Entry as a Graduate

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by bigears96, Sep 28, 2014.

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  1. Hi all,

    I'm currently in the process of submitting an application for Warfare Officer. Up until now, all the information I have received (including the official careers guide on the the RN website) indicate that as a graduate who is over 20, I will automatically join as a sub-lieutenant. However, other information received more recently indicates that I will finish training with the same rank as if I had joined straight from school at 17.

    This is quite a serious consideration for me. Firstly I don't want to write off the last few years off of my life as a complete waste. Secondly, I would like some degree of parity in rank with those in my general age group. Thirdly, I have financial considerations that a 17 year old simply wouldn't have (loans, mortgage, etc).

    My question is firstly, is this all true? If so, is there any room for negotiation (I do have very strong academic results from very world leading institutions)? And finally, if not, then how do the RN intend to attract graduates when they completely disregard their additional qualifications and life skills.

    This isn't typical graduate arrogance. I don't think I'm any better than anyone else just because I have a degree. But in a society where going to university has almost become the norm, certainly amongst the commissioned ranks, why would the Armed Forces make no effort to attract recruits who are likely to be more balanced, better educated and more driven?
  2. Welcome to how we've cocked up Officer recruitment. If it's any consolation, we've recognised this, but the pay thing won't go away.

    I suppose the only thing I can offer is that you will likely be able to make a quicker start in your career if you are good enough.

    The RN isn't somewhere like Teach First, Civil Service Fast Stream or a magic circle law firm. That has its negatives as well as its positives.
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  3. I dont know- I have a first in my degree, 9 GCSE's mainly at A* and A, management experience, passed the RT test with a high enough score for officer but cannot apply as one as I am 10 UCAS points short. Granted i probably would fail AIB anyway haha, but I effectively left sixth form early to look after an unwell family member, and just turned up for exams and coursework so didn't really have a clue what was going on. Doesn't seem to be any flexibility in the system, assuming the same is probably true of trying to plead a case for the old graduate system.
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Unfortunately, for branches that do not require a vocational degree (War, Logs, RM), the service pays & promotes all those who meet the basic academic requirement for entry exactly the same.

    They used to pay those with irrelevant degrees nearly twice as much as non-graduates & promote those with irrelevant qualifications quicker but the AFPRB decreed the RN could not justify a single service policy.
  5. Thanks for your responses. It does seem to be a bizarre system. To be honest the pay is the least of it. I'll get by and no one joins the military with dreams of untold riches. But the navy have had a history of making claims that they will do their best to give individuals similar job status to that they could expect on civvy street. But they seem to be contradicting themselves with this particular policy. There is no way I could get the kind of job I have right now without a degree.
  6. To be fair the starting pay is still good for a graduate, especially in today's lovely job market of part time jobs, zero hour contracts, low paid grad schemes and positions. With 'everyone' having a degree it makes it even harder to land an amazing, well paid, dream job that offers the same opportunities as a career in the RN. You would still have your degree when you left anyhow which can only be a positive thing. I have a lot of respect for 17 year olds who have the ability and experience to join straight from school, if they are doing the same job perhaps it is fair they get the same money and opportunities for promotion. I would say being an Officer in the Royal Navy and managing the people and resources was a pretty honourable status to have?
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  7. I completely agree. Coming from a military family myself, my father joined the RAF straight from school, and I have nothing but respect for those who do so. However, I presume the point would be that I wouldn't be doing the same job. Increased rank would come with increased responsibility. I have no problem with more being required of me, it's just a shame that when I began my degree, the policy was in place, and by the time I finished it was gone. It feels a bit punitive and makes my decisions that much harder.
  8. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Precisely the point the AFPRB made when comparing graduate pay with the Army & RAF. The RN were the odd one out.

    Whilst Service Surgeons & Padres get paid more for vocational degrees in the services, Nurses, Engineers & Training Managers (Teachers) don't unfortunately but starting pay for Officers is comparable to all other public sector non-vocational graduates.

    Nowadays the service selects & promotes on merit gained through ability and practical experience rather than just meeting the threshold of academic attainment or beyond. If you are good enough & consider your skills gained at uni are applicable, you'll naturally rise to the top.

    Having spent a few years working with Oxford Dons who couldn't take charge of a teapot and have god-awful communication skills, but are academically brilliant, I'm pleased about this. :)
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  9. Good luck whatever you decide to do, if I were you I would forget about who else is eligible to apply and just think of what you want. £30,000 after training is not bad at all, and you would be entering service 'ahead' of ratings with many years experience which is an honour in itself. Perhaps they weren't looking to penalise graduates, but looking to make it fairer and more appealing to everyone who was eligible. I am sure it benefits the service to have some young ones aboard. ​
  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Truth is, whilst 18 year old non-grads can apply & for pilots they are positively encouraged, very few make the grade compared to those a little older, wiser & arguably better educated.
  11. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    One way to look at it is that broadly, a Grad and a non-grad bring the same to most Military specialisations (I know Medics, Engineers are subtly different). Yes, I accept the maturer outlook, proven ability to learn aspects of a Grad but that said, for better or worse we've tried to take a scheme that (in some eyes) massively overplayed to Grads and unbalanced the system further down. It's not perfect but I suspect most Grads will move quicker in the career pipe because of exactly those qualities I pointed out.

    And, as others have pointed out £30K is still a great starting salary, especially in our economy.
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  12. It depends doesn't it. If the RN aspires to be a blue chip graduate employer, it better front up with the very best package. If it wants to employ halfwits, and then attempt to fill the other 50% of an Officer's brain, then we can probably stay on the course we're on.
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  13. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Far better that than adopt the mindset of one senior Officer at BRNC a few years back who proudly proclaimed that leadership training wasn't necessary as the selection process ensured we only recruited natural born leaders.

    I think we can all think of contradictory examples.

    We still offer a competitive graduate starting wage, it's just not exclusive to graduates.
  14. I agree with both your points. After all the main reason I am applying is for the responsibility and the honour of serving as a naval officer. And there certainly is a benefit to having younger officers. But conversely the armed forces in general have to make commissions more attractive to graduates if they want to attract the brightest and best. I just find it a bit grating that an extra carrot was dangled in front of me prior to my degree, only to be denied it upon graduation.

    Fyi, I hadn't seen the latest two posts prior to posting. This reply refers to the two before. I'm writing this on my phone.
  15. I think this policy means they will only attract graduates who were fully committed to the navy prior to their studies. If you weren't planning to join prior, then you are unlikely to be enticed after when you see that you could have joined up before with no difference in status. Especially with in service degree schemes.

    This could be their intention. However I feel this will mean filling commissions with individuals who are terrified of civvy street (again, could be their intention).
  16. Have you already graduated and are in work or are you in your final year?

    Maybe I am weird but if there was a job in which a good wage was paid, offered what i wanted out of a career then i wouldn't let the fact i had a degree hold me back. If the pay was low and your degree was abolished upon joining rendering it pointless then maybe not. I have a degree and am joining as a rating.
  17. I'm sorry but I fail to see how having a degree alone justifies extra pay and seniority in promotion. If there is to be extra pay and quicker promotion then perhaps it should be done on scores from the whole recruitment process and BRNC. That fact is the some graduates will scrape through training and other younger non grads will be high flyers.

    Just out of interest bigears96 what is your degree in and where did you study?
  18. I have graduated and am in work. You're not weird. In fact you're admirably sane. The career is what I want, and this is unlikely to change that. It just seems like I was made a promise that they are now breaking.
  19. The service will always come first, if they had to change things to level the field then thats what they did. They don't owe you anything to be fair, no point feeling hard done by.
  20. Such a scheme existed until Aug 1999......

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