College, however useful it may be for many people, is not for everyone. Some people have a hard time with all the reading or math required by many college courses. Others think they'll never use the kinds of things taught in college. While these myths are easily put to rest, there are legitimate reason for pursuing a vocational rather than an academic path. Some people just prefer non-academic pursuits. Others, however much they might want to go to college, need training that will land them a well-paying job in less time than it takes to earn a bachelor's or even an associate's degree. If this is you, there are a number of paths you can take while in the Coast Guard that will fit your needs.
The US government's National Resource Directory ("connecting wounded warriors, service members, veterans, their families and caregivers with those who support them") has all kinds of resources related to continuing education, career paths, apprenticeships, licensing, and certification.
Syracuse University, in conjunction with JPMorgan Chase, has created a new Veterans Technology Certificate Program around the university’s Global Enterprise Technology (GET) curriculum. GET integrates “coursework with real-world, on-the-job experience. The purpose of the program is to help veterans interested in technology careers in global companies to move toward that goal.
The program is self-paced and computer-based (completely on-line). Program administrators estimate it will take approximately 240 hours (six weeks of full-time work) to complete. The only application requirements are that you:
have served on active duty since 10 September 2001,
are preparing to separate (e.g., checking out or attending a TAP seminar before separating) or are a veteran,
have demonstrated a genuine interest in and aptitude for technology,
are able to commit a minimum of four hours per day to the program, and
submit a complete application (consisting of an application form, a résumé, and two references).
University's web site has more information.