One of the primary benefits of joining the military is that you can earn additional degrees while on active duty. The military is known for taking good care of its active duty soldiers, and whether you're Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard, you will have a chance to further your education on the military's dime.
With that in mind, some people might have questions about master's degrees. Specifically, you might wonder whether you can earn a master's in counseling while you on active duty as an enlisted soldier. The answer is that it depends upon your role, your record, and your time on active duty. You also have many options in order to get your degree, as you can study on your own, attend one of the military's colleges, or have the military contract with another school for your education.
Studying On Your Own Time
One option for people looking to get their counseling master's while on active duty is to study after your on-duty hours. This is done on your own time, and you might have to take night and weekend classes to get it done. This should be relatively easy to coordinate, as many graduate programs expect that their students will be working during the day. The problem with this is that you could be deployed. In addition, it would take longer than the average master's degree because you'll only have a limited amount of time to work on the degree during each week.
Earning a Master's Through one of the Military's Colleges
It may be possible to earn a counseling master's through one of the schools set up by the military. When you do this, you won't have to pay anything, though you will owe an additional service obligation. Each branch of the military will have its own rules on this for every type of degree. In many cases, you will owe an additional month of service time for every two months you spend earning a degree. Likewise, the military will want to put your degree to use if they allow you to earn it on their dime. You should prepare for this, as you will likely be re-assigned based upon the degree that you earn.
Having the Military Pay for Your Degree at an Independent University
In some cases, the military will allow you to earn a degree at a college where they have some sort of payment arrangement. This is usually only available to officers, and it is usually only available to those who have climbed up to near the major rank. The military will foot the bill for your master's in this scenario, and they will ask for additional service time as a payment. As an enlisted soldier, this may not be an option for you, though the military may make concessions based upon your skills and what you want to do. This can be a very good option for people who want to land a degree from a reputable university while still keeping up with their active duty military obligations. If you happen to be deployed, you would have to put off your education.
There are many options available to motivated military professional who desire to further their education while enlisted. All it takes is a bit of research to find the program that is the right fit for you.