Top 5 Associate's Degrees for Military Spouses

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I am encountering difficulties in the real estate market and realize that I need to get a new career. Are there areas where I might be able to get a couple of years training using my husband's remaining GI Bill benefits? Are there online schools for military spouses? My Air Force husband used about half of his GI Bill benefits to complete his degree. Thanks, Sandy

A great question Sandy and I thank you for asking it. Many others are asking similar questions such as what is the best career or job that they can find requiring a minimum of education? Your husband's remaining GI Bill benefits appear to allow you to complete at least an Associate Degree. I researched what types of Associate Degree might be the best investment of your time, effort and money.

There are five Associate Degrees in the top 20 fastest growing careers as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. These degrees in order of fastest growing are:

1. Physical therapist assistants
2. Environmental engineering technicians
3. Occupational therapist assistants
4. Veterinary technologists and technicians
5. Dental hygienists

Interestingly, all these degrees except veterinary technicians lead to high salary levels while dental hygienists are categorized as very high salary by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What does this mean for you individually? I see three main points.

Rapid Employment After Graduation

Being among the fastest growing careers, you should be able to secure employment fairly quickly after completion of your degree. Once you settle on a course of study be certain to determine how many graduates find employment in their new careers and how quickly. This is simply due diligence because online schools for military spouses whose graduates are actively sought by industry place their graduates at a competitive advantage.

Adequate Income

I urge everyone to pursue their interests when determining their career and education choices. However, attractive choices abound and considering possible income levels following graduation is simply smart. While you have your husband's GI Bill benefits, you are investing your time and some money into your education through online schools for military spouses, again due diligence demands that you expect to earn enough in your new to career to justify the expenditures of your time and money.

Portable Military Spouse Careers

A military spouse knows that reassignments loom in the future. My family and I always treated them as opportunities to learn and experience different cultures whether it is the life and culture of the US Southwest or the Eastern Mediterranean. My wife, an RN, knew that she might find employment in almost any new location. The careers above seem to offer the same options for graduates of online schools for military spouses. The military spouse who earns a degree in nearly any expanding career field is much more likely to find the hard work required to be well rewarded.

The beauty of an Associate Degree is that the graduate is able to work in their chosen field while gaining further education. For example, I received an Associate Degree and then worked as a policeman while attending university for a four year degree. By the same token, my physical therapist loves what she is doing and wouldn't want any other career. The key is to find what works for you. An Associate Degree provides options. You can work and start further or different studies. You can advance in your chosen career and train for ever higher levels or you can be the absolute best at what you trained to do when you received your Associate Degree.

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