4 options to consider after your military service

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Your time in the military is coming to a close and it feels like the world is your oyster. But just like you can prepare an oyster a thousand ways (like Bubba Gump and shrimp…), sometimes having countless options feels more overwhelming than exciting.

Here are four great options to consider after your service:

1. Build a business

Maybe you've always wanted to open up a coffee shop or a t-shirt company. Whether you have the next post-it note type of idea or you want to build your own consulting firm, entrepreneurship may be a good option for you.

Your military service has taught you leadership, discipline, attention to detail and so many other skill sets that you'll be able to leverage as your forge your own path. Plus, we heard your boss is awesome.

2. Trade school

If you know the specialty you want to focus on, trade school may be a great option for you. Whether you want to work in aviation or engineering, fashion merchandising or marketing, there are a lot of great options to consider.

Attending trade school can help you save time, which in turn will save you money. Having a professional certification can boost your credibility, confidence and hireability.

3. Government contracting

Sometimes finding a career after your time in the military might be as simple as walking down the hall. Military service is greatly valued in the government. Whether you served as an operator and want to head into the Intelligence Community, or served as an Intel-O and want to parlay that work as an analyst, the options are endless.

Government departments and agencies rely on contractors to augment their staff and there is no better place to look than to the men and women who have already done the job or are at least very familiar with it.

4. Let CTVI help you

Maybe you're not 100% sure what you want to do. Leverage the incredible programs through Columbia University's Center for Veteran Transition and Integration (CVTI). CVTI provides innovative educational programming and support for service member and veterans making the transition to two- and four-year colleges, graduate and professional schools, civilian life, and the workforce.

Utilizing a team of educational technologists and instructional designers, CVTI creates robust online educational programming that facilitates transition from service to academia and the workforce.

The Center for Veteran Transition and Integration is dedicated to creating courses that are designed specifically to ensure veteran success in transition. Currently CVTI is offering three courses with more on the way, and they're free to everyone.

The courses are:

Attaining Higher Education

Prepare to transition to college using intentional decision-making. This course is aimed at active duty service members and veterans. Learn about the college admission process, financial aid, and choosing a right-fit college.

University Studies for Student Veterans

This course helps veterans transition smoothly from military service to college, and helps them maximize their success once they arrive.

Find Your Calling: Career Principals for Returning Veterans

This course provides military veterans with a useful roadmap to transition more smoothly from military service to a new and meaningful civilian career.

You can access all their content through the CVTI website which includes a Video Library and Microlessons. No matter what you decide to do, whether it's finding a meaningful career or furthering your education, CVTI can help.

First decision made. CVTI.

This post was sponsored by Columbia University.