Military Personnel and Veterans Need to Understand the Value of Education
By Dr. Janice Spangenburg
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Being an honorable veteran myself, I felt I wanted to share with fellow veterans about the value of education. At various stages in our military careers and after we become veterans, we need to recognize the value of education. Education has always been there for us to seize; some of us do continue our learning and others do not. Some veterans start their post-secondary education right away, while others wait because they believe the time is not right for them.
When Is the Right Time to Continue Your Education?
When is the right time to continue your education? It’s when you have the time and desire to work and also further your education. Time is a precious commodity that is difficult to hold onto, but advancing your education makes that time more worthwhile. Even when we are on active duty, the various branches of the military advocate off-duty education to enhance us personally and professionally.
Some veterans take advantage of education for personal reasons or to train for new jobs by acquiring new skill sets. Some of these skill sets may be to start a new venture or a hobby or many will just get the education for fun. While education is timeless and some get going with it, others might not be able to start the learning process right away for a variety of reasons. Even so, we need to help them get ready to be trained as well.
Sometimes, younger service members do not see the value of education. They think they have plenty of time to go back to school later. While that may be true, we still ought to enlighten them on the value of education.
Education Is Timeless and Accessible
As a veteran, I recognized the value of education early; I grasped the opportunity and took it to its literal limits. This means that I started going and kept going because I knew that education was value. Even today, I am still acquiring more education because we never stop learning. Veterans of all ages need to recognize that education is timeless and accessible.
With the widespread availability of online classes that AMU offers, higher education has never been more flexible or more accessible. Wherever an Internet connection is available, we can log on to our classes and do our classwork. All we need is a computer and backup storage, and we are on our way.
Furthering our education pays us back in so many ways. Higher education builds character and confidence; it also increases our knowledge and our skill sets. I know for this veteran I have been able to teach a multitude of students and fellow veterans in the classroom and in the online classroom as well. Having that connection with the military always served me well because I knew what the active duty and veteran went through and could commiserate with them.
Age and Finance Don’t Have to Be Barriers to Education
Age is no barrier to train for something new. We just have to follow our passions to learn and to grow.
In addition, veterans and active-duty military have many educational resources available to pay for schooling with grants or loans. Sometimes, we are lucky enough to have jobs that allow us to pay our own way as well.
Education Changes Our Lives and Futures
Without education, I would not be at this place in my life. Education gave me access to new challenges and it can give other veterans the same access and ability to change their lives.
Through education, we open a host of doors and can start on the many roads that hold the promise of a fulfilling life. When we recognize the value of education and take advantage of learning, many dreams can come true.
About the Author
Janice Spangenburg, Ph.D., is a faculty member in the School of Business at AMU. Janice is the principal consultant of Paradox Professional Consulting, a management consulting practice in Norfolk, Virginia, that specializes in education and government. Janice has worked in academia for over several decades, including serving a chair of 55 faculty members.
She currently mentors and chairs and teaches on all levels of academia. Dr. Spangenburg is extensively published in the areas of management and leadership. Janice earned a Ph.D. in business from Regent University and an M.A. in human and organizational systems from Fielding Graduate University. Janice also holds an M.S. in management from Troy University, a graduate certificate in logistics, materials and supply chain management from AMU and a B.A. in technology management from Saint Leo University.