AFROTC: Does engineering degree hinder chances for pilot training?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Juliekad, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Juliekad

    Juliekad New Member

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    My son called and was discouraged because he had heard that by pursing an EE degree he would be hurting his chances for pilot training. He said that he heard they would not pick him because he would have to go to a career field using his EE degree. I am prior military and I never heard such a thing. In fact in other posts, I saw that 75% of engineers get pilot training. Can someone help clarify this? Thanks!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have never heard of that, and this would seem counter productive for the AF because the only way to get selected for TPS (Test Pilot) is to have an engineering degree. OBTW if you google Col. Mike Goode (astronaut) you will see he has an EE from Notre Dame, AFROTC commission.

    Now it maybe currently they have a "hold" on EE's due to manning issues, but who knows how long that would last and I don't believe they would place a "hold" on all engineering cadets.

    Finally, AFA is known as the Little Engineering School in the Rockies. If they stopped all engineers, that would mean a lot of AFA grads would not go to UPT.
     
  3. Juliekad

    Juliekad New Member

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    Thanks

    Hi Pima,
    That's what I thought. I asked my son to find a person who would know in ROTC, like an officer, instead of relying on rumors. I think those rumors sound false....
    Take care.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    So it was a cadet that told him this fallacy?

    Makes even more sense now. I wouldn't tell him to ask anyone in the know for many reasons.

    1. I am assuming he is a C100.

    Even if this was true for the 300's this yr up for rated, nobody knows what manpower needs will be in 2 yrs. No ROTC instructor would say yea or nay knowing the budget constraints every branch is facing currently.

    2. If it were true, every cadet at an SMC like TAMU, VT would run for the hills. These schools have tons of engineering majors. Add in colleges like ERAU, PSU, UMich and more would leave.

    3. The reality behind this idea is actually silly.

    Yes, the AF needs EE's, but in day to day life as an O1 EE they will not be designing the 35. That is left to Lockheed employees who work hand in hand with O5s. Officers with Masters degrees.

    An EE O1 will be sent to a base and maybe in charge of anything from maintenance to communication squadrons.

    The AF is not about to hand over multi-million dollar assets for design purposes to a 22 yo.


    The way this may have found a life of it's own, is somewhere along the line some of the engineers decided they wanted to do ED, but if they took ED they risked not getting UPT. Thus, it warped into the AF forced them into this path because they were EE. The AF didn't force them, the cadet chose the path.

    The only 2 fields that UPT may not be an option IMPO are:
    1. Nursing if they sent you on a nursing scholarship.
    2. Foreign languages if you are on a foreign language majors scholarship.

    Both are critically under manned personnel wise, and the AF paid for you to get an education in that field, not to be a pilot.

    At our DS's college, one Foreign language major, Persian, has been told they will not get command support for the rated board because of this major.

    The cadet is upset, I get it. His position is that he would be an asset in the flying community due to his major.

    However, the AF's position is going to be that he is more of an asset in the Intel community due to his major. Not every Intel officer will speak fluent Farsi, but he will.

    Upside, he will go far and do it fast because it is a critically under manned field.

    Becareful of your major selection, because it can change fast due to the needs of the AF. You are not Pilot Juliekad. You are 1st Lt. Juliekad. Always remember the words service before self.
     
  5. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Being an electrical engineer HAS hurt a lot of people this year who applied for pilot slots. The AF is undermanned in the EE field so most EE majors in AFROTC were forced into that AFSC regardless of what they put as their first choice. I know people across multiple dets who had this happen. They had high GPAs, commander's rankings etc and would have easily picked up pilot slots if they were in other majors.

    That said, things change every year and maybe in the near future they will have satisfied the demand for EEs. But everyone considering AFROTC should be aware that the AF will do this with alot of specialized tech degrees.

    Pima it does have cadets at VT re-thinking things. All of our cadets this year who went up for pilot slots got one...except for one. And he was an EE major who got forced into an engineering AFSC.
     
  6. arrq

    arrq Member

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    As a member of afrotc now, they are definitely recruiting ee/cse majors. I've been told from outside sources of this as well. As was previously stated, ee's are needed and from my understanding now, it can seem to have an impact on your placement.

    But who knows a few years from now.
     
  7. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Concur with the above - They are really pushing EE and Comp E majors for AFROTC this year, my son had quite a list to choose from for his scholarship including foreign language majors, however the top 4 were: Aerospace, Comp E/ EE, Nuclear Physics, and Nuke E. He chose CE, but he doesn't want to be a pilot - he wants the developmental engineering track with a post grad follow-on to AFIT - Same if he's appointed to USAFA so UPT isn't an issue for him. I've always told him to pick something very difficult and in high demand and he'll probably never have to look for a job. Guess he did...

    :biggrin: Best
     
  8. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    He's definitely going to have his work cut out for him. EE is a TOUGH degree...and that's speaking from personal experience.
     
  9. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    People here are talking about two different things.

    1. The original question was, does being an EE hurt your chances to get a pilot slot. The answer from a couple of people is "YES" because as of right now the USAF has a big need for EE's so people with that major are being used as EE's, not pilots.

    2. A couple of other posters have commented that the USAF really wants EE's. While that almost certainly is true, and it may make it easier for an EE major to get into the USAF, that has nothing to do with the pilot slot. If the USAF needs EE's to be EE's, not pilots, that is what you are going to do.
     
  10. Romad

    Romad Member

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    I totally agree with you! He's pretty well prepared for it, but I wouldn't even walk past the Engineering Building myself (insert involuntary eye twitch here...) :eek:

    Best of luck to you with yours!

    :biggrin:
     
  11. Erilejr

    Erilejr New Member

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    As a prior enlisted and an AFROTC engineering major myself (computer) I have researched this particular topic. From what I have gathered, pursuing an Engineering degree will NOT hinder your chances at getting a UPT slot as long as the AF is not paying for that particular degree. What that means is, if you are on a general AFROTC scholarship then your chances are as good as anyones. However, if you are on an AECP, or TDSP, or any other scholarship specifically for Engineering/STEM majors, then yes, you will likely be forced into an Engineering position with the AF (ie 62EX, Developmental Engineer). Hope this helps.
     
  12. eboyd

    eboyd Member

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    The figure I was given by my AFROTC commander is that only 25% of EE majors will get pilot spots. This is due to EE being a "critical field". It is my understanding that EE and Computer Engineering are the only two engineering disciplines designated as "critical" by the Air Force
     

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