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Getting a degree while in the military: What you need to know

A smiling man leans on a kitchen counter with a textbook and notepad while talking to his wife in the foreground.

Albert Diaz is a graduate of Oregon State University, as is his wife, Samantha (foreground). Albert earned a postbaccalaureate degree in computer science online after serving in the Navy.

A Navy veteran and Oregon State graduate shares tips on how to balance life while earning a degree online

Six years in the U.S. Navy gave Albert Diaz a lifetime of experiences, knowledge and friendships from coast to coast. It was a demanding time for him and his family.

When he transitioned to civilian life, he wanted more of the same.

That’s why Diaz, using his Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, enrolled with Oregon State University to pursue a postbaccalaureate degree in computer science online. It’s a considerable workload for a father of three and husband. And he uses the in-demand computer science skills he gained in his work as a cybersecurity analyst.

Now that Albert has his degree, here’s his advice for active duty members, veterans and their families who are thinking about learning online and getting a degree while in the military.

Family support means everything

“At one point my wife, Samantha, and I were both attending Oregon State online. I was working full time, taking part-time classes, and she was taking part-time classes. We had two kids with one on the way.

Military work ethic comes in handy

“Working full time and taking classes is difficult, but the organizational skills, discipline and time-management skills I learned in the military are very helpful. The military instilled a grit in me that has helped me push forward.”

Learning from faculty members who care

“The instructors go far beyond what you would expect. They’re really involved and care about our education, and when they’re willing to put in the work, it helps me want to put in the work.”

You can do it, too

“My advice to active duty military or veterans who are considering pursuing a degree is do it. It may look intimidating, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort. There’s a strong military community at Oregon State.”

Discover how Oregon State University supports military-affiliated students who learn online, and explore the degrees, certificates and microcredentials OSU delivers at a distance.

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