Should I Join the ROTC?
Students may be considering whether or not they'd like to join a Reserve Officers' Training Corp program at their college or university. So we've listed a few of the pros and cons, in detail, to help you decide.
Joining the ROTC
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or ROTC, is an elective curriculum that is taken with a student's other college courses. When a ROTC student completes the requirements for a degree, he or she is required to join the Army, Navy or Air Force as an Officer, depending on the ROTC program he or she participates in.
Cut College Costs
The biggest reason many college students decide to participate in ROTC is to cut college costs. When a student elects to join, ROTC pays for his or her college education. Furthermore, a student in ROTC is not under any obligation to join the Army, Navy or Air Force during his or her freshman and sophomore years. However, once an ROTC student graduates, he or she is required to become an Officer for a period of three years. The ROTC program is designed for students who excel in areas such as athletics, leadership and academics.
Training takes place both in the field and in the classroom. Some of the skills that ROTC students develop include adventure training, military skills and leadership development. Leadership development is a core part of the program, and as a prospective Officer, students can look forward to being a motivator, a strategist and a counselor. As an officer, success will be determined by how well a person can adapt to changing situations and effectively lead other soldiers.
A Job Market Differentiator
While certain areas of the current job market might be tight, candidates who have something extra on their resume that sets themselves apart have the edge. Three years of service is a long-term commitment, but the skills and experience learned during this time are directly applicable to many jobs. For example, managerial jobs require strong leaders and motivators, and an Officer in the Army has to be both if he or she wants to succeed with in-the-field missions.
A Serious Commitment
ROTC is a serious commitment. Students should carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks before joining. Furthermore, ROTC is best suited for a certain type of student: an academic overachiever, an athlete and a natural leader with an outgoing personality. Prospective ROTC students should also consider whether being out of the job market for three years is acceptable or not. In the current economic climate, this may be seen as a positive. A chance to build skills is also a consideration. If certain areas of the job market improve quickly, however, a reassessment of the benefits of joining ROTC may be needed.
Students aren't the only ones who want to cut costs at college. Learn how universities are using technology to save on utility bills.