(URGENT) computer science vs electronics for RAF

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zakwebb14
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Hi, Im not sure about whether or not I should change to electronics from computer science. I've wanted to either be a pilot or engineer office in the RAF since I was 4.

I find computer science kind of boring (even though I'm very good at it) it's just I'd like to do something a bit more practical. Please let me know your opinions ASAP

thanks
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Drewski
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Neither are of any direct benefit to being a pilot, simply choose the one you'll enjoy more and would prefer to have as a back up should you not make it.

Broadly speaking, either will be suitable for EngO, though will limit you to CE engineering.
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zakwebb14
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Why would that limit it to CE? I'm also taking triple science and additional mathematics if that helps
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Frank the Tankk
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Do your degree then go for a commission? I'm applying for computer science and was still thinking of joining the Signal or Intelligence Corps (Army) when I graduate.
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username1200599
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If you find Computer Science very easy you're not doing the right kind of Computer Science.
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zakwebb14
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(Original post by Iridann)
If you find Computer Science very easy you're not doing the right kind of Computer Science.
I'm not saying it's easy, I'm saying that I've been told that I'm good at it. Do you think that would be better or electronics?
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Drewski
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(Original post by zakwebb14)
Why would they limit it to CE? I'm also taking triple science and additional mathematics if that helps
Because with those degree choices your background will have very little relevancy to engines, airframes or other physical structures.

It's not as if that's a problem though, the number of electrical systems in the RAF far outweigh the number of aircraft. I know EngOs with CompSci degrees and I know EngOs with Electrical Engineering degrees.

And no, that's got no relevancy either other than helping you get into uni.

(Original post by Frank the Tankk)
Do your degree then go for a commission? I'm applying for computer science and was still thinking of joining the Signal or Intelligence Corps (Army) when I graduate.
That is what he's talking about.
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username1200599
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(Original post by zakwebb14)
I'm not saying it's easy, I'm saying that I've been told that I'm good at it. Do you think that would be better or electronics?
I'm not sure about what the RAF looks for but might mechanical engineering be another good option?
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zakwebb14
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(Original post by Iridann)
I'm not sure about what the RAF looks for but might mechanical engineering be another good option?
Yeah, my school does that at a college, but its more "dim" pupils that do it. I might do it when I go to college in a couple years at a higher level. do you know if I have to go to uni for being a pilot or not? and Im guessing that you HAVE to to be an engineer. also if I choose to go for engineering, I might try and get a sponsorship for welbeck defence. (or just pay as a private student)
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uberteknik
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(Original post by zakwebb14)
Hi, Im not sure about whether or not I should change to electronics from computer science. I've wanted to either be a pilot or engineer office in the RAF since I was 4.

I find computer science kind of boring (even though I'm very good at it) it's just I'd like to do something a bit more practical. Please let me know your opinions ASAP

thanks
Whom ever said that electronics is not relevant is misleading you.

Electronics is highly relevant since the engineering aspects are not confined to engines and airframes:

Fly by-wire; navigation systems, GPS, terrain mapping and following, missile guidance and control systems; weapon systems, radar; forward looking infra-red, command, control and communications; information systems, data links; data fusion; defensive aid suites; ECM, ECCM, glass cockpits, heads-up displays, helmet mounted displays, noise cancellation, instrumentation, built-in test and diagnostics, redundancy, power distribution, safety systems...........the list goes on and on. Modern aircraft are crammed full of embedded computing systems and electronics.

Both electronics and computer science are directly relevant. I have a close friend who is now a Group Captain that studied electronics at university with me and flew first Buccaneer's and then Tornado's before transferring to Edwards AFB to work on the F35 development and test programme.

Electronics will give you a great grounding. Computer science is becoming more relevant for the data fusion and situational awareness intelligence elements but is more likely to get you into a ground based role.

(I work for a global aerospace company as a Principle Engineer on missile systems design and development).
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ProStacker
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(Original post by uberteknik)

Electronics will give you a great grounding. Computer science is becoming more relevant for the data fusion and situational awareness intelligence elements but is more likely to get you into a ground based role.

(I work for a global aerospace company as a Principle Engineer on missile systems design and development).
Everything you've said is true. Other than that, the RAF would not look at an electronics grad as an aircraft engineer. Yes, they are more complex and more electronics-orientated than ever, but electronics grads would most likely end up as CE Engineers.

Further guidance for the OP:

An accredited Bachelors or Masters degree in an appropriate engineering or scientific subject, eg: aeronautical engineering; IT/IS engineering; mechanical engineering; electrical engineering; or electronic engineering. Degrees must be accredited by one or more of the 4 professional engineering institutions most closely aligned to the RAF’s needs: the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS); the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE); the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); or (for CE officers only) the British Computer Society (BCS). Degree accreditation status can be determined via the Engineering Council (UK) website www.engc.org.uk. Other engineering degrees might be accepted at the discretion of the Officers & Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC) Engineer Specialist. Applicants must also have a GCSE at grade C or Scottish National Equivalent (SNE) grade 5 in English Language.
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zakwebb14
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As far as being a pilot goes. Will computing or electronics help more?
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Drewski
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(Original post by zakwebb14)
As far as being a pilot goes. Will computing or electronics help more?
Neither will help more than the other.
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zakwebb14
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OK, thanks everyone for your help. I'll speak to someone about changing tomorrow
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username1200599
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(Original post by zakwebb14)
Yeah, my school does that at a college, but its more "dim" pupils that do it. I might do it when I go to college in a couple years at a higher level. do you know if I have to go to uni for being a pilot or not? and Im guessing that you HAVE to to be an engineer. also if I choose to go for engineering, I might try and get a sponsorship for welbeck defence. (or just pay as a private student)
Sorry I assumed you were talking about degree courses, as Mechanical Engineering at University is certainly not for "dim" pupils and it can be quite a demanding degree from what I've heard.

As noted above Aeronautics is also a good degree, didn't think of that despite having family members with Aeronautics degrees ._.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by zakwebb14)
OK, thanks everyone for your help. I'll speak to someone about changing tomorrow
You would be best advised to study courses that would give you the widest range of engineering and science related subjects at university.

My recommendation would be to aim for these A-levels:

AS Compulsory subjects:

Mathematics
Physics

Plus two others from:

Further Mathematics
Chemistry
Geography
English Literature
History
Modern Foreign Language

Then at A2 level

You will need 3 good demanding and rigorous subjects to get into the best engineering universities but must include:

Physics, Mathematics, plus 1 other subject from the previous list.

You should aim for AAB at least (preferably higher).

With these A-Levels under your belt, you will have the full choice of engineering and science degrees including physics, mechanical, electronics, aeronautical, electrical and computer science open to you from the best regarded universities in the UK.

Theoretically, you could get onto a Pilot Officers Training programme with just A-levels.
However, competition is intense and fierce, so be warned.

Becoming a fast-jet pilot (or any RAF pilot) is a long road and at each selection stage, most will fall by the wayside. Your aptitude, mental attitude, health and fitness, agility, ability to handle extreme mental pressure under stress, how you handle success and disappointment etc. will play an equally (if not greater) part of getting you through each stage of the selection process and most tests are the kind you cannot prepare for in advance.

Which is why many choose the university route, as the engineering degree qualification gives a fall-back solution in the event that you do not get selected for Pilot Officer training.

Joining up would offer you bursaries and expenses which would normally come out of your student loans. Do check with the RAF careers website before going down this path though. It's a tad more committed than simply filling out a UCAS application!

If it's your dream, do everything you can to enable your career, but prepare yourself for some disappointment too because a dream is one thing and the reality is quite something else.

Good luck and best wishes.
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zakwebb14
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(Original post by uberteknik)
You would be best advised to study courses that would give you a good range of choice at A-level and then university.

My recommendation would be to aim for these A-levels:

AS Compulsory subjects:

Mathematics
Physics

Plus two others from:

Further Mathematics
Chemistry
Geography
English Literature
History
Modern Foreign Language

Then at A2 level

You will need 3 good demanding and rigorous subjects to get into the best engineering universities but must include:

Physics, Mathematics, plus 1 other subject from the previous list.

You should aim for AAB at least (preferably higher).

With these A-Levels under your belt, you will have the full choice of engineering degrees including mechanical, electronics, aeronautical, electrical and computer science open to you from the best regarded universities in the UK.

Theoretically, you could get onto a Pilot Officers Training programme with just A-levels.
However, competition is intense and fierce, so be warned.

Becoming a fast-jet pilot (or any RAF pilot) is a long road and at each selection stage, most will fall by the wayside. Your aptitude, mental attitude, health and fitness, agility, ability to handle extreme mental pressure under stress, how you handle success and disappointment etc. will play an equally (if not greater) part of getting you through each stage of the selection process and most tests are the kind you cannot prepare for in advance.

Which is why many choose the university route, as the engineering degree qualification gives a fall-back solution in the event that you do not get selected for Pilot Officer training.

Joining up would offer you bursaries and expenses which would normally come out of your student loans. Do check with the RAF careers website before going down this path though. It's a tad more committed than simply filling out a UCAS application!

If it's your dream, do everything you can to enable your career, but prepare yourself for some disappointment too because a dream is one thing and the reality is quite something else.

Good luck and best wishes.
Thanks, this really helped
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Schleigg
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(Original post by uberteknik)
You would be best advised to study courses that would give you the widest range of engineering and science related subjects at university.

My recommendation would be to aim for these A-levels:

AS Compulsory subjects:

Mathematics
Physics

Plus two others from:

Further Mathematics
Chemistry
Geography
English Literature
History
Modern Foreign Language

Then at A2 level

You will need 3 good demanding and rigorous subjects to get into the best engineering universities but must include:

Physics, Mathematics, plus 1 other subject from the previous list.

You should aim for AAB at least (preferably higher).

With these A-Levels under your belt, you will have the full choice of engineering and science degrees including physics, mechanical, electronics, aeronautical, electrical and computer science open to you from the best regarded universities in the UK.

Theoretically, you could get onto a Pilot Officers Training programme with just A-levels.
However, competition is intense and fierce, so be warned.

Becoming a fast-jet pilot (or any RAF pilot) is a long road and at each selection stage, most will fall by the wayside. Your aptitude, mental attitude, health and fitness, agility, ability to handle extreme mental pressure under stress, how you handle success and disappointment etc. will play an equally (if not greater) part of getting you through each stage of the selection process and most tests are the kind you cannot prepare for in advance.

Which is why many choose the university route, as the engineering degree qualification gives a fall-back solution in the event that you do not get selected for Pilot Officer training.

Joining up would offer you bursaries and expenses which would normally come out of your student loans. Do check with the RAF careers website before going down this path though. It's a tad more committed than simply filling out a UCAS application!

If it's your dream, do everything you can to enable your career, but prepare yourself for some disappointment too because a dream is one thing and the reality is quite something else.

Good luck and best wishes.
Sound advice.

Just stop saying 'Pilot Officer', it's just 'Pilot'
They're all officers so there's in need to add that in!
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Schleigg)
Sound advice.

Just stop saying 'Pilot Officer', it's just 'Pilot'
They're all officers so there's in need to add that in!
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