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Degree???

woody28

Midshipman
Hi shipmates,

Here's another one...
I am currently studying A level Maths, Physics, Geography and a Subsidiary Diploma in ICT at college and I have a goal of becoming a Warfare Officer or a Pilot Officer within the Senior Service. I am already in the reserves so I am looking at possibly progressing in that and then transferring to the regs, HOWEVER, I am unsure whether or not a degree would be at all useful? I do not have a desired area of study and I cannot see something like an Engineering Bsc helping me as a WO/Pilot. I cannot see myself doing Maths or Physics at degree either so... would it be more useful to attempt entering the Wardroom at 17/18 or would Uni be extremely helpful. (I do not particularly have a strong desire to study at uni and want to become trained strength and serve ASAP)

Thanks!
WOODY
 
Maybe a bit of research first, all our Pilots are Officers, the RAF have "Pilot Officers" (rank).

I believe its all done on points, an oppo of mine had enough points from his A levels and the degree didnt add much to the mix. I'm sure Ninja knows the full story here.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
I'd advise you carry on with your academics & apply for Officer now, pending completion of your A Levels so there's a job waiting for you or the option to continue with your education if not successful.

For Aircrew and indeed Warfare, the earlier you join, the better your career "promotional pinnacle" prospects.

If you do not make the grade for selection at age 18, crack on with Uni. You are advised to undertake a vocational degree useful for a service career or a civilian career. Re-apply again in the second year of your degree.

Lots of perfectly valid reasons for & against going to uni, but in purely practical terms an imaginary twin joining after uni is firstly going to hopefully have a degree that will be useful in the service or in civilian life. He's also going to have 3 or 4 years extra life experience/maturity.

Conversely the person joining as a graduate is going to have £30-40K debt whereas the one joining at 18 will have earned over £100K, travelled a bit, gained life experience & three or four years promotional seniority. Those joining as non-grads can feasibly earn whilst they learn and gain themselves a degree through OU whilst serving - albeit over a longer period, but debt free. Worth bearing in mind though - in truth, most don't undertake an OU degree, by choice. Those joining as an Officer with a degree join on exactly the same rate as those without a degree & have exactly the same promotional seniority.
 

woody28

Midshipman
Thanks NS. Is it possible that in RNR I can go from AB2 to OC (going for my AIB) before getting my UCAS points at 17? As well as this, what degree would be useful?
 
A degree, if properly chosen, is useful because it allows you to develop an understanding of your chosen topic, deepen and broaden your intellectual capacity and it's frankly bloody good fun. Those are the reasons you should do a degree; not because it might be useful in a job or because all your mates are doing it.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Thanks NS. Is it possible that in RNR I can go from AB2 to OC (going for my AIB) before getting my UCAS points at 17? As well as this, what degree would be useful?
You can apply, pending results, but cannot become a commissioned Officer until educationally qualified.

If you decide to join as an Engineering Officer, Medical Officer, Environmental Health Officer, Nursing Officer or Padre, you need a vocational degree, even if it is not bloody good fun. All others, the choice is exclusively yours & does not influence eligibility, selection, promotion or pay - degree or otherwise.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
A degree, if properly chosen, is useful because it allows you to develop an understanding of your chosen topic, deepen and broaden your intellectual capacity and it's frankly bloody good fun. Those are the reasons you should do a degree; not because it might be useful in a job or because all your mates are doing it.
It's an interesting one.

I've not met a graduate that would say their time in university was entirely wasted, but increasingly many I speak with would say it was exploitative, expensive (average debt £44k) and, with the benefit of hindsight, irrelevant to their career aspiration. Clearly intellectual capacity & a sense of humour are necessary for employment as a leader, whichever route is taken.

For some, university is a right of passage, part of growing up - nothing to do with getting a job. These people are in the minority, however. For most it is instrumental in their career aspiration or both.

Education doesn't necessarily need to be vocational and certainly universities offer more besides, but ultimately, they generate revenue unlike schools.

Degrees, as we know, do not create instant leaders and the plethora of graduates in the job marketplace throw up anomalies.We've had Royal Marines other rank Recruit Troops with as many as 17 out of 50 who are graduates, 40% of Royal Marines other ranks are qualified for Officer. Just recently my AFCO recruited a PhD grad as a Chef, etc.

One thing that hasn't changed since its introduction in 1943 is the RN recruit test. We use it as a coarse filter, specifically designed and defined to assess intellectual capacity. Fewer than one in three graduates in my AFCO score high enough for Officer entry - we have had to reduce the required scores three times to achieve this level of success. What price education?
 
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