People pursue an MBA degree for several reasons: they may want to take advantage of more professional opportunities, a higher pay grade, more skills development or cementing a long-term professional network.

If you’re a service personnel enlisted in the US military, a graduate degree, coupled with your experience in the military can gear you up well – whether you’re looking to advance further along the military ranks or encompass success in the civilian business world.

Here’s what you should know:

  1. Time spent serving in the military might give you a leg up with certain specialized employers; however, you might lack the credentials to see your career flourish outside the military – a graduate degree. Numerous benefits a degree offers are not just for military personnel seeking professional advancement outside the military.
  2. Active duty service personnel and veterans who aim to advance within military ranks might find themselves running into stringent academic requirements, which includes a graduate degree, in order to advance to higher ranks. Supplementary training programs alone just won’t do.

The Best of Both Worlds

As a military vet or leader, you understand a thing or two about leadership. You understand the importance of accountability, responsibility and you consider yourself goal-oriented.

An MBA degree balances these well-earned skills off with practical knowhow, critical thinking prowess and squarely focuses on solution implementation. In other words, your military experience and MBA degree complement one another – you can gain an edge over the competition, whether you’re looking to advance your civilian or military career.

So, the question is: how does your military experience tie in with a graduate management program and the business world that looms outside your service circle?

What A Sound Education Does For Active Duty Military Personnel

How an MBA Degree Compliments Military Service

Military experience, essentially provides individuals a firm grounding in flexibility, authority, leadership, managing teams as well as individuals, moving collectively towards a goal, all this under unforeseen and often extreme circumstances. Furthermore, a military experience provides enough flexibility to empower you to think along broader lines, as you take calculated risks and make well-informed decisions.

This kind of real-world experience, when taken to graduate school, can prove highly valuable to your classmates. MBA students generally draw from their work experience, but your military experience might have taken you to foreign lands, placed you in the middle of different cultures, and other circumstances that might have required a high level of adaptation, risk taking and decision making that quite frankly, just cannot be replicated in the business or civilian world. Your skills, along with your perspective while important during graduate school, will also be much sought after by corporate recruiters.

Make Better Decisions In or Out of Uniform

Let’s say your career goal is only military advancement for now; an MBA degree will give you the necessary leverage you need. The skills you already have – graduate management school will help you hone them to a greater degree. Critical thinking and analytical skills in particular will prove to be valuable as you manage large, complex operations – be it finance, supply chain management, personnel functions or more general functions.

An MBA curriculum provides industry-specific information, analytical training and particular business skill sets such as marketing, finance, operations management etc. Whether you’re in uniform or not, this is all you’ll need to efficiently operate in a management scenario.

The ability to solve problems effectively also forms a prominent part of the curriculum. The MBA program equips you with the right tools to analyze situations and take actions based on those analyses. Business skills gained help you understand the environment you’re functioning in; your military team management background can also help you implement actions.

Gain a New Perspective

It is quite clear how an ideal combination of a graduate management degree and military experience is near-perfect for meeting head on the demands of a military or civilian setting.

In the military, things are prioritized on a threat scale. In the business world, things are generally more subtle. One has to prioritize on a profit and loss basis. An MBA degree can help you attain a fresh perspective.