Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Theyellowfellow, Apr 13, 2015.
Looking for best Non-humanities majors at USAFA
I guess that would depend on your interests and what you want to be when you grow up. If you're looking short sighted, meaning just the next 10 years or so, then it doesn't really matter. A cadet wanting to be a pilot, can do so with an engineering degree or one in history. Neither gives you a better chance. If you want to be in Intel, STO, OSI, security force, etc... you might consider a behavioral science or criminal justice type degree. Basically, whatever type of job you want, is probably the type of degree you should get. Except for pilot. In that case, you should try and look out to when you get out of the military so you have a degree in something you'd like to work in. Again, pilots are about the only job where the major doesn't matter.
Caveat. Test pilot, astronaut, etc. would require an engineering type degree. But for regular fighter jock or heavy pilot, the major doesn't matter.m
I still say: PHYSICS.
Pure science, math heavy so later degrees in this or any other science easier, including the baby math of business, and the computer-dominated math of engineering. ALWAYS in demand, excellent training for later in life, especially since it is so unbelievably DIFFICULT.
Do what interests you. I was a history major and have spent a career as a systems engineer. If I could go back and do it all over again I probably would of done Naval Architecture. I am almost complete with my 2nd and 3rd masters degrees which will give me an MA, MS and MBA. It was never my intention to collect random Masters degrees. But in all honesty I learned some great things from each of them. Long story to how I ended up with all of them. You don't have to declare a major until towards the end of your freshman year. Go to the open houses and speak to your upperclass. You will get a chance to really explore the differences in each area and see what projects you get to do. In all honesty one of them will end up catching your interest.
fencersmother - my DD is right there with you!
Do what you are interested in. A sure way to a lousy GPA (which affects the chances of getting the career field you want) is to pick a major you are not good at or interested in. Of course, picking something which will help your career or give you opportunities you want outside the military is recommended as well.
I was a history major, and I enjoyed that. My roommate was an aero major, and he loved it. Flip those, and we both would have likely been miserable. (We're both pilots now.)
The best is pretty subjective.
I suggest you skim through the curriculum handbook: http://www.usafa.edu/df/data/CHB2014-2015.pdf
I think Applied Math is a pretty good choice. Plenty of foundational math and, as its name suggests, applications. There are a lot of focuses to choose from which gives you plenty of options. I can list a few,
Computer and Network Security
Basically you get a core math curriculum w/ three math option classes, then four concentration classes from the choices above and you might work on one of the more specific capstone projects during senior year.
My Op Research guy had job offers in the private sector before graduation.
What do you mean by your ops research "guy"? Son? Also, is it common for companies to offer cadets job positions that will be reserved for them until after their service commitment?
My best friend did his masters in Ops Research (undergrad at USNA in math). He has had more job offers than he knows what to do with. Oh and he won't be out of the Navy for 18 more months.
I don't know about SA grads, but Bullet had people calling him with job offers @15-18 months before he retired. He actually played them off of each other regarding his starting salary.
~ We lived in fear for several months that the AF might have sent him remote before he could submit his paperwork to HQ USAF.
Grizz, I have twin sons who are both USAFA grads. Sorry, I figured most people knew that here.
The managment department is viewed as (arguably) the best department at the U.S. Air Force Academy. It is often picked because it's regarded as one of the easier majors, but the department is considered outstanding. Political science is also known for being pretty well regarded. I know these are humanities majors, but I still figured it is important you are aware.
I would avoid chemistry if you can. If you are technical, go for computer engineering and a pull a slot at MIT. It's pretty legit. Choose what interests you, and as others have said, your job as an officer will rarely be aligned with what your major was.
I've considered a management major....so I was just curious if you wouldn't mind expanding a bit as to why they are such an outstanding department?
The people there are some of the most insightful individuals I have ever met. I'm sure you can say that about any professor at the USAFA, though. I just commonly know that a lot of cadets collectively view it as the department, but most haven't said why. Probably because you get out what you get in. If you are passionate about business, finance, or organizational behavior in any way - go for it. Try talking to some cadets about their experiences from every major and see what they have to say.
While I sadly don't know the specifics of the USAFA program, computer engineering is very fun for me as a computer guy.
You do some coding, hardware design, basic binary logic, embedded programming, everything that goes into making stuff work. It is certainly a math heavy major, but has less science than some other engineering disciplines.
As for the air Force, it gives you the flexibility to go into network security, cyber ops, development, electronics acquisitions, or maybe roles operating computers on combat aircraft, though I don't know as much about that part. It is probably even more flexible in the civilian world.
It's the major for professional nerds, and if you like tinkering around with computers you'll have a blast. I recommend it.
Joey, why avoid Chemistry?? Sure, it can be tough sledding, but the rewards are there! In civilian life, jobs are relatively numerous and pay well. In the AF, you will be valued.
As I used to tell my kids: Choose your own adventure, but choose wisely.
I believe there are a lot of football players who choose Management for a major. Just saying.
Now (putting on her MOTHER cap), yes, do try to choose a major which "interests" you (like an 18 year old can anticipate what will interest him/her at 35). Better still, choose one which will put you to the test every day. Meet your challenges head-on and always take the more difficult path. The easy path leads to fat dogs and girls who should never consider wearing yoga pants in public.
Lots of great replies, suggestions, and opinions delivered by all.
And not a single reply from theyellowfellow...regarding same. H'mmm
Separate names with a comma.