Beyond military service an analysis of United States Naval Academy graduates' civilian career experiences
Bederman, Jeanette M.
Mehay, Stephen L.
Bowman, William R.
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This thesis explores the civilian career experiences of United States Naval Academy (USNA) graduates who have left military service. The data comes from a 2004 survey of USNA graduates from the classes of 1986 through 1996. This thesis analyzes the effect of human capital accumulated via the USNA education, via follow-on military experiences, and via career preparation on civilian salary and satisfaction. Both the first salary after leaving the military service and the current salary are analyzed. Both salary models find that varsity athletes, honors graduates, submariners, and those who achieved higher military ranks earn more than their classmates. Military tenure increases civilian salary, but the effect diminishes after a certain point. Selective Reservists consistently earn lower civilian salaries. The write-in responses reveal that leadership, academics, time management and other personal skills provide the most influential USNA experiences on current civilian jobs. While 84 percent describe themselves as satisfied, a satisfaction model is estimated to examine for trade-offs between salary and satisfaction. Satisfaction is further examined by evaluating the effect of civilian accomplishments. The estimates find that Marines, Naval Aviators, and Trident Scholars are more likely to be dissatisfied than satisfied. Military tenure yields a tradeoff between wages and satisfaction.
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