Kentucky University Program Helps With Transition

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The military bestows a great number of skills useful for job applicants, but they aren't always apparent to veterans or employers. Western Kentucky University is helping to change that with the Veterans Upward Bound program. Staff involved with Veterans Upward Bound identify a veterans' skills, experiences, and career goals and match them with a list of possible schools and degrees. The goal is simple: present veterans with education options that will lead them to the career they want. Other benefits include free textbooks and services.

Transitioning can feel like a chaotic mess, but Veterans Upward Bound hopes to provide a bit of order to the process. According to Courier Press, the program coordinator, Rick Wright, said the program specialized in making sense of skill sets. "The least we can do for these brave men and women is to offer them a good education so they can get a good job," Wright said.

By targeting key problem areas, Veterans Upward Bound will help veterans receive an education conducive to finding a job after graduation. Bob Wilson, chairman of the Southcentral Kentucky Community Blueprint Program identifies similar issues as Wright in transitioning veterans. Many of them have strong technical skills and are motivated candidates, but they tend to lack soft business skills necessary to enter the workforce.

"Unfortunately, what we're seeing is ... a lot of them are underprepared," Wilson said. "The veterans who are coming out are not prepared for the civilian side of what they did in the military."

There are many different ways to choose a college major that's right for you, but picking one that matches skills you already have will help make your transition easier. There are some MOSs that lend themselves completely to civilian jobs, but others are not so smoothly translated. If you're struggling to put the pieces together, a skills translator can help put you on the right path. Figure out not just what you're qualified to do, but what you want to do. You may have some compatible skills in different industries, not just what you're told will work for you.

Regardless of how you'd like to choose your career, checking out what the program has to say couldn't hurt. Contacting Western Kentucky University will cost nothing but time, and may help focus your efforts in obtaining a marketable degree, and reaching your career goals.

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