Go to graduate school or UPT(JSUPT or ENJJPT)?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by g041rf0rc3, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. g041rf0rc3

    g041rf0rc3 Member

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    I ask this because I read that some “Potential Pilot” Qualified guys choose go to graduate school before UPT, so which is better?

    <A master's degree lasts about 2 years and the upt too>.

    Once I complete my master's degree I'll be promoted to 1st LT+2years(UPT+IFF or RTU+SERE training+PCS+MR)then promoted to Capt?

    On the other hand, if I take the UPT first, so is harder get a master's degree while on duty(because of TDY's, deployments, new base assignments etc)?

    Furthermore, be a captain (flight leader who provides Informations to squadron commander) without the''enough'' experience in the squadron won't hurts his mission/tactical capabilities?


    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I seem to recall Pima talking here about someone who went to grad school prior to UPT. However, either his vision changed or the requirements change or something like that, do he no longer qualified after completing grad sshool. Don't know what he went on to but it certainly wasn't UPT.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Whatever your job, including pilot, if you get selected for grad school....... They HOLD the job for you. Including the training base. So, if you get pilot, and are scheduled to go to Columbus, or Laughlin, or whatever, it will still be there waiting for you when grad school is over. Both hornet and my son went to PhD grad school, that's 3 years, and their pilot slots and their training base, were still there when they graduated grad school. My son changed his mind and turned down pilot after getting accepted as a STO, but had he not changed his mind, he'd be going to UPT pilot training.

    Whether getting your grad school done after starting your job is more diffilcult, the answer is yes. But more than 90% of all academy grads do it that way. Not very many cadets get grad school right out of the academy. Maybe 10% at most.

    Which brings up a final point, you can want to go to grad school right out of the academy all you want. That's not the deciding factor. You have to be selected by the Air Force just to apply. Then you have to apply to schools that will offer you a fellowship/scholarship to attend their school and you have to be accepted and win that fellowship/scholarship. No, you can't pay for it yourself. It must be a fellowship/scholarship. The military pays you your pay, housing, and food, but you must have the fellowship/scholarship to pay for the tuition, etc.

    So, unless you've been offered a grad school slot already, in which case you would have already known the answer, you need to bust your butt to get it. And again, don't worry about pilot training or whatever job you get. It will still be there waiting for you after grad school. But definitely go for and accept grad school if you get the opportunity. It will make your life and career so much easier. Being a full time student is so much easier than doing night courses and Internet or distance learning while trying to do a full time job.
     
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  4. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    The answer to both your questions is "yes". Your thinking is correct. Anyway you look at it, an immediate master's degree puts you two years behind your contemporaries and you will be going into a squadron being graded against those guys of your rank. People overcome it by being the ace-of-base and this may or may not be a priority to you. Getting a masters on the side later is also hard. You kind of have to pick your poison.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Spud. Not saying I disagree, but I don't think that's the way to look at it. 1st. Being a pilot is a 10 year obligation. Unless you totally screw up, you don't risk losing your job or being graded poorly against others. You'll all still be 1st lt. 2nd. Having grad school behind you will be known by your commander and squadron. And while it may not be directly measured on your OER until you're a major, it will definitely affect positive from the subjective side of your evaluations and grades. And 3rd. While your same peers are doing the balancing act between work, mission, wife or husband, kids, etc. your masters or PhD is out of the way and you'll be able to do better at work and with your family.

    I still recommend getting grad school done directly out of the academy if you have the opportunity to do so. Again, only about 10% are offered this opportunity. There's a reason for this, and it means something and is positive all around.
     
  6. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I spoke to a grad this weekend who went to grad school right away. He was there with 3 others. They're all 1st Lt now. One is at ENJJPT, one is training in F-16 and the other in F-35.

    Just a little anecdotal evidence. :)
     
  7. viperdriver

    viperdriver Member

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    If your primary goal is to Fly, go to UPT. Get your clock ticking as it gives you options if you want to punch out. You can get a masters on the side.
     
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  8. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    It depends.

    Yes, delaying UPT will put you behind your peers in the timeline. Depending on what aircraft you get, that may or may not be a big deal...it also depends on what the AF is doing (plus up, draw downs, etc).

    On the other hand, you get a lot of work out of the way. You won't have to worry about taking classes at night, etc. I can tell you it isn't ideal to come home from a flying trip and have to write a paper immediately, because it's due that night, also knowing you have stuff to do in the morning.

    People make both options work. It's up to you which path to take.
     
  9. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I was just told that F-35 program probably isn't the right program (probably F-15 or F-16 & wanting F-35) ... sooooo anyway... I still stand by that there were 3 graduates that went to grad school & then to pilot training. I KNOW that I remembered that correctly! (Darned glass of wine!)
     
  10. stvblm

    stvblm Member

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    My son did grad school first and will now be graduating ENJJPT on 25-9-2015 along with 8 other grad students from his 2012 graduating class.
     
  11. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    My son went to UPT first and is now working on his masters on his own. The program that he is in is very flexible and convenient. It is an online program through a local university, plus his advisor has a group meeting/class one evening a week so that there is at least some classroom contact. My son tries to make the class every week, however the group meeting is not mandatory so my son isn't penalized when he is TDY, as long as his work gets done.

    His advice is that if flying is your main goal, then he would not delay UPT to go to grad school. Hypothetically, another grad from his same class year who went to grad school then UPT would arrive at his unit now and would be the same rank (Captain), however he would have about 400 hours less in the jet. Son is also a 4-ship flight lead and is doing his Instructor Pilot upgrade now. The new arrival would fly as a wingman for about two years, competing for wingman flight hours with the class of 2012 to 2014 UPT directs. Wingman hours are harder to come by because they cannot fly alone, only with a flight lead. So, if a sweet trip comes up like taking a single jet to Hill AFB for depot maintenance, the wingman is out of the picture to pick up 5 easy hours, so the jet-hour difference only grows over time. In the end, promotion competition is against your own year group. In three years when the Major boards come up, both would have their masters, but one would have many more hours, more deployments, more contact with different commanders, and more bullets for their strat.

    In the end it is a personal decision based on your goals in the AF.

    Stealth_81
     
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  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Fencersmother gets annoyed at people who aren't yet IN the system, trying to game the system.

    Just let us know if you show up for I-Day, then in two years, we'll talk about whether you'll stay for commitment.
     
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  13. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Just an FYI...one of our members on SA Forums accepted a very prestigous scholarship for his PhD after graduation; delaying UPT (he had his slot).

    Long story short; the AF changed the color vision standards and he was deemed "Not PQ." Three years earlier, he'd have gone, done great, and been a rated pilot. Now? After fighting for his slot and being told, effectively: "sit in the corner and color" he is leaving the AF.

    Agree with others here...IF your PRIMARY GOAL is to FLY....grad school will be there later.
    (Said the pilot with 3 graduate degrees)

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  14. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    My thoughts changed from years past on graduate school. If you are dead set on pilot, taking a grad school spot comes with some risk that you (like me) will go from qualified to unqualified during that period. In my case, the medical regulations changed, I did not. However, you could change as well.

    If you ask me now whether I would have done things differently and turned down grad school, I couldn't give a great answer. On one hand, I would be a pilot now flying who knows what and where. On the other hand, I am a civilian now (got out in Feb) with an incredible education, an amazing job, and a wonderful spouse. I know I have a great future ahead of me. And I probably would have had a great future anyway given a different choice.

    What I would recommend to a young cadet now would depend very much on their future goals and personality. One size does not fit all.
     
  15. Wild Blue Yonder

    Wild Blue Yonder Member

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    DS also turned down grad school for UPT. I didn't think that was very wise at the time, but some of the above posts make me think otherwise. Either way, you are all awesome!
     
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  16. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    The AF will go to much greater lengths to ensure a pilot remains a pilot, than for someone who has yet to become a pilot...just the way the system works.
     
  17. stvblm

    stvblm Member

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    9 out of the 10 assignable students in ENJJPT Class 15-08 are grad students.
     
  18. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    There are also 1 year grad school programs. With the current pipeline for pilots you usually wait a full year before going to training anyways. One of our guys who got an ENJJPT slot went straight to grad school after commissioning, he'll finish his MBA in 1 year and will still be on schedule with most of the pilot selects in his class.
     
  19. Blue&SilverBear

    Blue&SilverBear USAFA Alumnus

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    Not a pilot (eyes), but went straight to grad school thanks to someone turning down a scholarship to go to ENJJPT. I was "behind" my year group, but I'm moving a year early from my current assignment and I'm now back on track. Get to your job and perform. You have to be sharp to get to go to grad school straight out of USAFA. Put that same dedication/skill to work in your unit and you'll be fine.
     
  20. stvblm

    stvblm Member

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    I agree get admitted first then graduate and hope you are offered any of the opportunities you questioning.
     
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