Choosing a Military Occupation for a Civilian Career

Military personnel often have the option of choosing their Military Occupational Specialty; or MOS. During the recruitment process, those recruits that seek to choose an MOS that will benefit them in the civilian workforce upon completing their military duties will need to consider a few key attributes of their occupational options. You can often consult with a military career counselor to help you make your decision. Your goal will be to choose a field that will take advantage of your talents and interests as well as a job that will translate well as you enter your civilian career later. 

Identify your Strengths

Before embarking on your enlistment career, each recruit is required to take the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery. The ASVAB will illuminate which skills you possess and which fields would pose particular challenge for your aptitude. Military Occupation Specialties are often made available only if you qualify by way of your ASVAB score. You should take your scores into consideration as you choose from the MOS assignments that are available. Choosing a field that has requirements at the limits of what your scores suggest you can handle will need to be addressed with the reality that you may have a more difficult time learning the aspects of the field than others in your class.

Consider your Prior Education

Fields of occupation that are aligned with other post-secondary education you have attained will serve you in particular ways. Many times, military personnel who enter the civilian workforce with a degree in a vocation will be aided by the fact that they also possess experience in doing the job through their MOS. Not only will the combination of education and experience serve you well as you seek employment after your enlistment is complete, you will be able to use your education while you serve to garner leadership positions within your fiend and receive meritorious promotions. 

Looking Ahead

Choosing your career should be done by considering your strengths but also the projections for the prospect of your chosen field in the future. Consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics to get an idea of which jobs are forecast to be in greater demand when your enlistment if finished. Choosing a career that is likely to decline in the intervening time can mean a wasted opportunity. Instead, choose among those careers that are projected to be plentiful in the future as you weigh your options.

Universal Occupations

There are several MOS that you can choose regardless of the branch of service that you have chosen. Certain jobs are present throughout the military and have corresponding civilian positions that remain in demand. Among these job titles are administration, medicine and dentistry, legal professions, and mechanical trades. If you are looking for jobs that allow you the most flexibility in your military career and will translate effectively as you transition back to civilian life, choosing among these universal professions is your safest bet.

Steve Gottwald

Hi my name is Steve, a former member of the US Army Reserves. I attended the University of Arizona and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree.

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