What career path is for me?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Norix, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Norix

    Norix New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am going to be a senior majoring in engineering and have recently begun considering some career paths for my dream sheet in the near future. If anyone could share some insight into the fit of the careers to my personality, I would greatly appreciate it.

    A little bit about me: I am more introverted but I do enjoy talking to people and giving speeches (especially if I can prepare beforehand as well as given time to recharge by being alone). I like to solve problems and do research on things that I find interesting. At the moment, I do not see myself doing "hardcore" engineering for the rest of my life, but I am interested in technology (especially Aerospace), as well as business. I would like to be deployed as much as possible (I have this "weird" dream of community service where I could teach the local community English or help initiate/work on building development for villages) to far-off developing countries. I have been a tutor for underprivileged children when I was a freshmen as well as having gone to the Philippines (my home country) for an Engineers Without Borders project and I enjoyed them. I would like to be a management consultant in the future so an AFSC that is similar to that would be great.

    Here are some careers I was thinking:

    1. Intel - for the analysis and having the feeling of making a difference as well as deployment opportunities

    2. Operations Research - I haven't found much info about this career field so if anyone can elaborate that would be great! But it seems like a lot of problem solving, optimization, etc. which could be similar to consulting.

    3. Developmental Engineering - I understand that the engineering in the AF is unlike civilian engineering in that the AF is more toward project management. Although I don't think there is much deployment in this career field but maybe I'm wrong?

    Thank you in advance for any help and insight!
     
  2. khergan

    khergan Member

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    You may want to research a little more about the military and specifically AFROTC. I'm an Army guy, but I'd hazard a guess and say that AF officer careers and options are all easily viewable online, as well as their prerequisites.

    You're a college senior, so your ability to go AFROTC may require you to seek a Masters or second Baccalaureate degree. Again, not in the AF, but in AROTC we'd require you to go to a summer camp called LTC to account for the first two years of ROTC, then you'd have to do another degree in two years.

    Do some more research so you can ask more relevant questions.
     
  3. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    I read this that he's a senior AFROTC cadet looking for some insight into AFSC selection.
     
  4. Norix

    Norix New Member

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    Jcc123, yes that is correct. I apologize for any confusion. I am going to be commissioning (hopefully) in a year and a half. I was just looking for people that could talk a bit about the career fields I listed above, to see if they would be something that I would like to put down in my dream sheet.
     
  5. Sean786

    Sean786 Member

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    engineer ftw
     
  6. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    You never considered going rated?
     
  7. DeskJockey

    DeskJockey Member

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    I think it is wonderful that you are interested in foreign travel and community service, but as you begin your AF career it is probably best to put a priority on a career field that will maximize your long-term opportunities. In my opinion, there are few jobs in the military or civilian world that can open as many doors for a young engineer as working in a program office as an acquisition manager or a developmental engineer. Most AF engineers don't personally do "hardcore" engineering - rather, they manage the AF's relationship with civilian contractors who are engaged in some of the most cutting-edge engineering projects in the world. Nothing against Intel or Ops Research, but I don't think that they offer as broad of a managerial and technical experience as the acquisition/engineering field.

    As to deployment opportunities, with the wind-down of our Middle East engagements I don't know that there are any Air Force positions that routinely involve frequent or lengthy deployments. I cannot speak from recent experience, but it used to be the case that junior officers in program offices did a great deal of travel, most often to contractors' offices but also occasionally overseas to inspect or test equipment.
     
  8. Norix

    Norix New Member

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    Full Metal, I did plan on going for pilot up until this summer but I really don't have a passion for it. I feel like you can only be successful in that program if you truly want to be there. If I did get a slot and go through the pipeline, I would only be doing everybody a disservice. I guess I'm just not one of those "type" of people. I also couldn't swallow the 10+ year commitment.

    DeskJockey, thank you for the post! I did consider 62E for a long time and I'll probably put it down as one of my top choices to maximize my long-term opportunities, as you mentioned. My goal in the future is to work in consulting and private equity/venture capital, with a main focus in aerospace/defense. I feel like the experience I would get in the AF would really be beneficial.

    Are there any intel/ops research officers that hang around here that don't mind sharing their experiences in the field?
     
  9. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Roger. Engineering would be best if you don't want to make the AF a career, considering the experience of the job itself and the opportunity to work with civilians, but I promise everyone else posting on this thread has a lot more experience than me with this question.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Nick4060 is an Intel officer that commissioned in May 2012 from VT. He is on his way to SERE right now or very soon, so he might not be around.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just my 0.0197432 cents, and than throw it in the circular filing cabinet.

    Only speaking from Bullet's experience as a civilian working on the development of the 35. The people in the thick of it are at the Pentagon, and all are O5 sel or above. He is the counterpart and he is a GS15 step 10. (almost a 16). They are not going to have an O1 managing a GS15. A GS 7 is the equivalent of an O1. Bullet is the guy they send to conferences and to the test locations, not his AF counterpart. Due to budget constraints, those TDY's are few and far between. Basically it is non-existent now and for the near future.

    I am sure there are O1s in development working on the 35, but my assumption would be they are working on a very small, select issue of the production, thus they would not be sending them out into the field a lot, if at all. I would assume they do work with the defense contractor, such as Lockheed, on that one part, but as far as interfacing with a person, I would think it would be their boss, an O3 or above.

    The way many 2nd career opportunities occur, at least in the beltway, is connections. It is not just what you know, but who you know. Bullet was offered a yr out from retirement. He was a by name request from connections he had made along the way. It was unsolicited, and it was the reason he decided to retire. That was for the 22, but when word got out 6 months prior to retirement, he was offered the 35 position with another company because someone heard through the grapevine he was retiring. They than began to compete with salaries and bennies until he decided to take the 35 job.

    I tell you this because this world is very competitive, and getting out after 4 yrs with no Masters, and very little experience, you may find it harder than you think.

    I am sure you plan to get a Master's, but than that means you will not be getting out in 4 if you take TA. More likely @ 5-6 yrs. Plus, AFROTC grads traditionally do not go 1st off to any of the schools. AFA grads do, and than ROTC/OTS mix. It can be 6-9 months. Depending on the school, they may also decide not to start the clock until you graduate. For example, pilots owe 10, but it is not from commissioning date, it is not from AD start date, it is from winging date. For our DS (2012) he will be in not until 2022, but 2024 because his class graduation date is April 2014. If the school is 6 months, and the fine print says you owe 4 yrs for the school, it will start when you graduate. TA will run concurrent, but it will be hard to start your Masters in the 1st yr., so if you take it starting yr 2 and end yr 4, you will be in for 7 yrs from commissioning.

    If they PCS you to Ramstein at 6 yr marker, and you are married, it is a 3 yr assignment. You are now at 9. Hard to interview in DC when you are living in Germany. So you take another assignment stateside. You are at 12 now.

    You can get out at 5, but you need to really think about the path you take.

    The thing to really think about is the what ifs...I just took you out to 12 yrs., don't plan on your 2nd career as a deciding factor, because I know more people that stayed to 20, than left at the 1st sign because of timing. A lot more!

    Many, many more doors will open for you because of your AF experience, but if you are set on doing 4 and the door, take also the time to visit usajobs.gov because you will be able to see what currently is existing on the dark side. A few yrs back Pres. Obama required many of the defense contracting jobs be converted to GS positions. Thus, for management you will find a lot on that website. It may help you see a broader picture.

    Either way, go with a job that you like, because this is a 24/7/365 days a yr job.

    Have a great day, now throw my opinion in the circular filing cabinet.
     

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