Is it better to go to the military or college right after high school?
My personal experience was to attend college first, and then join the military...admittedly, that plan was formed because I attended college with an ROTC scholarship. But several of my high school and college friends joined the military and I talked with a lot of them during their decision making. What I found was that attending college first provided more options on how to serve in the military - specifically, whether to serve in the officer ranks or the enlisted ranks. To be an officer a college degree is required...so if you have that done, you can choose either the officer route or enlisted. Without the college degree, your only option is to go the enlisted route. Both are excellent paths to take in the military - my point is that with the college degree, you'll have more options on how you want to serve.
Another consideration is to do both at the same time - you can be in college full time and also be in the Reserves (1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year). That way, when college is complete you'll not only have the options I referred to but you'll also have real military experience under your belt. The risk there is that if your Reserve Unit gets called to Active status, you'll need to put your college studies on hold. But it's definitely something to consider and discuss with someone who is in the process of doing the same - your local Armed Services recruiting office should have contacts you can talk to. Hope this helps!
It is a great honor to serve our country. I have many friends who pursued a military career prior to attending a college or university. There is also a way you can join the military and work in a position that utilizes computer science. This will work as a prestigious paid internship.
On the other hand if your goal is to get your bachelor's degree sooner, going straight to college and working on getting financial aid would be better.
Let me first say that making either choice is the most important thing. Doing something to move forward is what you want.
Military vs College first really depends on where you are mentally. If your not sure what you want to do for a career and are up for a personal challenge that will better prepare you for the realities of everday life, i vote military first. Now, thats not to say college would not serve a similar purpose. If you are relatively aware of the career path you want to follow then college would get you there faster. You can always go ROTC and do both, get a degree and join as an officer.
You will always be faced with similar decisions from this point on in life. Think about it with a pros and cons approach. More pros should lead to a positive choice.
If the military is not for you, don't do it just because you need the college education. Try to find a job someplace that has good tuition assistance as part of their employee benefits package. It might mean that you become a dietary aide or custodian at a university or hospital, or work in a call center.
Also go your first two years to a local junior college, rather than the big university or a private school. There are ways to cut the costs of college, you just need to look for them!
However, if you think you would like the military, by all means, go for it! You will be amazed at how much you learn and grow in a very short time.
I served 21 years in the Army and two of my sons went to college with ROTC scholarships and then were commissioned into the Army. My recommendation is if you really want to join the military to go to college first and receive a commission. The are a couple of ways to do this, the best is to apply to one of the several military academies because they provide you with a free education and pay you a stipend while you are in school. The next best way is to get an ROTC scholarship to pay for your college. If you can't do either of these, paying your own way and then enlisting for Officer Candidate School is an option. Lastly, if you just can't afford it, you might consider enlisting for the GI Bill to pay for your education later.
You have great answers above, I would also say that you can do both as I did. Being in the military and going through military training will give you some college credits for free. Then you can use military benefits to go to college online. good luck!
Unfortunately, in today's world, it seems many people insists one needs to go to college to be successful. I believe it is wrong to assume there is only one path for everybody.
The military is a great place to get hands-on skills that employers need. For example, the Air Force is in charge of protecting the country from cyberattack. If you can get into the Air Force and gain experience in this field, you will be far more valuable to an employer seeking network security people than from graduates at top tier schools.
So don't buy into this oft-heard belief that you must go to college. The military is a perfect suitable alternative.