5 Transition Tips for Life After Military Service

A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at CTU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.

If your military service is winding down, or maybe you have recently returned home, you've likely started thinking about the upcoming transition to civilian life. What will it be like? Will you have a new career? How can you best utilize the skills you learned in the military in your everyday life? These are all complex challenges, but ones that you can meet and exceed with the right preparation.

A 2015 study, surveying 1227 veterans, reported that 61% of post 9/11 veterans had difficulty readjusting to civilian life.1 That doesn’t spell doom and gloom—it means that it is important to start planning now.

Here we will illustrate some key tips for integrating back into regular life after military service.

5 Actions You Should Take

When thinking about the transition back to civilian life, begin by planning the actions you need to take to help keep you on track for a successful civilian life.

Here are a few suggested steps to take when transitioning out of the military:

  • Prepare: Start thinking about your transition as soon as possible and begin making preparations. This can include identifying possible career paths, learning skills that may be useful, asking other veterans and councilors for advice and refreshing your résumé.
  • Research: Choosing a career or vocation for your civilian life is a major step, one that should be made carefully. A great way to do this is to focus on the skills that you have developed through service to your country, or skills you would like to develop, and identifying careers for which they may be a good fit. Also take time to familiarize yourself with the process of job interviews, applications and career development.
  • Network: Your connections with other veterans and civilians who work in your desired job field are a great asset. Professional social networking sites like LinkedIn are a great way to strengthen your connections and reach out to those who you don’t know well but may be able to help you along the way. Veterans' organizations have career and transition resources available, as well.
  • Learn: Have you considered earning a degree? In April 2018, the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics reports that the employment rate of those with a bachelor's degree is higher than those without.2 As a Veteran, you may be eligible for the GI Bill® to help pay for your education.
  • Leverage: It's crucial to recognize that your military service is one of the greatest assets you have. When networking, preparing your resume and researching potential career or education options, make sure to note the specific skills that you picked up during your service. Additionally, place an emphasis on the general discipline, work ethic, timeliness and leadership qualities that are forged in the military.

Learn More About a Military-Friendly University

Colorado Technical University is proud to be a military-centric institution. Read about one of our students, Andrew, and how CTU's Wounded Warrior Scholarship (now called the CTU Patriot Scholarship) impacted this veteran.


1. The State of the American Veteran: https://www.oc-cf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/OC-Veterans-Study_USC-CIR_Feb-2015.pdf (visited 2/5/19).
2. “Unemployment rate 2.1 percent for college grads, 4.3 percent for high school grads in April 2018.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/unemployment-rate-2-1-percent-for-college-grads-4-3-percent-for-high-school-grads-in-april-2018.htm (visited 2/4/19). Conditions in your area may vary.

American InterContinental cannot guarantee employment or salary.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
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