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My Experience Getting a Degree as Active Duty Military

Updated on September 24, 2014

Over the course of my 11 years in the US Air Force I have heard many people question why they need a college education. Many argued it did not make anyone a better leader. Others figured it wasn't worth the work to get an education because it was their belief that their military skills and experience were enough to secure them a well-paying job. Then there was my personal favorite; if they were to attain the same level of education, or higher, than their officer counterparts, it would make no difference in the pay or respect they earned. Unfortunately for those who fell into the latter category the short-term viewpoint was favored over the long-term viewpoint, robbing these individuals of higher potential earning power and likely higher job satisfaction once their military careers were finished. After all, twenty years is not a lifetime.

I intend to impart knowledge from my own experiences. When I figured out I could get my degree more quickly by both virtue of the avenues to allow it and my prior education, I was totally on board. I was ready to circumvent the unnecessary and get the degree for which I already had a solid job experience.

Although I have not been a part of the civilian workforce for over a decade, I can imagine there are similar reasons people use to avoid college. Among these reasons, you will also find that many college graduates are over-qualified to what jobs are available. In many cases the graduate's degree choice plays a big part in the challenge to find a good job. Let's face it. A computer engineering degree is going to open more doors than a degree in acting or art. If you're serious about being successful in the workforce you will need to choose practicality over pipe dreams.

The college experience has certainly changed in the past couple of decades. We have a myriad of options including in-residence and online classes, as well as comprehensive exams designed to give students credit for a class in which they demonstrate a satisfactory level of knowledge. Although tuition is on the rise, people who want to get a degree are no longer confined to paying tens of thousands for a four year education.

So...you're reading this blog because you want to know how to put those tens of thousands of dollars back into your pocket. After all, that money can be converted into a down payment for a new house later on down the road, or a car to commute to your awesome future job. Why fork it over to a college with massive operating costs when you have other options?

Time is as valuable as money. If it weren't, we wouldn't ask for pay to give our time at work, would we? What you will find in this book will also save you time. The time you can save will range from hours a day to a year or two after completing a bachelors. If you could save time AND money AND get the same quality of education, why wouldn't you??

This blog is divided into sections based on different tactics I have used to get my bachelors pretty quickly, all while saving the tax payer $9,000....way more than was spent on my education. These sections will go over the benefits and challenges of each tactic. Yes, there are challenges. You will still have to work hard. And ultimately you will need to do classes through an accredited college. But hopefully you can find a way to complete your degree, attain knowledge for a better career, and do it in a way that fits into your busy life. I will discuss community college, online classes, CLEP exams, DSST exams, Excelsior exams, and other exams that may be available through your college.

Within other articles in the blog I will touch on various undergraduate and graduate programs that are hot today and provide listings of colleges that offer these programs. In addition to these listings, I will try to address pros and cons of the college and/or the program they offer.

Before I get into the tactics, I need to impart a little information about accreditation. Taking a college's accreditation can be a big money and time saver. This is why the first section will briefly go over accreditation. Check out that article first.

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