Getting MBA during ADAF

mil.intel

Member
Hi all,

I'm a current senior in college, ready to commission this coming May. I got assigned as 62E (Developmental Engineer) at Hanscom AFB (Boston!), MA.

I'm still unsure if I want to just do minimum service commitment and get out or stay in at do 20+ years. Regardless, I know that at certain point in your ADAF career (O-4 to O-5 I think, please correct me if I'm wrong), a master's degree is necessary to be competitive or even necessary for your career progression.

Given that I'm still unsure of my future plans, I was wondering if any of you have experience getting a master's degree (MBA specifically) during your ADAF career. I know you can get a BS master's degree to satisfy your commander/board, but I really don't want to waste that time studying something that I am not interested in. I really want to pursue an MBA, especially given that I'll be surrounded by a dozen+ incredible institutions in the greater Boston area for the foreseeable future.
  • Does the Air Force like AD officers pursuing MBA?
  • How can I finance my MBA? Can DOD/VA/AF help finance?
  • Can I take an educational delay to get my MBA during AD?
  • On-campus vs online degree pros/cons?
  • Any additional insights you can offer
I will be graduating with an electrical engineering degree. Thanks for all the help!
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Here’s a place to start reading:


https://www.airforce.com/education/ongoing-education

Source: Google string “Air Force post graduate degree officer programs”



I am sure those with AF knowledge will chime in, but all the services offer programs for full-time post-grad ed at either a Service post-grad school or civilian institution. There is also distance learning. There is Tuition Assistance to use for after-hours classes or online.

You can also do it on your own. Some do it like this, because it’s usually the case that if you use the Service dime or time to earn your degree, you may owe additional obligated service which can run either concurrently or sequentially to other obligated service.

I used the Navy’s Tuition Assistance program for one Master’s. I owed some concurrent time. I then attended the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, for another. Owed some more concurrent time after that.

Many officers get their Master’s while serving at an ROTC unit. Ask your chain of command, always a place to get career advice.

Air Force policy may also govern what field you gain your Master’s in, if you are using AF dime or time.
 

emwvmi01

5-Year Member
I did a lot of grad school courses with AF officers and it seems the Air Force really encouraged (almost mandated) getting the Masters pretty early on. Most of the folks I met were younger LTs/CPTs right out of their initial training and a lot of Pilots/ABMs with some other support specialists. The program I was in was a Poli-Sci but quite a number were also enrolled in the HR program. I think an MBA would be fine but you would be limited to night/weekend executive programs unless you got them to finance it for you. Also, everyone I was with was using Tuition Assistance which paid about 3/4 of the program.
 

Tbpxece

Member
Currently highest degree attained is masked on promotion boards (meaning it isn't taken into consideration). However, it can just as easily be unmasked by the time you are boarding for Major.

More importantly, as an EE 62E, make sure you pass your FE while still in school. A lot of my CE friends (many of whom are EE as well) have indicated that the PE is playing a larger role in career progression than it traditionally has in the past. FE is a lot harder to pass once you are out of college, and it is all but required to sit for the PE.

Yes, there is 100% TA up to the annual tuition cap. Yes, the AF likes its officers to get their Masters, prefereably in something useful to their AFSC. An MBA will be useful to an EE, but an Engineering Management degree may be more appropriate. I do not recommend taking any educational delays. On-campus vs. online will depend on how you learn best. On-campus is limited to what is offered on-campus. Online can be tough to do while deployed (spotty internet in many locations), and can be a scam if you're not careful. Both are fine if they meet your needs. You will likely be getting a Masters in some form of military science later in your career anyway, around the O-5 range.

Other insight? Enjoy 62E for as long as you can-- it's very cool and unique. When you get tired of it, consider 32E-- you have one of the few degrees that qualify.

Good luck
 
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