Back to Jobs & Education

Your next career minus college degree

Think beyond the ivy halls

Shawn Pratt, director and flight instructor with SIM Flight Center, said becoming a commercial pilot is a viable option for those transitioning from the military to civilian life. Photo credit: Shawn Pratt

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

For active-duty military asking themselves "what's next?" as their military career winds down, there are many options besides college.

As that journey to the next chapter begins, the first question to ask is "what do I like to do?" And "what kind of experience have I got?"

"What I'd tell someone as an option other than college, especially military guys coming out, a lot of them have had training or they have some work experience," said Michael Colvin, president of MedCerts, a healthcare training facility. "Often, they're going to try to enter a civilian job that is similar to what they've done in the military."

If you've worked on engines or on planes, that experience can lead to the next job.

And the door opener, the training and education needed to get that next job, can be found at a community college, at a trade school, or at a training program.

With his job at MedCerts, Colvin is often helping a military vet transition to civilian life. MedCerts is a video-based training program that prepares students to get jobs in healthcare.

"We also have a lot of military spouses actually choose the healthcare administration side," Colvin said. "But we have had many men going that route, too."

Over the years, Colvin has found that IT training often leads to a job. For more information, go to

One career that's wide open is commercial piloting. At SIM Flight Center, a local flight school, you can become a certified commercial pilot in a couple of years.

"The industry is actually in dire need of pilots," said Shawn Pratt, director and flight instructor with SIM Flight Center. "Horizon is hiring regularly. Alaska Airlines is always looking for pilots."

About nine months into the flight training you can be a commercial pilot for single engine planes if you fly five days a week.

"But if you want to fly for the big airlines, you'll have to fly a plane with more than a single engine," Pratt said.

Since SIM Flight Center is a certified 141 flight school, GI Bill benefits can be used for this training. For more information, go to

"They'll send a reimbursement check each month for that amount," Pratt said. "They'll get about $12,048 a year."

Read next close


Beyond shaking boots

comments powered by Disqus