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What Jobs Will the ROTC Prepare Me For?


The Reserve Officer Training Corps is a program that trains future officers for the United States Armed Forces. Founded by the National Defense Act in 1916, the ROTC offers over 1,000 programs across the country. In addition to basic training, these programs provide free college-level education for those who earn a scholarship.

What many students don’t realize, however, is that even though ROTC cadets are expected to take on a certain period of military service in return for their scholarships, they don’t have to make a lifelong career in the military. The massive growth of the public and private security sector means graduates have a wide selection of post-ROTC jobs at their fingertips, all because of the experience and networking opportunities the ROTC provides.

What Jobs are Available in Military Service After Leaving ROTC at the Officer Level?

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) gives college students the leadership skills needed to become a commissioned officer – the most common of post-ROTC jobs. For example, students may take on an Air Force Judge Advocate position after completing the AFROTC program, graduating from law school, and obtaining all licenses. After Naval ROTC, a newly commissioned officer from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program may decide to become a Navy Seal. Special Warfare Officers develop skills in unconventional warfare, coastal and river interdiction, and the collection of tactical intelligence.

What Government Careers Besides Military are Available After ROTC?

There are jobs available after ROTC in the government that are not military jobs. Many of those are Homeland Security jobs. Homeland Security careers encompass a large group of positions including Border Patrol, customs, cybersecurity, and Secret Service. For someone interested in this type of position, a Homeland Security degree helps students develop a strong understanding of the constantly changing challenges of transnational security, terrorist groups, and cyber warfare.

A Homeland Security major will teach students the value of identifying domestic and international threats. A bachelor’s in Homeland Security instructs students on how to perform investigations in counterterrorism and other threats. Homeland Security degree requirements include a solid base knowledge in emergency management, border security, intelligence, and counter-terrorism. Students should have strong analytical skills.

One of the most common Homeland Security job requirements includes prior experience in law enforcement or the military – which the ROTC fulfills. Other Homeland Security jobs requirements are that the individual is analytical, a great communicator, able to think critically and a team player. Individuals should be open to travel. Homeland Security jobs salary depends on the location of the job, based on the general scale (GS) pay tables.

What Private Sector Careers are Available After ROTC?

Many students wonder after ROTC what happens when it comes to finding employment? Many employers think hiring those who have participated in ROTC as a smart move as those individuals are valuable employees. ROTC gives students a chance to improve leadership and technical skills that are needed in business management positions.

Students in ROTC get specialized military training that can assist them in government contract positions. These students have the benefits of an inside look at the military but without the commitment.

Beyond specific security and tactical skills, while in an ROTC program, students must learn to balance school work with the extra duties associated with the program. These students excel at time management and finding balance in their day. Employers look favorably at these qualities. Due to the rigorous physical activity that is expected of an ROTC participant, these students are also often in excellent physical shape, so they can easily move into private security positions or a job in law enforcement.

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