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Benefits of an MBA for Veterans

As an active duty military service member or a veteran, you have an uncommon skill set that can help make you indispensable to employers in the private sector. A Master of Business Administration can complement your military training and prepare you for a professional career in a broad range of corporate management roles, in any industry.

You can optimize your potential by earning the business degree that has proven so beneficial to veterans — and you can earn it from a trusted university that has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to veterans.

Veterans Possess In-Demand Business Skill Sets

"The MBA enhances veterans' skill sets and makes them appropriate for the business world," says Dr. Paul Bobrowski, Dean of the Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado. The Dean spoke with us at length about some of the skill sets developed extensively in the military:

Teamwork: "People with frontline military experience have teamwork skills that can be transitioned to today's collaborative business environments. They have performed in roles in which they are neither at the top, nor at the bottom of a chain of command. These people understand the importance of each team member executing orders with precision to accomplish a mission successfully and punctually. They have been in dangerous and chaotic situations in which they have had to work quickly and make decisions, and they are better prepared to deal with pressure than most civilian business leaders."

Technical Training: "Veterans also possess excellent technical training in a variety of fields like engineering and aeronautics, and have real-world exposure to the products and services these companies produce. Many veterans want to complement this technical expertise with business acumen in order to become leaders in these industries. When they do round out their skills in an MBA program, they are highly sought after by leading firms."

Time Management: "Balancing military obligations with other professional and personal obligations has provided our veteran students with valuable time management skills. These help the veteran student divide their time successfully among many commitments in order to be successful."

Business and Communication Skills: "Battlefield training aside, the military builds an arsenal of business and communication capabilities that someone without such experience might not imagine. In the past three decades, military members deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have gained experience working with diverse groups of people. These include military peers as well as contractors and citizens of foreign countries that they have themselves trained. Our military members have overcome cultural and language barriers and learned how to succeed in spite of serious obstacles. This kind of experience has been proven to carry over into the corporate world, especially given the impact of globalization."

"At the University of Northern Colorado, our mission is to take veterans' impressive skill sets, complement them with expertise across business management fundamentals and prepare them for success as civilian professionals and leaders," says Dr. Bobrowski. "A military veteran with expertise in finance, marketing, economics or any combination of business disciplines offers a potent skill set that is highly sought after — and for good reason!"

Veterans Benefit From Enrolling in a Military-Friendly University Like UNC

In January of 2019, Victory Media and its G.I. Jobs Magazine published its annual Military Friendly Schools list. Military Friendly says its program "creates civilian opportunities for veterans. By setting a standard, promoting it and raising the bar over time, it provides long-term, positive reinforcement for American organizations to invest in programs that improve the lives of veterans. It's about creating demand for veterans in the private sector."

The Military Friendly Schools list offers a comprehensive guide for veterans using data sources from veteran students, federal agencies and proprietary survey information from participating organizations. To qualify for this important designation, universities are evaluated using public data sources and surveys completed by each institution.

Approximately 8,800 schools were evaluated for the 2019-2020 list, according to Daniel Turnbeaugh, Director of Veterans Services at UNC. Of those, only 766 were awarded the Military Friendly designation. UNC finished in the top 10 percent of the awarded schools, and among just 43 schools that were designated with the prestigious "Gold" status.

For prospective MBA students to understand the meaning of the Military Friendly designation, it helps to look at the program's methodology. An advisory council, in partnership with an independent research firm, developed the survey methodology and questions. Each year, the resulting "scores" create a benchmark for universities to aim for, thereby continually raising the standards of accommodations for veterans in higher education.

Universities that apply for this designation are evaluated for federal programs for veterans, which include:

  • Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program
  • Official Commitment to 8 Keys to Vet Success
  • VA's Principles of Excellence
  • Federal Financial Aid Shopping List
  • Armed Forces Tuition Assistance Funding
  • DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding
  • Veteran Success on Campus (VSOC) Program
  • Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Network

Universities are scored on the following benchmarks:

  • Retention rate in Y1 and Y2
  • Graduation rate
  • Job placement rate
  • Loan default rate
  • Transfer rate

Survey Scoring Categories and Weightings:

  • 30 Percent: Graduation and Career Outcomes
  • 30 Percent: Military Student Support and Retention
  • 12 Percent: Financial Aid and Loan Repayment
  • 10 Percent: Admissions and Orientation
  • 9 Percent: Academic Policies and Compliance
  • 9 Percent: Culture and Commitment

Attending a Military Friendly school ensures that you will have the resources you need to make a smooth transition from military to academics, and ultimately, to plentiful opportunities and a fulfilling career in the civilian world.

The UNC MBA Online Offers the Flexibility Active Service Members and Veterans Need

Flexibility is essential to deployed service members, as well as those who could be deployed at a moment's notice. For that reason, there is no residency or internship required in this online MBA program, so students never have to adjust their schedules and locations.

Just as important, the program structure is flexible and portable, which makes it perfect for students across the country or in different time zones around the world. All course material is online and accessible from any internet-enabled device, at any time. Coursework can be completed when time permits, so that students can balance academic with military and personal obligations. A student can complete the program in as little as one year, or stretch it out as necessary. Each course is seven weeks, and there are multiple start dates per year. Discretionary timing is a key feature with synchronous (live) presentations, which are then made available asynchronously (recorded), as well as discussion boards, videos and multimedia presentations.

Tuition is very affordable, especially for an AACSB-accredited business school, at just $21,492 for in-state and out-of-state students alike.

UNC Offers a Wide Range of Veteran Services

The University of Northern Colorado has a standalone center on campus dedicated to military students and their families, and offers online students the same benefits via the phone and internet. These include financial, academic and career counseling, and medical and mental health resources. Veteran students receive help with obtaining VA educational benefits through a variety of federal programs. UNC also connects veteran students with outside resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Colorado Department of Labor to help with job skills as well as vocational rehabilitation.

In addition, UNC has a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter, which advocates for military affiliated students and creates awareness of available resources within the university. This student-led organization continues to grow every semester.

The university is now launching a "Battle Buddy" accountability group program in response to a critical statistic released by the SVA. The data showed that a student veteran with just one person on campus, whether it is faculty, staff, peer or another vet, is 75 percent more likely to succeed and graduate. The Battle Buddy program intentionally focuses on this idea and allows for organic connection with others, for both on-campus and online veteran students.

Military veterans deserve all of the resources the United States can muster to enable our most committed citizens to reach their true potential. An MBA from a top Military Friendly university provides just that opportunity.

Learn more about the University of Northern Colorado online MBA programs.


Sources:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Eligibility for the GI Bill and Other Education Benefits

Military Friendly: University of Northern Colorado

Military Friendly Schools Guide

UNC Veterans Services

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