Careers after military ROTC vs Academy

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by nray25, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. nray25

    nray25 New Member

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    Are both commissioning sources pretty competitive in the job market? Are academy grads more likely to get jobs?
     
  2. Weather

    Weather Member

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    By the time you've completed your military committment, any differences between commissioning sources will have been erased. Military officers, assuming they have a good record and good references, are in demand in the civilian workforce.

    Caveat: It sometimes helps to be a ringknocker, just for the networking possibilities and doors that being an academy grad will open.

    This type of "old-grad" networking exists with other universities as well (Texas A&M comes to mind), so your commissioning source will be less relevant than the network you build and maintain when it comes time to look for a civilian job.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree by the time you have done your "payback", commissioning source will mean nothing, what will mean everything is the field you are in and the jobs that you have held within the field.

    For example: If you go Intel, it will help going government, but not so much for IBM.

    Also, you will automatically owe at least 5 yrs regardless, be smart and if you plan to leave at that point get started on your Masters DAY ONE. You will owe 3 yrs concurrent for going on the military dime beginning at the last time you register for class. A Masters will be very beneficial. Thus, if you complete it by yr 2 you can leave at 5.

    CAVEAT: People tend to believe that it is easy to get out at exactly 5 or 8, it is not. Every time you PCS you sign on for a new concurrent commitment. For example, you go to school for 1 yr, you move at the end of yr 1, that means your concurrent ends at yr 4. However, they now move you at yr 4, an it brings you to 7 (moves are 3 yr commitments). That puts you at 7, the same is true for every time you pin on rank, you will owe an additional commitment. You will have the ability to say I will go, but it is "non-vol", which basically says to the new station, I am leaving.

    Many military members get a foot up because they will have a security clearance, which costs 10's of thousands of dollars. This will help you getting a govt or contractor job,(Rand, Raytheon, Booz, L-3) but realize that with govt and contracting jobs it is a LONG process it can take close to 6 mos or more. You don't go in that day and come out with an offer, unless you have done the 20 yrs and have a very specialized marketing skill, in other words you fill every component of the job description. Bullet had that, he was by name request and walked out with the offer, but it still took @ 3 months for paperwork to be completed and approved to place him in the position.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  4. sprog

    sprog Member

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    When you get out, the fact that you served in any branch as an officer will be a plus. That said, the quality of university you attend will make a difference to some employers. The service academies are highly respected as institutions of higher learning in their own right, so that is an advantage. However, if you go to Duke or Princeton and do ROTC (I think these schools have it for at least one branch), you're also sitting pretty. Bottom line-the quality of education and how you perform as an officer are going to be crucial to your resume when you enter the civilian world. As time moves on, it's your work record that becomes even more important than where you went to school.
     
  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Read Zaphod's thread in this forum from a few months back with "headhunters..."

    Commissioned officers with experience and clearances are immensely attractive to the business world. There are junior officer placement firms who specialize in recruiting junior officers (regardless of commissioning source) departing active duty.

    The SAs have joint Service Academy Career Conferences as part of their alumni services, and the networking is very powerful among SA grads, since everyone from a SA goes into the same "business world" at graduation. Relationships develop over long periods of time, and a classmate who gets out at 5 years may find a great position in the civilian world, and serve as a door-opener for a classmate 2 years later. But that happens for ROTC, OCS and other sources of commission too.

    Prestige colleges and universities also have powerful alumni placement offices, and I would venture to say all colleges and universities have some type of alumni career placement service, especially in the online world.
     
  6. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    Everything being said makes sense and I would *personally* aasume that having the SA academy backround can do nothing but help. That would be especially true if the owner or person doing the hiring has some type of military background.

    That being said, doing ROTC at a school like Michigan or Texas is going to open doors as well. That 'M' and those 'horns' are alumni brands know around the world.
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Yep.

    SA's do seem to have a slight bit of an aura around them, although that won't help if you screw up the interview.
     
  8. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Yes, it helps. I hear it all the time from graduates, cadets, and even people in the business world that seeing were you graduated from often determines if you are accepted for a position. I have heard many stories of that a USMA graduate was the reason they got the job.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This may be true when you leave at 27 and 5 yrs in, but it will have little or nothing to do as the reason when you leave at 8, 12 or 20. You will be treated just like every other job candidate. Your RESUME regarding your job positions will be your make or break. Companies do not care at that age where your undergrad came from, they want to see your job progression and if you fill the squares for the position. They are not going to take the SA grad who did not get a Masters over the ROTC grad who did. It does not make business sense. The airlines are not going to hire the SA grad who flew A-10's over the ROTC grad who flew F-22s just because he is an SA grad. Defense companies are not going to hire the SA grad who never did a Pentagon rotation for a Pentagon job over the person that did.

    It is what you do after you graduate that will determine how your corporate career chances will pan out.

    If you are starting to weigh the option o only doing a 5 and dive, I would suggest that you be smart, and as soon as you get to your 1st base, get your Masters on the military dime. You should be able to complete it in time so you owe no more time back. That way you are still close enough for your undergrad degree to matter, but you give yourself a leg up with a grad degree.

    Think about it, let's say you leave at 30, are you trying to get an entry level position in management? Of course not! Thus, you will admit that your career positions over the last 8 yrs and a Masters will be of more value than who your commissioning source is.

    I would say, that the SA from an academic point does give a better advantage than ROTC for one reason. SA cadets have a higher chance to get great academic slots after graduation...Harvard, Rand, Rhodes, etc. That will translate into a major plus not only for your military career, but post military, regardless of when you leave. For example, every yr the SA will have cadets that go directly to Oxford, Harvard, MIT, Rand, etc for their Ph.D. They will incur an additional commitment, but it doesn't matter. The military has tagged them as their future leader, thus their career will be given an early edge. If they decide to leave, what company is not going to say take the guy with a Ph.D from MIT? That being stated, just because you are at an SA does not mean you are competitive for these scholarships, you will need to be the best of the best to even get the chance to compete for this, and when you do, you are competing against not only other SA cadets, but students from around the country.
     
  10. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    Out of curiosity how does this work? Do most people get the masters online or go to a physical campus? Does the military choose what you can and can't get a masters in, or is it up to the individual?

    BTW I always see your posts and have learned a ton from them...thanks!
     
  11. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    In the Navy, you can be selected to attend the Naval Postgraduate School. I received my acceptance letter about six months after I got out. :yllol:

    In other cases, you can pay your own way (my roommate did this) when you are on shore duty. He attended a brick-and-mortar campus.

    I'm afraid I'm not privy as to how one can get a Graduate degree paid for by Uncle Sam outside the military post-graduate colleges. Sorry. :redface:
     
  12. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    There may not be an extra commitment. Grad school commitment is concurrent with any other ones and is being paid back while in grad school. It is time of training + 2x training. So, up to 18 months can be done with 0 additional payback if you do 5 an dive (1.5+3=4.5 yrs). Anyone going pilot will not have additional commitment if they take up to a 3 year grad slot (like RAND or extended Rhodes) since it is already a 10 year commitment.

    P.S. Pima, the deal is done and its not medical. ;)
     
  13. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    P.S. Pima, the deal is done and its not medical. ;)

    I hope that means what I think!!! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Rand and Rhodes are 10 yr commitments? Or are you saying pilot training is up to 10 yrs from 8? I wouldn't be shocked if it was pilot training, when Bullet got in it seemed like every yr for about 5 yrs they were messing with the commitment, if I recall it went 8, 9, 10, 7 and the stayed at 8 for the rest of his career.

    That is one thing anyone thinking of UPT should be cognizant of, the military can change the commitment time frame any time they want. Trust me, the pilots that got 10 yrs tacked on were not thrilled when the next UPT class came in and were only required to do 7. They will not change your commitment with the service, it will be whatever you signed on for, so it can go against you or for you if they change it.

    Hornet: As Bullet would say "you chose wisely!":yay: DD had said something over dinner last night so we figured you had made your decision.
     
  15. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    yup, I was messaging with her so she saw my facebook status. :)

    To my knowledge, the current pilot commitment is 10 years.
    A three year degree will extend a commitment to at least 9 years, but it is concurrent with anything else (the pilot commitment).
     
  16. soccerdude407

    soccerdude407 Member

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    Hornet, if you don't mind my asking, what did you choose?
     
  17. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Very Well. ;) I will be attending the Pardee RAND graduate school in Santa Monica, CA for the next three years. I will be earning my PhD in policy analysis. I can't wait!! Pilot follow-on.
     
  18. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Hornetguy- if you don't mind me asking, what did you major in at the academy?
     
  19. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I am a Biochemistry major with a Japanese minor.
     
  20. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Biochemistry? Pretty awesome, I must say (considering majoring in chemistry if I get accepted). How are the academic facilities? So you mean you can choose to major in whatever you want, and have your grad degree be something completely different?
     

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