Graduate joining as a rating?

tangerine

Newbie
I might be jumping the gun a bit as I haven't graduated yet, I have queries about the suitability of my medical history and I know I have a bit of work to do on my fitness but...

I'm currently in uni and I'm considering joining the Navy after I graduate. I know I want to apply to serve on submarines and having looked at the details of the available roles on the RN website and this forum I'm considering CIS (SM).

My initial thought was that being a graduate with a 4 year integrated Bachelor's and Master's degree, I would be expected to become an officer but (as my degree is not in Engineering) my choice would be between Warfare Officer and Logistics Officer. From reading the forum it seems that if I went with Logistics I wouldn't actually spend all that much time on boats or even at sea at all, which for me would defeat the object of signing up in the first place.

Comparing the official (and unofficial) job descriptions for Warfare Officer with those for CIS, the former inspires a reaction of 'oh, well, I guess I could do that', while I am genuinely excited by the prospect of the latter job.

I'm also not sure if I have a personality suited to becoming an officer (although I suppose the tests and training I'd go through to get there would clear up the issue one way or another), but really I'm considering the rating route because it's genuinely the Navy job I'd most like to do.

Is this a common situation people find themselves in? Will the recruitment people try to convince me to go for officer? Should I go for CIS (SM) or pick an officer role? Will my (over)qualification make any kind of difference once I'm actually on the job as a rating - either positive or negative?

Any other thoughts or advice on the topic welcome.
 
I've had plenty of ratings with degrees working for me. They were the usual spread of good, bad and indifferent. Equally, I've had more than a few non-grad officers working for me (and I've worked for); the same applies.

Do what you want, it'll be what you make of it!


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Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Fully concur with Alf.

A degree doesn't automatically mean "officer" or higher earnings. There's a common misconception in the lower deck that graduates must always be commissioned officers and you'll often hear "What were the AFCO thinking?" when a well-spoken , educated and intelligent individual joins as a rating.

In any event, if they have what it takes, anyone joining up to around age 30 as a rating can become an Officer with just five GCSEs at a later stage.

A good example is Royal Marines - every recruit troop has a couple or more graduates, one troop of 55 had 17! Around 40% of Royal Marines Other Ranks join educationally qualified for officer.

The world, as they say, is your lobster.
 

jrwlynch

Lantern Swinger
Comparing the official (and unofficial) job descriptions for Warfare Officer with those for CIS, the former inspires a reaction of 'oh, well, I guess I could do that', while I am genuinely excited by the prospect of the latter job.

I'm also not sure if I have a personality suited to becoming an officer (although I suppose the tests and training I'd go through to get there would clear up the issue one way or another), but really I'm considering the rating route because it's genuinely the Navy job I'd most like to do.

Is this a common situation people find themselves in? Will the recruitment people try to convince me to go for officer? Should I go for CIS (SM) or pick an officer role? Will my (over)qualification make any kind of difference once I'm actually on the job as a rating - either positive or negative?

Any other thoughts or advice on the topic welcome.

Not regular RN, but work with them a fair bit...

I've known junior rates with postgraduate degrees and doctorates, I've known officers who gratefully bailed out of education at eighteen to escape to BRNC. (Admittedly, the AB who walked me through - physically and functionally - the water treatment plant aboard a destroyer during my Fleet Time, demonstrating an articulate and fully functional grasp of the necessary chemistry, biology and legislation, probably didn't stay an AB very long - in terms of competence, definitely a "promote!" Didn't ask about education, didn't need to, he was on top of his job with no problems at all)

Once you're in and working, nobody much cares about paper qualifications (wish they did, says Lt Jrwlynch RNR, BEng(Hons) MSc MA - will all that academic paper get me promoted faster? It doesn't even get me any free socks!) - whether you're good at your job and a useful member of the team matters much more.

Keep asking, learning and looking around, but from what you've said here it sounds like CIS(SM) is what you want to do, and a submarine is not a place you want to be stuck for months doing a job you don't enjoy.

As Ninja_Stoker points out, it's not a "decide now and forever" issue - the opportunity's there to go officer later should you and the Navy agree it would suit you and there's a role that appeals. (I think 25-30% of the RN's officers started out as ratings - anyone got the number?)
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
I think it's 40% plus that started as ratings in the engineering branches, probably wrong knowing me but it's definitely higher than 30%.
 

tangerine

Newbie
Of course the degree could be in Origami o_O
It's actually in Biochemistry, not that it will matter at all after I graduate. I almost wish I hadn't signed up for the extra 4th year (thinking I'd remain deeply in love with the subject and the idea of a career in academia) now but there's no backing out at this point.
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
//Thread drift//

I hated the idea of academia (OK, classrooms) so much, that, despite passing the entrance exams and being given an entry date, that I turned down being an Artificer when I found it meant 4ish years in 'school'. Joined as a Dabber, 'cos I liked the pictures they showed me!

23 years later I left as.......... a Chief Artificer (Mech really!)

//As you were//
 

Texast

Midshipman
I’m in a similar position to you, im a post grad hoping to join as a rating. Personally the reasons why I want to join the navy are not academic and when you’ve finished your service your degree will still be there. Just don’t let being a graduate become your identity or feel like you have to be pigeon holed into something you don’t want to do just because it’s percieved as better
 
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