Careers for Military Studies Degree Graduates: An Introduction

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Category: Careers

By Matt Rowley
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Military organizations are the world’s largest employers. According to Statista, the U.S. Department of Defense employs nearly 3 million service members, Reservists and civilian staff, ranking second in the world behind India’s Ministry of Defense. Military agencies from other nations – such as the Central Military Commission from China – may employ even more, but Statista deemed data from those nations not sufficiently reliable to be included.

In the U.S., military branches are made up of enlisted service members and officers. Enlisted members comprise more than 80% of the U.S. military, with officers making up the rest. One of the major differences between the requirements for enlisted members versus officers is that officers must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree. Another important difference? Officers can earn significantly higher pay.

For those pursuing military officer positions, earning a bachelor’s degree in military studies is a good way to meet the education requirement. In this article, we break down seven kinds of jobs suitable for graduates of military studies degree programs.

1. Military Intelligence

Individuals interested in military studies are often particularly compelled by military strategy, tactics and coordination. Some may pursue intelligence officer roles in which they develop and execute plans to gather data about enemy forces through aerial imagery, human observation and electronic monitoring.

2. Military Police

Some military studies degree graduates pursue roles as military police on bases around the world. Each branch of the armed forces has its own military police force, making this a popular career for graduates equipped with investigative skills and problem-solving experience.

Military veterans sometimes apply what they’ve learned and pursue civilian law enforcement, securing roles as police officers, detectives, and corrections officers.

3. Business Operations

As some of the largest organizations in the world, military branches in the U.S. require many of the same kinds of positions that large businesses do. Positions at the officer level in the military can include:

4. Cybersecurity and Information Technology

The need for skilled cybersecurity professionals in the military is obvious, as military networks hold information sought by cybercriminals around the world. When working for the military, cybersecurity officers work to protect their branch’s digital assets from attacks by enemy forces. They also work to strengthen their networks, perform assessments, and respond to incidents.

Multiple branches also employ information technology experts at the officer level. These IT managers ensure their branch has the software and procedures in place to complete their missions efficiently and effectively.

5. Emergency Management

The field of emergency management includes serving and protecting communities before, during and after natural disasters and other dangerous and unexpected events. Emergency managers in the military are responsible for developing and managing their command’s disaster preparedness program. Their jobs typically include monitoring warning systems and assisting in the immediate aftermath of both natural disasters and chemical, nuclear weapon, reactor and radiological incidents.

6. Human Resources

As one of the largest employers in the world, the U.S. Department of Defense has as much of a need for skilled human resources professionals as any other organization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9,029 active-duty officers were employed in human resource development in March 2021.

In the military, HR managers create and oversee programs that support service members and their branches, including, but not limited to:

  • Ensuring compliance with directives and procedures.
  • Maintenance of personnel records.
  • Orientation, guidance and counseling for personnel.
  • Performance evaluations and promotions.

7. Homeland Security

Positions within the Department of Homeland Security often have plenty in common with positions in the Department of Defense, and a military studies degree program can prepare you for either one. Working for DHS can mean a lot of different things – the DHS includes agencies such as the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and the Secret Service – but their common goal is tracking, assessing and preventing threats to the U.S.

Next Steps

The types of jobs listed above are not the only options for graduates of military studies degree programs. There are many others, such as the various combat specialties, health care, engineering and more.

If you’re interested in pursuing a military officer position, consider enrolling in one of Columbia Southern University’s online military studies degree programs. We offer an associate degree in military studies, as well as the following bachelor’s degrees and concentrations:

CSU has military-focused support, and we help service members and veterans by evaluating their previous military experience for academic credit. For more information about all our online degree programs, visit our website.

Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography and degree field, affect career outcomes. CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.

Any reference to United States Department of Defense (DoD) personnel, products or services does not constitute or imply endorsement by the DoD. Paid ad. No federal endorsement of advertiser(s) intended.

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