Transitioning from a military service job to a civilian job can be a task no short of frustrating, confusing and outright discouraging.
For veterans recently finished with their service and searching for a civilian career, GI and Military Edge magazines are the most prominent sources of assistance in solving this problem. The magazines offer job listing possibilities and publish a list of the most military friendly schools.
Pierce College was recently ranked 14th out of the top 50 colleges in a field of 7,000 nationwide colleges in the June/July issues of the magazines. This ranking was based on the availability and use of active duty and veteran benefits, such as the GI Bill, credits for service and on-campus veteran programs for personnel and family.
The guarantee of the GI Bill paying for most college tuition costs offers another option, other than the civilian workforce, for active duty and veteran service members to polish or refine their skills.
“The benefits got me in the door. The door got me on the path…this is what school has done for me,” Mike Collins, retired technical sergeant and Pierce College student, said.
Collins spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as a cable maintenance and repairman but faced difficulty in transitioning his military career and experience into a civilian career.
“I went from job security in the service, to nothing. I had my retirement check, but I still needed a job to feed my family and pay the rent,” Collins said.
Collins worked two jobs before he decided to cash in on his veteran affairs benefits and enroll into Fort Steilacoom campus. He discovered why Pierce College was ranked 14th for most military friendly schools in the nation. He quickly began classes on his way to a new career. However, 20 years out of school presented a problem.
“I was out so long I had to start at the bottom of the ladder,” Collins said.
Since attending Pierce, Collins has redeveloped the necessary skills to achieve his ultimate goal of earning a computer engineering degree from the University of Washington. He’s demonstrated so by developing his math skills from Math 54 all the way to the Calculus 2 level.
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