Recently I’ve attended several Veterans’ job fairs and other events honoring our veterans. As a veteran myself, I feel compelled to make sure other veterans are aware of job and career opportunities as well as opportunities to pursue higher education and other life goals. Visit www.OKJobMatch.com for veteran-only job fairs in your area. In my role as a career counselor in the military, I helped everyone from the junior service member who wanted to specialize in a military occupational specialty to the transitioning service member who needed to find a civilian job or finish a degree. Understanding that there are service members who still need to finish a degree is what makes my message about Oklahoma’s Reach Higher program so timely.
The leadership abilities and knowledge that our veterans bring to the workforce are undeniable, but in order for our service members to get the attention they deserve when they submit their resumes, they need a post-secondary credential. Acquiring a post-secondary degree shows an employer that the candidate has the dedication to complete a degree and the measurable skillset the employer is seeking to fill their workforce needs. In 2016, Oklahoma faced a skills gap for jobs requiring an associate degree, certificate or bachelor’s degree , according to the OK Office of Workforce Development. Employers were unable to fill open jobs because candidates did not have the required credential. This skills gap is predicted to widen in the next 10 years unless the more than 300,000 adults with some college credit but no degree, return to school to finish degrees in critical occupations. For a list of the 100 Critical Occupations list, visit https://reachhigherok.org/directcomplete/workforce-partners/critical-occupations/ and then fill out a student interest form, https://reachhigherok.org/directcomplete/directcomplete-how-it-works/, to reach a navigator who can help you get started.
Reach Higher is Oklahoma’s adult degree completion initiative and offers two different programs for completing a degree. Reach Higher: FlexFinish, https://reachhigherok.org/flexfinish/ has been helping Oklahomans complete their degrees since 2007, and offers a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership or an associate degree in enterprise development. FlexFinish can help veterans finish their degree through flexible enrollment periods and on-campus and online class options.
Reach Higher: DirectComplete is for nontraditional students who want to finish a degree that is linked to the 100 critical occupations list. Upon completing a student interest form, potential students will be contacted by a navigator from their preferred campus, to determine what they need to do to get started.
If you still need to finish your degree, don’t wait another minute. Whether you are active duty, reserve, guard, or a veteran, Reach Higher can help you achieve your educational goals. Complete a student interest form today, https://reachhigherok.org/directcomplete/directcomplete-how-it-works/ .