With articles circulating like this one in the New York TIMES recently, It Takes a B.A. to Find a Job as a File Clerk, maybe it’s time we all look at this as a wakeup call and take some action. .
I saw the writing on the wall in 2008. Spending 20 years in the US Army, I kept up with education as needed for promotion reasons to First Sergeant. I had 30 credits for E-5, 60 credits for E-7 before I stopped. My experience got me the rest of the way. Fortunate to be drafted into a career with a future like Recruitment, I became a fast learner and propelled to leader and trainer roles. My success was recognized by a Healthcare recruitment company that needed someone with my skills, regardless of my educational background. Retiring in 2003, I then led a fast track rise to success in healthcare recruitment. This worked great until 2008 when the economy slowed down for the field I recruited for, temporary nursing staff. It was then I began to regret not completing a degree.
Being nothing more than blessed, I found a perfect job at VA. My experience and Veteran Preference made me eligible for the position. It also benefitted me that there was not a strong interest in moving to New Orleans in 2008, so soon after Hurricane Katrina.
I decided I did not ever want to search for a job again without a degree. I realized that I was the least educated employee in my office, including a college intern. As a matter of fact, many of the staff at VA have Masters degrees. With no more excuses left and with the New GI Bill changes in effect, I was eligible for 70% of the available Educational benefits. I took advantage of the online options and enrolled at Grand Canyon University as an online student in August 2011. Now with only three remaining classes, I will finally achieve a Bachelors Degree from an accredited university this summer.
Many of you learned that education is important a long time ago, and I commend you. We are also finding out just how competitive the new job market can be. As you apply to Jobs at VA Careers, you will see that many require education and licensure, and those eligible are encouraged to APPLY TODAY!
Like all preferred employers, competition for VA positions is high in many positions and popular locations. By setting goals and mapping out a course to improve qualifications and credentials, we can all be successful. However, today, I encourage all eligible candidates to think education, and think Healthcare.
Be sure to learn about all Veteran benefits at www.benefits.va.gov