as a number of professional associations that offer coursework and supplementary certification programs. The next step is to evaluate your own competencies and interests. It’s important to know where your expertise can be best applied, and where you may need to seek additional education, training or credentials. Do your qualifications make you well-suited to the type of jobs employers offer? If not, education is often the best first step toward reaching your career goal.   References: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2014/11/11/the-top-100-military-friendly-employers/ http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/02/25/tj-maxx-marshalls-to-follow-wal-mart-in-raising-pay

https://www.linkedin.com/company/military-veterans-employment-network-mven

By Christine A. Shelly #militarystudents #bachelorsdegree #mastersdegree #getthejobyouwant

When Your Holiday Plans Include Studying

Posted by Kelli McKinney
nontraditionalFrom an early age, most of us are taught that the Thanksgiving break is a special time.  It’s a time for gratitude, appreciation, and generosity toward our family, friends, and fellow human beings.  It’s a time for reflection, for being aware that in spite of our daily troubles, we are people who have been greatly blessed.  Also, there’s food. If you’re an online college student, sometimes one of the things you’re most grateful for is the time away from school and work that the holiday brings.  There are some online students, though, who maintain that keeping a rigorous routine of study is what will help them finish the semester on top of their game. In some households, the Thanksgiving holidays include kids home from school, parents juggling work and travel plans, and lots of hungry houseguests.  When you’ve got a house full of bustling, festive friends and family, finding a quiet, peaceful place to focus on coursework can be a challenge. If you’re one of those who – for a multitude of reasons – finds themselves needing to hit the books during the holidays, you’re not alone. Here are a few tried and true ways to squeeze in some quality time with your homework over the holidays:
  1. Plan for it.  Figure out how many hours you’ll need to spend reading, writing, or on a webinar, then work those hours in and around your activities.
  2. Give it the turkey treatment. It’s no secret that cooking the holiday meal takes a few hours.  While the bird is cooking, the cook can usually do other things – prepare other meal items, or set the table, or even sit down and watch the parade.  So maybe this year, one of those “other things” is a half hour of reading or studying for a test?
  3. Enlist help.  Wouldn’t it be great if Grandma and Grandpa could watch the kids, or if Aunt Tess could help with shopping, or Uncle Jim could clean the kitchen so you could wrap up that assignment for Monday?  I bet if you ask them, they’d be happy to help.

Perseverance as an Online College Student

Posted by Debi Teter
college-student8By the time November rolls around, online students have, for all intents and purposes, worked out their own delicate balancing act of juggling family, work, service, and school. They’ve spent three months refining their schedules until they’ve established a routine that works for them. Week after week, quiz after quiz, paper after paper passes, until finally – there’s a holiday approaching, and with it, the additional stresses we’ve noted so far. But when an online student can apply those now-well-practiced juggling skills toward gearing up for the holiday, rest and relaxation can get back on the agenda. Here’s a few tips how to manage it:  
  1. Use Halloween as your starting point. Making your plans early lets you reap rewards. Ask for time off, especially if your employer follows a “first-come first-served” vacation hours policy. Book your travel plans, child care, pet care, restaurant reservations and anything else you need early, and not only do you save money, you save yourself the hassle of trying to arrange things at the 11th hour.
  2. Use your resources. I know one family of six with two military/student parents that enjoys a virtually stress-free Thanksgiving because they use their local grocery store catering for most of their meal. The kids make their favorite treats (jello with mini-marshmallows), but dad picks up the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green salad and pumpkin pie the night before. They reheat and eat, and spend their day enjoying time together. If your local grocers don’t offer holiday meals-to-go, see if one of your favorite restaurants will let you order carry out.
  3. Keep it simple. You don’t have to trot out the fine china and linens every year to make the holidays special. What makes the day special is the memories you make with the ones you love. Paper plates work just as well for serving pumpkin pie as Lenox china (and they cost less when you drop them).
  4. Know when to fold. Not only do kids get tired and cranky, friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins do too. If you’re visiting friends or relatives, save yourself a lot of energy by deciding upfront how long you’re going to stay before you get wrapped up in the visit. “Five more minutes,” “one more drink,” “one more game” can start to pile up until everyone – kids and grownups alike – is past their sociability expiration date. This is especially important if you know you’re going to have to study or work in the morning.
  5. Make a vacation sandwich. It’s hard to relax and enjoy family time or a good meal with homework looming over your head. Try to finish any assignments early and plan some time near the end of the holiday for review. You’ll be able to enjoy the vacation without the cloud of “to-do’s,” and the review time means you can start the week with your coursework fresh in your mind.
  So what do you think?  Is a Thanksgiving holiday an oasis of refreshment in the desert of online studies? Or is it really a sand trap in disguise?  A little of both, perhaps?  How do you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday?  Let us know in the comments below. Sources: 2012 Online Student Demographic Study by The Learning House; U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). Digest of Education Statistics, 2012 (NCES 2014-015), Chapter 3.

For Online Students, is Thanksgiving Break an Oasis or a Mirage?

Posted by Debi Teter
college-student-fall-thanksgiving-breakAh, the holidays. Those blissful four days of relative freedom near the end of November offer college students the chance to go home, take a break from projects and papers, travel to see family and friends, and catch up on much-needed rest. Traditional students might think that the online student spends most of the semester enjoying that kind of freedom. After all, they don’t have to fight for a coveted commuter parking spot and hoof it across a cold campus sidewalk to get to class every day. Online students do enjoy the freedom of doing coursework on their own schedule, and it’s a huge benefit, but it would be a little short sighted to say the online student doesn’t need a holiday break. Who wouldn’t want a chance to spend time at home, take a break from projects and papers, visit friends and family and get some “me” time?  But is that what the Thanksgiving Break really is for online students? It’s time to take a closer look at whether Thanksgiving break for online students is actually a “break” at all. Here’s an examination of the holiday benefits students look forward to versus the average online student’s world. Holiday bliss: There’s no place like home Online student reality: Well, sort of. Since the online student’s classroom is their home, it might be a little hard to get pumped up about that short walk from the computer into the other room. However, there’s always the option to travel to see family – more on that in a minute. Holiday bliss: Putting School Projects on Pause Online student reality: More than half of all online students work full time. Twenty percent of them work part time. For these folks, even if they have time off from work for the holiday it doesn’t make much sense to take a break from their study routine or projects. Once you get behind in class, getting caught up can be an enormous undertaking. Holiday bliss: Adventures in Travel Online student reality: When planning travel for the holidays, they have plenty of preparations to make:  taking time off work, boarding pets, purchasing airfare, train tickets or just filling up the car requires saving money, contributing to the holiday meal requires planning, and if children are involved there’s often extra packing and preparation associated with getting them road-ready. Those who want to get ahead – or stay afloat- in their classwork have an extra layer of planning. If they usually use a desktop computer but are traveling with a laptop, they’ll want to make sure their laptops have their school’s virtual learning platform software installed. Plus, if they’re staying with Great-Aunt Suzy, it might be worthwhile to see if she knows what her internet security passcode is so they can log on as a guest. Otherwise, studying might involve a late-night trip to Starbucks for a latte and free Wi-Fi. Holiday bliss: A Dream Called Rest Online student reality: It’s important to remember that when the online student has a holiday break, all the other students in their house are out of school too. Which means if our online student has to work or study, they’ll have to find a child care solution if family isn’t available to pitch in. Since it’s the holidays, child care providers are often hard to come by. If there are some child care providers available, their services are priced at a premium. And the holidays themselves, as joyous as they are, can be kind of stressful. Shopping, cooking, decorating, entertaining, hosting, traveling – all these activities are the opposite of what busy students would enjoy most: peace and quiet.

Use Your Battlefield Training to Help Transition from Military to Civilian Life

Posted by Admin
military-authority_battlefield-training-helps-transitionTransitioning from the military to the civilian workforce is both an exciting and challenging new adventure. It can be a challenge for veterans whether moving to a classroom or to a workplace. However, the following will tips should help in their transition process. The military skills you acquired are very valuable in the workforce. Your military training and discipline will increase your value within an organization, making you a good choice for promotions and additional opportunities. Employers value problem-solvers. Applying the tools, training and analytics skills you’ve received to your work’s problems and offering solutions can help your employers yield better results. That will be noticed and result in positive performance reviews. Identify your plans and goals. Your military lifestyle was undoubtedly very structured: training, work details, meal times and other things were planned out for you. Transitioning to civilian life means freedom from all the structures you are accustomed to. That newfound freedom may cause setbacks for you if you don’t identify your plans and goals. Create structures for yourself that you can follow on a daily basis. This will help you maintain your focus, be more productive, stay on track and reach your goals. Your Military Life Story. Be prepared and don’t get offended if new civilian coworkers ask questions that are military or war-related such as “Why are we still fighting in the Middle East?” or “How many people have you killed?” Prepare sets of answers for anticipated questions so that you can exit the conversation easily if you don’t want to discuss those things. Or try to steer conversations towards the education and work experience you gained which are helping you with your new job. In time, even people who may not like or appreciate military service will see that you are a valuable employee and stop asking offensive or intrusive questions. Take time to discover and explore. Transitioning from military to civilian life can be disorienting. Take some time to discover and explore the world you lived in before you entered the military. What interests did you have that you had to put aside during your service? You may decide to start a simple business or go back to school to acquire more skills to pursue those forgotten interests and dreams. Seek Help and Guidance from Family and Friends. You have a support system with you from your time in the military service – your spouse, family and friends outside your military life. Transition will be difficult if you are undergoing some post traumatic stress disorder or some combat stress. Get counseling, take part in veteran-to-veteran conversation groups, maintain healthy eating habits, exercise regularly, and practice stress mitigation techniques. There are also valuable resources out there that can help you with the processing of your Veterans Affair claims, treating stress, finding employment, and starting college programs. Each veteran going through the transition to civilian life can be successful, especially if he or she remembers to use the discipline, military training and experiences acquired over the years. Use them to your advantage to make yourself better and your life a happier, more fulfilling and satisfying.

College Earns You More than a Degree

Posted by Christine A. Shelly
College-earns-more-than-a-degreePeople with a college degree tend to have a better quality of life.  Research conducted by the College Board, “Education Pays: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society,” examines the broader payoffs of education. Having a job and earning a higher wage is valuable.  But there’s value in a college degree that extends far beyond unemployment and earnings potential. But did you know that college graduates are also more likely to volunteer?  Or that they’re more likely to vote?  Would you believe they’re likely to be healthier?   Healthier Habits The College Board study found that there is a relationship between educational attainment and better health at every age and income level. More than two-thirds of college graduates ages 25-34 exercised moderately at least once each week compared to 49% of high school graduates. Although this age group showed the most dramatic difference, the College Board study data indicated that college graduates at all levels are more likely to exercise. The benefits from regular exercise are well documented. For example, of the 20% of adults who smoke, 9% are college graduates. 69%of those who hold at least a bachelor’s degree have never smoked.   Taxes, Voting and Volunteering Increases One measure of a higher quality of life is the extent to which members of a society are engaged in their civic duties.  These are duties like voting, paying taxes, and volunteer service. A college degree often means a higher salary – and a higher tax rate.  The bright side is that when you pay Uncle Sam, local, state and federal governments provide important and valuable things like better roads, schools, and community services. Perhaps paying more in taxes drives a sense of civic duty. Nearly half of all volunteers in 2006 held at least a bachelor’s degree.  Forty-three percent of those who volunteered with an organization were college graduates; 19% were high school graduates.   Parenting Professionals Now are you ready for a surprise? The College Board study found that children of college graduates are better prepared for school and participate in more extracurricular activities, which means they will be more likely to attend college themselves. Children of college graduates are:
  • More active in sports – 44% participated in sports activities, compared to 18% of children of high school graduates
  • 30% more likely to participate in scouting and art related activities than children of high school graduates
To be fair, there may be other social and economic factors that play a part in this data.  Regardless, there are a number of reasons why education is a positive investment.  From better health to a bigger paycheck, a college degree is a smart investment.   References: https://plus.google.com/100867380494694926632/posts/1SV5LBpskcL

http://www.statisticbrain.com/voting-statistics/

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2008/jan/wk4/art03.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5444a2.htm

http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/28/parental-involvement-and-childrens-academic-success   #collegedegree   #educationbenefits   #highereducation  

It’s Back to School! 5 Habits of Highly Successful Online College Students

Posted by Debi Teter
StudentAh, it’s that time of year that parents all across the country anticipate more than their kids anticipate Santa’s visit. It’s time to send the kiddos back to school! But what about you? Are you a service member taking advantage of your military education benefits. Are you putting your toe in the online education waters for the first time as you pursue a degree? If you’re one of those adult students jumping into the world of school again for the first time in a while, check out these five habits that will help you be a success:
  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.

Prep for College By Doing These 3 Things Now

Posted by Christine A. Shelly
summer-college-prep_militaryauthority.comSummer is in its full glory. With all the sunshine and snow cones around, it hardly seems possible that college is right around the corner. When college starts, it can be a pretty big upheaval if you’re not ready for it. There’s a new routine to follow, new people to meet and new horizons to be explored. This can be super exciting, or terrifying, or a combination of the two. Whether you’re about to start your first semester or your final year of college, make the transition from summer to fall by doing three things… Read, read, and read some more. Your high school reading list may have been intense, but college level English literature will probably require more reading and more frequent assignments. Keep your brain nimble and prepare yourself for an increased workload by making reading a habit. Your local library may have reading lists that you can peruse for ideas. If you already have your class schedule, you could look for the syllabus or requirements and get a jump start on reading the course material. Read the other 2 tips here and then give us your own tips in the comments!   RESOURCES:

http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/summer-to-do/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/your-brain-on-books-10-things-that-happen-to-our-minds-when-we-read/

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2012/01/13/4-time-management-tips-for-online-students

#college #collegeprep #collegebound

 

Free Handbooks About Military Benefits

Posted by Debi Teter
2014_sm_military_handbook_frontDo you know that there is a website that offers free handbooks explaining all of your military benefits? That’s right…you don’t need to spend your time searching through dozens of websites, because that work has already been done for you. MilitaryHandbooks.com, a site within the Military Authority network, offers handbooks to you for free. Military Handbooks was launched with one simple goal – to give the Military community the very best information available about pay, benefits, retirement planning, education benefits, career decisions, much more! And to provide it to you in a series of straightforward, easy-to-understand handbooks – for FREE! The handbooks include:
  • After the Military
  • a Base Installation Guide
  • Benefits for Veterans and Dependents
  • Getting Uncle Sam to Pay for your College Degree
  • Guard and Reserve
  • Military Children’s Scholarship
  • US Military
  • US Military Retired
  • Veterans Healthcare Benefits
Spend some time on the Military Handbooks site to get the most up-to-date benefits information.    

A Service Member’s Prep Work for College

Posted by Debi Teter
Back to schoolHas it been a few years since you’ve tackled an algebra or geometry problem? How about chemistry? When was the last time you wrote an essay? For veterans and transitioning service members who are considering college, the thought of facing any of these subjects might be enough to dissuade them from pursuing their education. That’s why the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Education have a number of college preparation resources in place. Because for most vets and service members, it’s not a matter of being incapable of handling these academic adventures – it’s just a matter of getting a little practice. Here is an overview of five programs designed to help vets and service members get their skills assessed, practice and prepare for their college education. The Online Academic Skills Course The Department of Defense’s Online Academic Skills Course gives all service members, regardless of activation status, all and their families are access to study guides, resources, articles, and practice tests to help them practice their academic skills and even prepare for placement exams like the LSAT, GRE, and GMAT. The Kuder® Career and Transition System The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support website features the Kuder Career and Transition System, which is a tool that was designed especially for the US Military. This comprehensive online resource helps veterans and service members learn skills and build a career plan. CareerScope® Featured on the Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill website, CareerScope® is a new tool that measures aptitude and interests by evaluating a students’ responses to an online test. At the end of the 60-minute test, the tool provides the student with potential career paths based on their responses. Free Educational and Vocational Counseling Chapter 36 – otherwise known as the VA’s Educational and Vocational Counseling program offers several services for transitioning service members who:
  • Are within six months prior to discharge from active duty.
  • Are within one year following discharge from active duty.
  • Currently receive educational assistance under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606, 1607.
  • Are Veterans and qualified dependents who are eligible for and have entitlement to education assistance under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606, 1607.
Services include career counseling, educational and vocational counseling, training program development, and academic and adjustment counseling. The goal is to identify and remove barriers to successful employment. Veterans Upward Bound The Department of Education offers the Veterans Upward Bound program to help veterans prepare for a successful college career. It is a free program, designed to help participants refresh their academic skills, including basic skills development, short-term remedial or refresher classes for high school grads and much more.   There’s no reason not to take advantage of the resources that have been created to help veterans and service members prepare for their college education. For student veterans and service members, there are people who want to help and whose purpose is to see you succeed.   #militaryeducation #militarybenefits #fromgreentogray