Using Your GI Bill For a Degree in Information Technology

If your thinking of ways to make the transition back to the civilized world and you are interested in the field of technology, you have the opportunity to use your generous GI Bill benefits to kick start your career.

About The New GI Bill and Montgomery Bill

In July of 2008, the new Post 9/11 GI Bill was signed into law and the benefits have been described as highly robust. Of course, the benefits are tiered based on the amount of days served on active duty. In general, the benefits are for service members and veterans who would like to attend education and training programs through an accredited school. You must have served as a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves for a minimum of 90 days after September 10, 2001.

The new benefits of the Post 9/11 bill include:

  1. Up to 100% coverage of tuition and fees.
  2. A monthly living (housing) payment.
  3. Up to $1000 per year for books and supplies.
  4. A one time relocation allowance if you want to relocate to attend a school.
  5. An option to transfer benefits to other family members.

This is not an exhaustive list of the benefits; however, it does highlight some of the most important aspects of the bill. If you are going to pursue a degree completely online or through a distance learning program, you may not be eligible for the housing stipend. You can inquire about your personal benefits eligibility by calling the Department of Veteran’s Affairs hotline at 1-888-GIBILL-1.

The Montgomery Bill

The Montgomery Bill is similar to the GI Bill, but it is specifically for those who have agreed to be on the Reserves programs for a period of 6 years. It doesn’t require that you have actual service in the Armed Forces in order to qualify. You can use your benefits to attend both traditional colleges and universities as well as Technical Schools and colleges that offer IT programs. In addition to the education fees, the Montgomery Bill will also cover any certifications or licenses needed in order to get a job in the civilian world.

Why Military Technology Skills Translates into an IT Degree

Many of the duties performed while in the military are centered around the use and application of different forms of technology. Serving in the military is often cited as a kind of testing ground for the use of one’s skills out in the field where one can “try on” different types of jobs that might suit their interests and skills in the civilian world. Those who have enjoyed using technology skills in the military have found potential for a civilian career in information technology.

It can be frustrating to learn that even though you have work experience using IT skills in the military, many employers in the civilian realm are unsure how it translates into the type of job candidate they need for a particular job. This is where completing a formal education to supplement your experience is the necessary ingredient to your success. Once you complete your IT degree, you will have the advantage of being able to show both formal education and applied experience on your resume.

Some of the more common transitions into IT careers using military experience occur in the sub field of Computer Forensics, IT Project Management, and Computer Networking, just to name a few. The military often conducts it’s own investigations into matters using computer forensics. Forensics is the use and application of technology to solve crimes. Other options include Information Security, Graphic Design, and Multimedia. The military works closely with private companies to develop 3-D interactive training software.

All of these possibilities within the field of Information Technology are within your reach with the generous benefits of your post 9/11 GI and Montgomery Bill. Be sure to take advantage of them and get your career started.