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Education and Career Counseling


Education and Career Counseling is a VA benefits program designed to assist veterans, service members, and their dependents in exploring educational and career opportunities. This program, also known as Chapter 36, facilitates goal-setting, skill assessments, and personalized counseling services. The overall aim is to encourage a successful transition to civilian life, stable employment, and career progression.

Key Takeaways

  1. Education and Career Counseling, also known as Chapter 36 benefits, provides personalized guidance to veterans, service members, and dependents to help them achieve their educational and career goals.
  2. Eligible individuals can receive assistance in selecting a suitable career path, discovering relevant training programs, and determining how to best utilize their VA benefits to support their education.
  3. Applying for Education and Career Counseling services can be done using VA Form 28-8832, and the benefits must be utilized within six months of receiving an eligibility decision from the VA.


Education and Career Counseling is an essential aspect of the VA benefits system as it aids veterans, service members, and their dependents in leveraging their skills and knowledge to construct fulfilling and successful career paths.

By providing personalized assistance, guidance, and resources, this service empowers individuals with the appropriate tools and information to make informed decisions regarding their educational and professional goals.

Through this support, Education and Career Counseling not only helps improve the quality of life and financial stability for veterans and their families, but also contributes to a workforce with skilled and experienced individuals, allowing them to continue serving their nation even after military service.


Education and Career Counseling, provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is a valuable resource for veterans, active service members, and their eligible dependents. Its primary purpose is to assist individuals in discovering their potential and exploring various career paths suited to their capabilities, interests, and unique set of skills. By offering tailored guidance, the program enables its beneficiaries to make informed decisions about their educational and professional pursuits, better positioning them for a seamless transition from military to civilian life or enhancing their personal growth within the armed forces.

This personalized support not only nurtures self-awareness and assists in selecting appropriate occupations but also enables veterans and service members to access the resources necessary for gainful employment and career satisfaction. One of the key components of Education and Career Counseling is the Individualized Vocational Evaluation and Personalized Employment Plans. These plans help identify the most suitable employment opportunities and educational programs or training necessary to pursue the chosen career trajectory.

By providing resources such as résumé-building workshops, networking opportunities, and financial support, this program equips beneficiaries with the skills and knowledge required to navigate today’s competitive job market. Furthermore, through collaborations with academic institutions, vocational schools, and employers, the VA ensures that participants receive comprehensive guidance and quality training, fostering a successful transition from the military workforce to the civilian world, whether seeking higher education or immediate employment. Ultimately, Education and Career Counseling provides invaluable assistance for those looking to find and excel in fulfilling careers that complement their military training and personal aspirations.

Examples of Education and Career Counseling

Post-9/11 GI Bill: The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit program for veterans, service members, and their family members who served in the Armed Forces after September 10,

It covers tuition and fees, provides a monthly housing allowance, and offers a yearly stipend for books and supplies. Education and Career Counseling under the VA Benefits helps eligible individuals make informed decisions about their educational and career goals, identify the best schools and programs suited to their needs, and understand the various ways to maximize their benefits.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program: The VR&E program, also known as Chapter 31, provides education and career counseling services to eligible service members and veterans with service-connected disabilities. The program aims to help individuals overcome employment challenges and develop the skills necessary to pursue suitable careers. Services offered under this program include interest and aptitude evaluation, personalized vocational counseling, job training and apprenticeship programs, assistance with resume building and job search, and post-secondary education support.

VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC): The VetSuccess on Campus program aims to provide on-campus assistance to veterans, service members, and eligible dependents as they transition from military life to college life. Through this program, VA Education and Career Counseling professionals are placed at college campuses across the United States to offer support services, including academic and career counseling, benefits assistance, and access to various healthcare and mental health resources. The program helps ensure that veterans succeed in their educational pursuits and move forward in their careers.


FAQ: VA Benefits – Education and Career Counseling

What is the purpose of Education and Career Counseling?

The purpose of Education and Career Counseling is to help eligible veterans, service members, and dependents explore and achieve their educational and career goals. This program provides tools, resources, and support for a smooth transition to the civilian workforce and better preparation for career advancement opportunities.

Who is eligible for Education and Career Counseling?

Education and Career Counseling services are available to transitioning service members within six months of being discharged, veterans within one year of being discharged, and any service member or veteran currently eligible for, or enrolled in, a VA education benefit. Additionally, dependents of veterans who are eligible for VA education benefits may access these services as well.

How do I apply for Education and Career Counseling?

To apply for Education and Career Counseling, you need to fill out VA Form 28-8832, ” Application for Counseling.” You can submit your application online through the eBenefits website or mail it to the nearest VA regional office.

What services are provided through Education and Career Counseling?

Services provided through Education and Career Counseling include:

  • Assessment and personalized counseling
  • Evaluation of education and career goals
  • Exploration of new career opportunities
  • Identification of resources and tools for success
  • Assistance with application processes for education and training programs
  • Help with creating a career plan and setting achievable goals

Does Education and Career Counseling affect my other VA benefits?

Participating in the Education and Career Counseling program will not affect your eligibility for other VA benefits, such as education benefits or disability compensation. The program is designed to complement and support your existing VA benefits, helping you maximize your opportunities for success in your career and education.


Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)
  • Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Education Assistance Programs (EAPs)
  • CareerScope Assessment

Sources for More Information