Choosing a Major

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Here are some progressions we have seen with our sponsor mid family, keeping in mind everyone gets a BS with a solid STEM core, which opens up a wide variety of career paths.

Below is a sampling of major, military field, civilian role.

I do think IT-related majors make sense for Cyber paths.

Honors English>Marine logistics>mid-level executive systems engineer for major tire company

Q Econ>Navy Air>healthcare company finance department

Physics>Marine ground>clandestine service>owns brew pub

Oceanography>surface warfare>active field agent for major ABC agency

Aero>submarine warfare>CFP and investment advisor

History>subs>divinity school and youth pastor

Poli Sci>Marine ground>executive with national financial services company

Computer Science>subs>Microsoft (this seems very logical!)

Math>Marine ground>major athletic apparel company in marketing

Aero>Navy Air>Marine Air>Air National Guard full-time (quite a story)

Systems engineering>surface warfare>executive at an investment banking firm

Aero>Navy Air>has a gym franchise

Mech E>EOD>govt consultant DOD contractor

English> surface warfare>HR with national credit card firm

Systems E>intel>career placement director at a state university (couldn’t face working in buildings with no windows anymore)

All have advanced degrees obtained on AD or with GI Bill.

When I worked at USAA, there were dozens of SA grads, NROTC/OCS/OTS former/Reserve/Guard officers, with every conceivable combination of undergraduate degree and military specialty, working in every line and staff division. It’s the same as the company I am at now.

If you look at LinkedIn, and do an Advanced Search, pick any large or well-known company (Amazon, Microsoft, Grumman, Under Armour, USAA, Coca Cola, etc.), and insert one of the Service Academies for “school,” you’ll see the profiles pop up. You can often figure out the career path and major from the profile.
 

Dadof2

Member
DS is excited about Ocean Engineering. Any other major I would not think twice about, but is I do wonder if this will limit his post navy career options to a coastal region?
DD is an OE major. It's a good program with elements of Civil and Mechanical Engineering. With her USNA degree and military service I have no concerns about her post Navy career options. No matter what your DS chooses for a major, with the USNA degree and service time he should be very marketable.

Current mids/very recent grads think that your USNA major is important for your military career and/or later in life. Those of us who've graduated, served and moved on to other careers know it's not.
I did not go to USNA or serve and I can say the same about my civilian engineering degree. It has helped me in my career for sure, but I am not working, and never have worked in the specific engineering field of my major.
 

justdoit19

Member
Here are some progressions we have seen with our sponsor mid family, keeping in mind everyone gets a BS with a solid STEM core, which opens up a wide variety of career paths.

Below is a sampling of major, military field, civilian role.

I do think IT-related majors make sense for Cyber paths.

Honors English>Marine logistics>mid-level executive systems engineer for major tire company

Q Econ>Navy Air>healthcare company finance department

Physics>Marine ground>clandestine service>owns brew pub

Oceanography>surface warfare>active field agent for major ABC agency

Aero>submarine warfare>CFP and investment advisor

History>subs>divinity school and youth pastor

Poli Sci>Marine ground>executive with national financial services company

Computer Science>subs>Microsoft (this seems very logical!)

Math>Marine ground>major athletic apparel company in marketing

Aero>Navy Air>Marine Air>Air National Guard full-time (quite a story)

Systems engineering>surface warfare>executive at an investment banking firm

Aero>Navy Air>has a gym franchise

Mech E>EOD>govt consultant DOD contractor

English> surface warfare>HR with national credit card firm

Systems E>intel>career placement director at a state university (couldn’t face working in buildings with no windows anymore)

All have advanced degrees obtained on AD or with GI Bill.

When I worked at USAA, there were dozens of SA grads, NROTC/OCS/OTS former/Reserve/Guard officers, with every conceivable combination of undergraduate degree and military specialty, working in every line and staff division. It’s the same as the company I am at now.

If you look at LinkedIn, and do an Advanced Search, pick any large or well-known company (Amazon, Microsoft, Grumman, Under Armour, USAA, Coca Cola, etc.), and insert one of the Service Academies for “school,” you’ll see the profiles pop up. You can often figure out the career path and major from the profile.
This is WOW I’m so many ways. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for sponsoring! I am also sharing this with my Mid. I truly rely on and value the information shared here. And am also comforted with the amazing stories and great points shared by all.

I worry no more. Follow your passions son!! So exciting to watch them grow. And know that I helped make them who they are.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
My current CEO is a Navy grad who laughs about how he found his way from his major to his warfare specialty to his current path. He often comments he surprised the heck out of his company mates, as he was “Joe Average” mid. He credits USNA and his AD time for laying the groundwork for his success.

We have a sponsor daughter who now works in NYC for a major financial services firm. I looked up the USNA grads there via LinkedIn, and realized I knew one of the EVPs from AD time. I sent him a note about sponsor daughter. He got her into his mentoring group and has watched over her transition to a civilian career. He keeps a special eye out for all the vets there and is active in their internal vet group, but that USNA bond is special. Despite inter-family joking, the SA grads also look out for each other.

As other posters have advised, choose a major you will enjoy and do well in. You’ll get everything else you need to succeed in a variety of paths on AD and in the civilian world. The discipline, mental fitness, leadership and resource management skills honed via commissioning sources and AD lay a solid foundation for a breathtaking range of opportunities.
 

swrakow

Member
I started out in the great class of '87 as a mechanical engineer, but quickly switched to history. I have often referred to my major as "historical engineering". Despite majoring in history, I was required to take chemistry, physics, electrical engineering, basic thermodynamics, weapons systems engineering, calculus 1 & 2, and differential equations (among other technical courses in addition to my major courses). As a Marine officer, the math and science helped me better understand interior and exterior ballistics (I was artillery) and explosives, but the major itself helped me become a better writer and made me a better attorney (my current profession). Regardless of your major at USNA, you'll be challenged. Do what interests you and remember that the ultimate objective is to graduate and get a commission. There were several of my classmates with history majors who went nuke power and did just fine.
 
Time is on your side. The Academy works with you to help you choose your major. You have much more guidance than at a civilian college. Currently, Mids need to declare their major before Spring Break 4/C year
 
Not trying to diminish the importance of choosing your major but, I will say that you definitely have time. If I remember correctly, you do not have to choose a major until the end of your 3C (sophomore) year. I'm pretty sure there will be many decisions to panic about before you have to panic about this one :)
Majors are decided the spring of their plebe year- however thy attend many briefs,open houses and such to decide
 

NJROTC-CC

Member
Kind of ironic that in NROTC you have to choose your colllege major while still in high school but at USNA the decision time is more like a normal civilian college. Needs of the service.
 
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