ET(WE)CIS(SM) is a technical branch with technical and transferrable qualifications. At leading rate, you undergo the same training as LET(WESM). There is also a fast-track engineering graduate apprentice scheme, similar to the Marine Engineering NUGAS scheme, coming-in, which could mean accelerated advancement (promotion) for submariner Weapons Engineering Technicians who meet similar academic criteria (http://www.navy-net.co.uk/community...ear-undergrad-apprentice-scheme-nugas.116164/). It has been announced internally but we are not yet recruiting direct entry - keep your eyes & ears open, it is happening very soon.
If you scored high enough in the recruit test for ET(WESM) then it is not entirely clear why you have elected to join in the slightly lower-scoring entry threshold branch by going down the ET(WE)CIS(SM) route. If it was due to the Recruit Test score, then you won't be qualified to join as an MA(SM) or Officer either, most likely, without the requirement to re-sit the recruit test.
With regard MA(SM) it's a completely different kettle of swimming things and involves nuclear health physics, atmosphere monitoring etc., as well as the health and medical wellbeing of those on your boat. The wait to join is about twice that of your original choice and the training pipeline is a longer tri-service course which involves placement within the NHS.
Both jobs have an excellent transferrable skill set but I'd guess the ET(WE)CIS(SM has the option for faster promotion and more time at sea (and in bed). Furthermore about 40% of Engineering Officers joined as ratings. Considerably fewer MAs become qualified Naval Nurses, fewer still, Medical officers.
Be aware there are more and more graduate ratings joining, so don't fall into the trap of thinking a degree means you should only join as an Officer - a commonly held misconception by many a rating "amateur messdeck lawyer/careers adviser". Have you considered joining as a 'sea-draft dodging teacher in uniform', aka a TMO? They'll pretty much accept any old honours degree and the starting pay is about £7,500 better than an AB submariner.
My advice? Regardless of the fact your careers adviser is on leave, call your AFCO to discus career options available, don't leave it until you join or it'll be long, drawn out and painful if you wish to change your career path.
1) About the same if the individual is "switched-on"
2) ET(WESM) already serving have a fast-track scheme (RNWUGAS) introduced on 7th April this year and we envisage this being rolled-out to direct entry ET(WESM) very soon. There is no mention ET(WE)CIS(SM) at the point of entry but it is likely they will be included just they reach Leading Rate Qualifying Course, if educationally eligible (5 x GCSEs, inc maths/Eng, L3 BTEC/A Level in maths/science/engineering).