Four Big Differences Between Business and Military

by on October 17, 2013


In certain ways, the military prepares you well for the business world. Recently a new program called the Boots 2 Business Program was unveiled to help military students excel in business. Leadership and strategy are two big lessons that you learn from military training, but military training is severely different for a variety of reasons. Training usually focuses on protecting the nation and fighting in battles. It’s also a different atmosphere, and you may not get the smoothest communication skills from military training either. When you decide to go into business degree programs after the military, you’ll need to remember these differences and transition away from some of your military training.

1. Profitability Vs. Security
One of the main differences between the military and business world is that you are fighting for your country and getting involved in lethal combat. You’re trying to protect your country and their interests. While this may seem like it would translate to business in theory, more businesses focus on profits rather war. You have to also think about the financial impact of your decisions. Military combat training won’t really teach you how to protect investments, invest resources wisely and focus on making the most of your profits.

2. Command Center Vs. Collaborative Efforts
The military is more punitive to unorthodox conduct. There is a set rule to how people work together, and promotion is more vertical than rewarding creativity. There are more defined ranks and roles compared to what you’ll find at most companies, which focus more on collaborative and sharing efforts. There aren’t a lot of set time requirements or defined projects with restrictions. Business is about creative and statistic projects, and many roles are temporary. Military has a lot of resources and man power, but business may be small or just a start-up with a skeleton crew. There also isn’t one business culture or attitude to adhere to.

3. Self-Centered Promotion Vs. Military Ladder
Most businesses are looking for passionate individuals who climb to proving themselves in a variety of different projects. So much of a business career depends on what you can do all by yourself. There also really isn’t a defined career path for certain business professionals. Being promoted in the military is more of a seniority game. Every four years you can be promoted up the ladder. Most businesses don’t focus on seniority, and there are even more young CEOs than they were before.

4. Special Programs Vs. Learn or Else
Military training is just that. There are restricted steps along the path to moving up in the military. Business training comes in all forms. Many students attend special programs to learn combination degrees. They work on a variety of different projects and learn from each experience, but they are able to pick their own projects and specialties. Military friendly colleges will also offer a lot of long distance and transitional help courses to improve veteran performance in school.

Colleges are prepared to help all military persons earn an accredited degree. One thing that veterans have is a determination to start their own businesses. If college doesn’t work out for you, there’s always a start-up business you could try to do it your own way.


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