WheresIndia
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Hi, I know I want to join the RAF (or Navy as a second choice) as a Air Traffic Control Officer or an Intelligence Officer. However, I'm stuck on whether to join up after Sixth Form or university!? I've been looking at Coventry Uni's Aviation Management course as well as Plymouth's English with History. I want to do something that will help me in later life if I can't, for whatever reason, join the military, but is it worth getting into debt etc. I think uni will be a good experience but I'm really stuck on when I should join up. Please help
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ProStacker
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Don't do an aviation-specific degree, but go to uni if you can. You'll be with people your own age, you can join a UAS / RNR and learn and do relevant stuff, you'll also be getting something that helps you get on in your career (better trained mind) and something to fall back on.

Go to uni.
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WheresIndia
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(Original post by ProStacker)
Don't do an aviation-specific degree, but go to uni if you can. You'll be with people your own age, you can join a UAS / RNR and learn and do relevant stuff, you'll also be getting something that helps you get on in your career (better trained mind) and something to fall back on.

Go to uni.
Thank you, why would you recommend not doing an aviation specific degree? I'll look into which UAS and RNR the unis I like are assigned to
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ProStacker
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You'll be taught the military way of doing things rather than them saying 'oh - you have a degree in this, don't bother with our training'. The degree you quoted is not lined up for the career fields you are interested in, so you may as well do a degree that you are already interested in. It would not give you any advantage in a military career.
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the mezzil
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Go uni and do a subject you enjoy. Join the UAF or the URNU.

When you join after uni, training will teach you everything you need to know.

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teasin_tina
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(Original post by ProStacker)
You'll be taught the military way of doing things rather than them saying 'oh - you have a degree in this, don't bother with our training'. The degree you quoted is not lined up for the career fields you are interested in, so you may as well do a degree that you are already interested in. It would not give you any advantage in a military career.
I have a degree in aviation management and tbh it helped me get previous jobs before the RAF accepted me, all of which were related to the military. My last job was two years spent working as a civilian for the RAF. It can have an advantage. However.... If I could do it all over again I would choose a different degree. I love history and wish I'd studied this.

Don't choose a degree solely on potential career prospects, choose one you enjoy and will excel at.


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SCLONE
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If I had a pound for every time I get asked that, I would be a rich man. The easy answer is that it completely depends on the individual concerned. Some students are mature enough and have a suitable profile at the age of 18 to be successful in the RAF selection and training process, while others benefit greatly from their time at university, far beyond just getting a degree. Yes this can include UAS/OTC etc as part of your university life, but if you do go you must make the most of all the opportunities available to you. On the other side of the coin, you may be fed up with studying in an educational environment and the prospect of a £50K debt may be a significant factor. Other than for Engineering, there is no accelerated promotion and pay for graduates now, so by starting at 18 you will be 3/4 years ahead and considerably better off. It is a tough call, and I would always advise going through the UCAS process at the same time as a RAF application during your A2 year - keep your options open for as long as possible. If you do go for the university route UAS a must and as mentioned by others choose a degree you want to do rather than one you feel you need to do. For what it is worth, I took the university route, although not as an alternative to the RAF, and would do it again.
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Old_Simon
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It is preferable in nearly all circumstances to be (a) a commissioned officer if you get the chance and (b) with a degree that will be useful in / out of the services.
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ProStacker
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Not having a degree can prevent you accessing some options later in an RAF career. It also teaches you skills that are useful later in that career.
As with many other career fields, senior management are more commonly undertaking Masters degrees - be they MBA or other topics - as part of their personal and professional development. Without having that degree as a foundation it would be very difficult indeed to put yourself along side those with the higher qualifications.
Going to uni and getting a degree is worth far more than the money you would make if you did manage to join at 18 or 19.
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