According to Military.com, the US Army offers over 200 Military Occupational Specialists (MOSs) available for recruits to choose from, provided they score accordingly on the Aptitude exam. The US Navy offers over 100 careers ranged from fields of Arts & Photography to Aviation, Business Management, Operations or Transportation, just to name a few. The US Air Force has over 150 careers to include, you guessed it, learning to fly. The Air Force not only offers flying, this branch of service can train in the fields of Weapons Systems and Human Intelligence. The Marine Corps on the other hand has over 300 MOS’s which ranks them as the most to offer in terms of career options with US Coast Guard with about 20 different specialties being offered upon entry.
With nearly 800 jobs, spread over all 5-branches of service, how does a person decide what job is best suited for them?
The truth is, you don’t really get to decide as the potential recruit; the job kinda chooses you! Sometimes you don’t have many options.
This is determined by many factors such as test results, location preferences, gender, race, current events, and needs of that service.
Now as a potential recruit, in the beginning this may or may not deter your desire to enlist. However, long-term or after your military service this decision could pay dividends to your future career path.
Here is a list of 5-potential questions to ask yourself when saying “yes” to a qualified specialty:
- Am I in a career field that I desire to be in? For example, when I entered the Army in the 90s, computers were still relatively new, I desire a job in that field as I foreseen I needed computer knowledge and skills.
- How does this occupational specialty translate into the civilian world? For example, a Military Police simply translates in the civilian world, to Police.
- Is this something I can do for the rest of my life? For example, if you enjoy administrative work, then qualifying for a military speciality in Human Resources is a winning option if you see yourself doing HR for the rest of your life, regardless of the level of HR.
- What the civilian equivalent pay for this specialty? For example, startup pay in the military for areas such-as Intelligence may pay triple in the civilian world; or vice-versa depending on specialty.
- Is this job highly demanded in the non-military world? For example, laundry specialists was a job offered in the Army in the beginning of my career. However, in todays fast-changing world, would this continually be an area that is highly needed outside the military?
Anyone who’s served over a lengthy period of time will tell you that promotion matters depending on your MOS. For the most part, this is fairly true. On the flip-side this same concept is as true regarding your MOS in the civilian world. The concern should simply be “does your military job translate to the civilian sector?”
If this is something you have to think long and hard regarding, just remember that while you are serving ,
- Become crossed trained in other MOS.
- Be sure to obtain a college education.
- Have other skills that are certifiable.
- Consider changing your MOS if that is an option.
If you are considering the military, currently serving or know someone who is or thinking of serving, ask the question,
“Hey Veteran, how does your military skills translate to civilian skills?’