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Should a pursue a higher education?

Veteran

Eric Morgan Jacksonville, FL

I'm separating from the Navy, I have an accounting degree. I'm having a hard time getting my toe in the door since I don't have any recent experience. So I am thinking a should go back to school to help build a network again. So I'm trying to decide between a master's degree or a second bachelor's.what other route could I pursue?

11 March 2019 6 replies Education & Training

Answers

Advisor

Kiley Pontrelli Morrisville, NC

Hi Eric!

I wanted to throw in an alternative option - if you aren't completely sold on becoming a CPA or doing something that requires a certification, look at the companies/firms who have strong veteran programs. I know that Cisco (and I believe, Metlife) has an internship/analyst program that would give you experience at the company and generally offers a position at the end & they have finance/accounting departments. A lot of firms have a HUGE push to hire veterans right now, so leverage that! There are often events that many of these firms will attend (through USO or though various military organizations specific to your state) looking for veterans with strong leadership and transferable skills.
Hope this helps!! Don't hesitate to reach out if I can be of assistance!

12 March 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

J J Nemitz Traverse City, MI

Hi Eric,
Great question. Are you looking for an accounting position or maybe a leadership position in business?
I think your military benefits and what you are entitled to regarding school might be a place to start with your education officer.
There are many good schools out there that support military students too so look at those.
After talking about your needs and goals that might determine the degree. I would normally suggest a masters as it is an advanced degree that you can accomplish in a year or two depending on the program.
Now, if you wanted to teach school.K-12. then you would go back for a bachelors and teacher certification which would take longer.
I hope this helps and let me know if you have further questions.
Best to you and thank you,
J.J.

12 March 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

Patrick E Alcorn Arlington, TX

Stop learning...start doing. You never do anything or have anything unless you do it now! Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Do it now! Get to work...build your resume with real world projects...volunteer...start your own business...whatever. Just do it now!

Advisor

James OBrien Williamsburg, VA

Eric I wanted to throw a couple of thoughts out there. First is to pursue Kiley's line of thought to target a company that is recruiting vets, especially for a training program.
I also echo the thought on some career planning to help decide what do you want to do/be in 5 yrs, 10 yrs, etc. I would also caution against just getting a master's degree without having experience in the field from which you can marry it it. I say this for two reasons, first if your having trouble now with getting a job with no recent experience then you've added a couple more years of gap and your desire for a job will likely be at a higher rate of compensation. How do you manage that ? I also caution if you would add any debt to your situation, that's the last thing you need.
As you wait I would also ask you to consider volunteering at church or civic organizations which would be current experience that you can add to your resume. In addition this opens the network world up for your direct contacts as well as their networks. While this is not too impressive it shows your determination to do what's necessary to met the objective as well as a desire to give back as you learn.
If you have an accounting degree from a reputable university then this should be a marketable event. Take your MOS progression over time and tie it into achievements that can be molded to fit your skills/education. You will have the basic academic baseline plus an outstanding leadership component that make you more attractive to the employer Vs another applicant.
Networking can be done without getting another degree. Many companies actively recruit form places like LinkedIn. I actually got my last job, which was a high level finance job, through Linkedin. At worst you will get noticed by companies and recruiters as you work your transition plan to the goal line. I used to interview veterans who applied over the last 25 years because I valued their experience so much. The only reason I wasn't so successful was that they were in so high demand that I didn't get to talk to them before they accepted another job!
Good luck and thanks for your service.

Advisor

Paul Dietrich Staten Island, NY

I would recommend the Masters degree as it better aligns with your benefits periods. Look for opportunities to intern during your studies so that businesses have a chance to see you work to overcome the lack of current experience. You may wish to consider management masters as that opens many paths to the higher paying jobs.

Veteran

Eric Morgan Jacksonville, FL

Yes, I am trying to get into the accounting and finance world.
Thanks for the reply. You just helped me think of another avenue to explore.

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