How does your chosen major affect your future career?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by DrePel, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. DrePel

    DrePel New Member

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    I assume it would, therefore, is choosing Aerospace engineering as a course of study the best way to eventually become a pilot?
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    No.

    You get a B.S. with enough STEM courses, even if you're an English Major, that, theoretically, you are prepared to go into any warfare community. The Navy will give you everything you need to know to be a pilot.

    To get a pilot slot, you should do your best to be at a respectable class rank, do well on various flying aptitude tests, and avoid fatal conduct, performance or physical fitness trouble. You should also seek out summer aviation-related training opportunities.

    From our USNA midshipman sponsor family, we have had History, English, Poli Sci, Oceanography, Physics majors, etc., go Navy or Marine air.

    Major in something you enjoy.

    I have related this one here before... Two sponsor mids, roommates. One EE major, top 20 in class, wanted Navy aviation, got it. Roomie, middle of the road student, Econ major, played a lot of video games while EE major labored in labs, also got Navy air, but NFO due to eyes. Fast forward to flight training. Navy needed pilots, so Gamer got a waiver and switched to pilot. Gamer got serious about studying. Engineer did well, but struggled a bit on hops, because he focused on the engineering too much. Gamer was a a more intuitive pilot, focused on flying, aced every hop. One jet slot available to their class/section. Gamer got it. Engineer got helos but sorely wanted jets. Engineer got a rare break, though, when Marines needed more jet pilots and he landed a coveted spot, did inter-service transfer.

    There are plenty of briefs about majors and time to decide.

    Edit: Now, if you're thinking test pilot, astronaut or post-Navy career, that might be a factor to consider.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
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  3. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Under the broader topic question...it generally doesn't matter (as CaptMJ explained)...one exception is in the information professional and cryptologic warfare communities, where most selectees will have majored in computer science, computer engineering, information technology, or cyber security operations. If this is an area you aspire to be into, then you need to somewhat need to know when you select majors in the spring semester of plebe year...although it is not at all binding...in other words, you can still choose from all the other eligible communities.

    Very, very hard to major in English and then decide to be in one of these communities.
     
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  4. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    I believe to be a test pilot an engineering degree is required.
     
  5. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    5day isn't too far off:

     
  6. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO Member

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    Not at all... all Midshipmen received a solid technological education, and even a Poli Sci major can go to Nuke school. It may be more difficult, and I would suspect that science/engineers are likely to gravitate to nuclear power than Bull majors. Can't speak about Test Pilot, but Aero Engineering certainly not required for aviation ... I went in thinking about Aero, but remember a Marine Capt speaking at a majors briefing during Plebe Year - After getting a roomful of Plebes to raise their hands when asked how many were thinking about Aero because they wanted to fly, he explained that was complete B###S###, as he was a Poli Sci major and the best damn pilot in the Marine Corps.
     
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  7. TheSavage44

    TheSavage44 Member

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    Your major has next to zero to do with service selection. If you plan on going Nuke SWO or Submarines, having a STEM degree may help in the long run, but I've a few friends with Humanities degrees and are phenomenal officers in the Nuclear world.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Remember, you will have a second career after you leave the service (whenever that is).

    I've found, experiences and advanced degrees have greater influence on future work than a bachelor's degree alone.
     
  9. MammaMia

    MammaMia Member

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    One more note to add - if you hope to get one if the dozen or so slots for med school, you'd major in Chemistry, because that's the only major that will offer the courses that satisfy med school prereqs.
     
  10. 18MIDN

    18MIDN Member

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    This isn't true. I have two friends who are on the Med Corps track, one is a Comp Sci major and the other is an English major.
     
  11. MammaMia

    MammaMia Member

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    Thanks, 18. The ones I know are doing or did Chem so I guess I generalized. How do they meet the requirements to apply to med school if they don't have the Chem/biochem courses? Do they take them as electives? In summer school? Genuinely curious. Thanks.
     
  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Electives, summer school in other courses to free up space for classes like organic Chem, they overload (take more then the required courses) or validate classes to free up space for classes they need for med school track.
     
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  13. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    I would think more about what you might want to do, after the Military and plan your major accordingly.
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    USNA is tough enough without spending your 3 upperclass years miserable in the classroom. Major in something that interests you and in which you think you can do well. For 99% of SA grads, your major doesn't really matter. Taking classes you enjoy makes your time at a SA much better. Getting good grades helps you get into a good grad school if that's your desire -- there you can focus on a field that interests you.
     
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  15. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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  16. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I would also assume if someone wanted to pursue the METOC option they need to major in Oceanography with the METOC track? 08 or another grad remember on that one?
     
  17. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    I would think that would help...both in a major closely associated with the community and motivation.
     
  18. GrilledCheese94

    GrilledCheese94 Member

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    Neighbor in Japan was a classmate with a Nuclear Engineering degree; he was an Adjutant in the Marine Corps.

    I was Political Science and a Logistics Officer in the Marine Corps.

    Unless you WANT to be an Aerospace Engineer, DON'T major in Aerospace Engineering.

    Plenty of Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers in both USN and USMC that were Group 3 majors.
     
  19. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    I recently have heard that there are no more "group" majors. Supposedly it is either "STEM" or "Non-STEM." Can any MIDN or other BGO confirm?
     

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