The U.S. armed forces are integral to safeguarding the nation not only by fighting for it but also by preserving open lanes for global finance and commerce, securing alliances with other countries, promoting diplomacy, and advancing intelligence efforts.
Given the contributions military service members make to our country, current and former members of the military should be supported in pursuing educational and career paths that align with their professional ambitions. This also applies to military spouses, who may have difficulty securing employment due to the nature of life for a military family.
One benefit of an online MBA for veterans is that it can facilitate a career transition. Veterans and active-duty service members interested in working in business should consider learning more about the many benefits of an MBA and why the online learning format can be particularly advantageous.
Military Skills and Experience Set the Stage for a Business Career
Military service members develop a wide array of skills through their training and experience, and many of those skills can be applied in a business environment. According to financial services firm J.P. Morgan, some of the reasons military veterans make outstanding business leaders include the following:
- They are driven to accomplish the goals they set.
- They thrive under pressure.
- They are used to working across a wide range of roles within their team.
- They are highly disciplined and detail-oriented.
Additionally, military service members are proficient problem-solvers and have superior decision-making skills, both of which are crucial in business. Veterans know how to stay calm and exercise responsible resource management, and they are skilled communicators and logistical planners.
The training and skill set that veterans have gained make them ideally suited for business careers in a wide range of industries.
The Benefits of an MBA for Members of the Military
When members of the military combine their expertise and training with an advanced business education, they can make an impact in virtually any business environment. The potential benefits of earning a Master of Business Administration for current and former members of the military include the following.
1. Enhanced Perspective
An important benefit of an online MBA for veterans is that it can help them build a valuable foundation in areas like finance, marketing, operations, and accounting, along with training in management and human resources. Gaining this comprehensive knowledge can give veterans a broader perspective on multiple aspects of business and can enable them to pursue careers across a number of industries.
2. Career Opportunities
One of the main benefits of an MBA for service members and veterans is that it can open up a wide range of career opportunities. MBA graduates have gained highly transferable skills they can apply in jobs in numerous sectors like finance, marketing, hospitality management, sales, and international investment banking.
Additionally, MBA graduates can pursue advanced roles with higher salaries than those available to individuals with only a bachelor’s degree. According to Payscale, the median salary for MBA graduates was approximately $96,000 as of June 2023.
3. Skill Development
In today’s job market, soft skills are often just as important as technical skills, particularly for leaders. As discussed above, veterans and service members often have an advantage here: Through military service, they’ve had the opportunity to develop and refine soft skills in areas like work ethic, leadership, teamwork, communication, and adaptability.
These skills translate easily into the business world and can position those with a military background for success. Veterans and service members can further cultivate those skills while expanding their knowledge in other areas by pursing an MBA. According to college resource website upGrad, some of the additional soft and hard skills veterans can develop and refine during an MBA program include:
- Critical thinking and decision-making
- Data analysis and management
- Networking and relationship-building
- Pragmatism and planning
- Self-management and time-management
- Strategic thinking and analysis
- Technological savviness and computer/device skills
4. Expanded Professional Network
Building a professional network can help service members establish important business connections, generate ideas, and elevate their profiles. Veteran MBA graduates are uniquely positioned to connect with other veteran alumni, which can lead to job opportunities and business propositions.
5. Enhanced Credentials
In the business world, an MBA has significant cachet with employers seeking candidates with advanced business acumen and skills. In some cases, an MBA may even be required for senior and management positions.
How an Online MBA for Veterans and Active-Duty Military Can Be Particularly Beneficial
The benefits of an MBA for accelerating career growth are clear. However, some veterans and service members may not be familiar with the many advantages of online coursework. Thanks to modern technology and teaching methods, members of the military can take advantage of the following benefits by pursuing an education in an online learning environment.
The in-person model of learning requires students and educators to adhere to a strict schedule. Online learning, on the other hand, provides far more flexibility and convenience. Students can work anywhere with internet access, giving them much more control over their schedule. It’s the perfect arrangement for students who work full time or have family obligations—including service members who may be deployed to different regions on short notice.
Pursuing a business degree online provides students with easy opportunities to connect with fellow students and alumni anywhere in the world, as well as faculty. This allows them to expand their personal and professional networks and potentially provides a broader cultural perspective, which is invaluable in today’s increasingly globalized business climate.
Online MBA students have all the latest technologies and tools at their fingertips, which means veterans can focus on developing essential technical skills. Data analysis, programming languages, technical writing, and presentation and design are all valuable in today’s technology-driven business environment.
Make Your Move from the Military to a Career in Business
Military service members’ skills can make them valuable assets in any industry. And when those skills are paired with an advanced education in business, veterans can access quality career opportunities with high salaries.
Military service members should consider enrolling in an educational program that supports their career aspirations, such as Washington State University’s Online Master of Business Administration program. With concentrations in marketing, finance, hospitality and tourism, and international business, as well as a generalist path, WSU’s MBA program lets students choose the area of business that appeals to them most. Additionally, the program offers numerous resources for those who have served in the military, making it an ideal online MBA program for veterans.
Find out how Washington State University can help you embark on a career in business.
California Business Journal, “8 Career Benefits of an MBA”
CareerPro Plus, “What Are My Most Transferable Skills Learned in the Military?”
Fast Company, “Your Military Skills Can Be a Competitive Advantage in a Civilian Workforce”
Finance Monthly, “Unlocking the Keys to Success: 8 Things to Know if Graduating MBA Online”
Indeed, “Top 11 Skills Employers Look for in Job Candidates”
Indeed, “Why Get an MBA Degree? 11 Career Benefits to Know About”
J.P. Morgan, “Why veterans are ideal entrepreneurs”
Military.com, “Five Reasons to Get an Online MBA”
Military.com, “How an MBA Can Help You”
Military.com, ”How Today’s Military Leaders Will Shape the Business Future”
Military.com, “Military to MBA: Advice for Making the Soldier to Student Transition”
Payscale, “Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree”
The Soldiers Project, “Why Is the Military Important to Society? [A Simple Explanation]”
upGrad.com, “8 Invaluable Skills MBA Degree Helps You Improve”