Grad school after the academy?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by ctuma2, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. ctuma2

    ctuma2 Member

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    I was wondering if anyone could enlighten me on how it works if I wanted to continue on to grad school after graduating from the academy? (I hope this question is not too vague)
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    If you want full-time grad school as your first assignment, you'll need to win a scholarship for it (Rhodes, Marshall, AFIT, etc) and get into a graduate program. There are more details that others here (Hornet and Eagle...) will be able to fill in.
     
  3. airman

    airman Member

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    there are snakes that go months without eating, and then they finally catch something, but they're so hungry that they suffocate while they're eating. graduate high school first.
     
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Best to go to the top, click the search button, and practice some search terms (grad school, scholarships, RAND, AFIT, etc.) and you will find several posts on the topic. If after doing this search you still have questions, then feel free to ask and those of us like Eagle and myself who are still in grad school can answer specific questions.

    Eagle is finishing up his time at AFIT getting his MS and I will complete my 3 year PhD at RAND in Oct 2013.
     
  5. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Yep - My son is thinking the same thing, he'd like to go straight to AFIT after graduation. He spoke with folks at both USAFA and AU's AFROTC about it and was told that so few people want to go straight into more school after 4 years that his chances were good - according to the Admission's Officer at AU last year, only one person at Det 5 applied for it and he got it. Most folks want to get into the field and take a break from school at that point - not mine... I worry about that kid... :rolleyes:

    Best :biggrin:
     
  6. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Let me tell you....I don't think I want to look at another textbook or touch school again after this. Glad I'm in the final stretch of "education" as it were.

    Yes yes, old fogies about to post, there will always be more education. I'm well aware. :yllol:
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Old fogey here, and that was not my thought!

    My thought process is this:

    1. Putting the cart before the horse.

    There are so many things that will happen in the next 4 yrs., that will impact you this IMPO should not even be placed on the table.

    2. What if they said NO?

    Would you decline the appointment?
    If you say: "I'd think 2x before accepting it". You have your answer if the AF is your match.
    If you say: "Heck NO". Than why does it matter?

    3. Burn out

    Academically, every SA is an IVY education on steroids because you are not just a student, you are also training to be an officer.

    4 yrs in college, at any college is not HS. You will be 22 on a good day when you commission, and the thought of hitting the books like Hornet, Eagle or Raimius for another 1-3 yrs is daunting. For some they will have follow ons to UPT.

    Do NOT fool yourself, UPT, FTU and Mission Qual combined are about 2-3 more yrs of academics. That means, if you do AFIT, and go rated, on the very best day you will be @26 yo before you stop studying.

    Think about it...you are 18, we are talking 8 more yrs.

    Yes, Hornet is correct there will be more education, it is called PME. This is done at different ranks, and the schools vary in length. ACSC is 1 yr. It is the O4 school. Go to WIC, and you have more academics. Go to TPS and you have academics.

    4. Time owed.

    Any grad school will require you to owe back more time. It runs concurrent with your AFA commitment.

    That being stated, I always illustrate this scenario.

    Grad 16 --- not rated.

    2016/17 go to AFIT. You will be close to walking out 4 yrs.
    May 2017 they send you to Ramstein for a 3 yr tour.

    Assume that means the stars have aligned and you can walk May 2020.
    ~ Problem, how do you interview for a job state side when you are in Germany?
    ~ Accepting the state side assignment means you owe 3 more yrs. 2023 is escape date.
    ~ 2023 you are 29, married and a mtg. Our economy is like it is today regarding unemployment do you risk it?
    ~ You take 1 more assignment and ride it out for job purposes. This incurs a 3 or 4 yr commitment. Now you have a spouse, a mtg, and a child.
    ~~~ OBTW, you also accepted O4 which is another 3 yrs owed. I now have you at 2029.
    ~ Send you back overseas, in 2027 to 2030, i.e. Elmendorf or Hickham. Again you are back at how do you interview for a job in TX, and another in FL if you live in AK? So, now you accept the stateside and place it off for 1 more tour.
    ~ 2033 you can leave, but now you have 17 yrs in, and OMG are you willing to give up 50% retirement pay for the rest of your life? You now have 2 kids, a mtg, a car pmt, etc. Most will say 1 more tour.
    ~ 2026 is when you can walk!

    I just took your arse out 20 yrs without a blink of an eye.


    Honestly, it is great to be informed, but you have at least 3 yrs. before you must decide. Live for today, don't wish your life away!
     
  8. Romad

    Romad Member

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    He may very well feel that way after graduating whatever institution he ends up at. However, he's always been very consistent - wanted Aero or Comp engineering since he was 8, was going to do Aero but has gotten interested in the new generation of Nanotechnology computing - the new single atom transistor that was just developed knocked his socks off - so he's picked 4WYY as his AFROTC AFSC choice to study at AU if he goes there - and he's revving to go in that direction.

    he's had zero interest in flying for whatever reason although he'd make an excellent pilot in my opinion so no loss for him there - but HEY! it's his party! :biggrin: So, if he's determined to follow the grad option, more power to him. I suspect that as technology and unmanned systems advance, guys like you and him will start to be far more numerous and terminal career opportunities in the USAF for non-flyers will be greatly enhanced...

    Good Luck and Hang in There!

    :shake:
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  9. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Just as a note: I'm not in a grad degree program, so don't assume I speak from experience on that.

    As for studying not ending, you'll get a paper box full of academics and pubs when you start T-6s. You'll probably get another for your advanced trainer. When you get to your operational aircraft, you'll have more, plus stuff on tactics and techniques. That is just to fly an aircraft. There are PME requirements, additional duties, and more. It doesn't just stop after you get a degree.
     

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