Post-Graduate Engineering Possibilities

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Jpwolfe, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Jpwolfe

    Jpwolfe USNACandidate22

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    6
    I recently received an appointment to the USNA, but also have a heavy interest in engineering. I understand that the academy has a very prestigious engineering program, but I worry that I won't be able to find work at top technology companies after my 5 year service. In addition, I am not sure the amount of research opportunities are on par with a top engineering school (i.e. Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Cornell,...). Although I really want to join the academy and become an officer, I am not sure it is right for my academic interests. Does anyone have any insight into the engineering opportunities at the academy and after service?
     
    c17hopeful likes this.
  2. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    234
    I'm curious about this myself. What specific field of engineering are you interested in?
     
  3. Jpwolfe

    Jpwolfe USNACandidate22

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    6
    I am most interested in Mechanical Engineering, but Electrical/Computer Science also interest me. I recently visited a civilian school and all of the engineering labs seemed really exciting and interesting, but I am not sure I will be able to find things like that at the academy.
     
  4. Lazyboy

    Lazyboy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    144
    Popular opinion that I’ve learned: with your education and then leadership experience, it should be easy to land a good job.

    *This is not based on direct knowledge.
     
    GHTeam likes this.
  5. Jpwolfe

    Jpwolfe USNACandidate22

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    6
    I have heard that this is especially the case in more corporate jobs like banking or finance where being able to work well with people is especially important, but in an engineering field where more technical skills are required, companies might be more willing to take someone just out of a four year university with great research experience over someone who studied engineering 5 years ago, but has great leadership skills. This is all based on pure conjecture and I haven't spoken to anyone who could answer this fully, but if anyone had any insight, that would be great.
     
  6. usnahopeful09

    usnahopeful09 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    25
    Here are my two cents:

    The Academies, like you said, are all good STEM schools. You might be at a slight disadvantage when applying for civilian jobs because in the end the academy’s main goal is still to develop military officers, but your leadership skills, etc.. can be a plus.

    If you are concerned about number of opportunities for engineering, I’m pretty sure that good engineering schools have more. But again, it’s not because USNA isn’t a good school, but because it is a different kind of school.

    I do have to agree with you that you might be behind the curve a little since you will be active duty for 5 years.

    In short, I think that if engineering really is your main passion, and one of your goals is to land a great engineering job, that you should consider ROTC at a school like Michigan or Cornell. Even if you don’t get the scholarship this year, you can do the College Program and if you do well you will commission the same way, but from a more “engineering-heavy” school. That’s my suggestion for you, someone who seems torn between service and engineering. ROTC can give you both! :)
     
    Rescue#1 likes this.
  7. Nemo567

    Nemo567 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    136
    If your main worry about attending USNA is in regards to job prospects after your service commitment, you should really evaluate your motivations.

    Attending USNA is first and foremost about serving as a Navy or Marine Corps officer.
     
    Soldiergriz, time2, landlock and 3 others like this.
  8. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    234
    While it is the subject of this thread, that doesn't mean it's the OP's only concern. The commitment is 5 years minimum. There is nothing wrong with thinking about career options for down the line.
     
    gill0610 likes this.
  9. ders_dad

    ders_dad Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    475
    It is very important to not lump all Engineering disciplines together. Different schools specialize in being excellent at a small number of sub-disciplines. If the nuts and bolts of engineering practice are your passion- think about an MS. I hire in environment, geotechnical, civil, hydraulic disciplines and we target MS from a small subset of schools. A great BS can lay the foundation for many specialties. We are all EITs at the beginning
     
  10. NTWLF ONE

    NTWLF ONE Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    330
    Career Options:
    • Naval Aviation (Pilot/Naval Flight Officer)
    • Surface Warfare
    • Navy Nuclear Power (Submarines/Surface)
    • Naval Special Warfare (SEAL/EOD)
    • United States Marine Corps (Air/Ground)
    Leading sailors and marines...your primary concern if considering USNA...
     
  11. Nemo567

    Nemo567 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    136
    Again, if you are worried about career options down the road, USNA is the wrong place for you. The mission of the academy is to "graduate leaders who are dedicated to a career of Naval service." You should be concerned about leading sailors and marines, not about getting a job at some "top technology company."
     
  12. usnahopeful09

    usnahopeful09 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    25
    While I do agree with this, I think that, like I said before, a good compromise would be ROTC. The OP can still do military service, yet may also be able to graduate from a more “well-known” engineering school like Cornell, Mich, etc... which can probably help with job prospects after service.
     
  13. falconchic88

    falconchic88 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    414
    Here is my kids experience with this. All three of my Navy kids were/are Engineering majors. 1 was Mechanical, 2 Ocean Engineering. One of the ocean engineering majors is currently serving in the fleet as a Civil Engineering Corps Officer. The Mechanical Engineer had amazing research opportunities and his capstone project was a joint project with another highly rated civilian engineering school. They built robots and competed in a robotic football game! The current civil engineer worked on developing an artificial wave reef. My current M2C is participating in an exciting intern program this summer at a civilian school, aimed at designing/building kelp farms to be used as biofuels. She will complete an independent research project her senior year focused on her data collected during the internship. She is also applying for a Bowman Scholarship. If selected, she will go to Navy Post Graduate school directly after commissioning to get her masters in Mechanical Engineering, paid for by the Navy, and then sent to Nuclear Power school. By the time she finishes her commitmentment she will be well set for an Engineering career, if she chooses to leave the Navy.

    I would like to add that all engineering majors have the opportunity to take the FE exam prior to graduation.

    A USNA grad with an engineering degree, coupled with the leadership/management experience gleaned during their time on active duty is a highly sought after combination in the civilian world.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  14. Imboden

    Imboden Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2017
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    23
    Ditto to the above comments. The reason why companies will hire an academy grad over an Ivy grad is because we know that if they are given an assignment, they will take the initiative to get it done. In fact, I put any officer in the military in the same bucket. I consider military officer leadership experience to be the equivalent of a second master's degree (we require all to have an MBA).
     
    AF6872 likes this.
  15. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,614
    Likes Received:
    769
    DD was told that if she wanted to Dive after seven years she could be hired tomorrow. SA graduates are top of the list whatever the degree.
     
  16. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,633
    Likes Received:
    2,511
    There was another thread here not long ago, asking about the strength of the Engineering curriculum. There was some good discussion there.
    I'm not an engineer, but I can assure you that a degree from the Naval Academy will never hold you back, and may in fact help open doors, no matter where your military or civilian career may lead you. In addition, there are some great post graduate education opportunities.
     
  17. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    465
    The skills you will pick up at an academy or ROTC program will benefit and give you an edge in the outside world. Many engineers are brilliant with incredible resumes, very intelligent but they lack communication skills, ability to work cooperatively, ask questions, seek help when needed and leadership. Many engineers spend their 4 years of college in a classroom or research lab and never develop those characteristics which are crucial to succeeding in a workplace. All of those characteristics are part of life at an academy or ROTC program. Those military experiences will give you an edge over other candidates and likely lead to higher level projects, promotions and better opportunities.
     
    GHTeam likes this.
  18. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,614
    Likes Received:
    769
    Roger the Dodger.
     
  19. GHTeam

    GHTeam Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    96
    Absolutely correct!
     
  20. usnahopeful09

    usnahopeful09 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    25
    I agree with that 100%. That being said, OP seems to be concerned about the technical/skill-set aspect of it, which I do think is especially important in engineering compared to, say, business. I don't think anyone is naive enough to think that someone 5 years removed from school will be on the same playing-field, skill-wise, as someone straight out of school, competing for the same job (on a strictly skill-based level). That being said, as others have also said, the academy experience is very valuable and is a "plus" for resume-building, job interviews, etc..