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Considering joining. Lots of qsns - degree but not officer? Which role? etc watch

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    It is not unusual for RAF Airmen (i.e. non-officers) to be university graduates.

    The ability to think for yourself and make educated decisions are a valuable commodity in the RAF, especially compared to the Army.
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    Don't look at 'what is in demand'. It doesn't matter if it's something you end up not wanting to do. You're potentially shaping your entire future on something 'in demand' rather than something you want to do and that's short-sighted.

    I would also disagree with Schleigg and say that it is still not the norm to find enlisted personnel with degrees. There are more than there used to be and that number varies wildly between ranks and Trades, but it's still a small number.
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    I defer to Prostacker with regards to the proportion of people who have degrees. However I stand by my point that having a degree as an airman isn't a "downgrade"
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    (Original post by mango87)
    My past: I graduated university with a degree in Business Mathematics (quite strange, I know). It was alright but I don't think working with numbers in front of a screen is really my passion. I just sort of went to university because it was the "default path", you know?I graduated a few months ago, and I've been giving my future some thought, especially a military career.

    My future: "Military career" is broad and I can't really narrow it down to what I want to do.
    • The first main question is: which branch? I have no idea how I'd choose between Army, Navy, or Air Force. At the moment I'm leaning towards air force, but that's just an instinctive feeling.
    • The second question is: which role? Ideally, I'd be in a role that is in really high demand. I don't want to apply for a pilot or something like that, one of those ultra-competitive positions. I want to apply for a position which is sorely needed, where I'll be trained and looked after, and be able to use those skills to be useful as hell. Not only that, but should my military career ever come to an end, I'd like the skills I learned to lead to a good job in civilian life

    Based on these criteria, I'm leaning toward going into electronics - from what I can see, it's a field that is in massive demand (both within the military, and outside), plus it would be really interesting. For what it's worth, I really liked my physics A-Level, especially electricity topics, and did pretty well (A*).

    So that's basically it. Lots of questions. On a very preliminary note, I'm leaning towards RAF Electrician.

    I guess a lot of people would see it as a "downgrade", what with having a degree and going for an "entry level" electronics job, but I don't see it that way really.Firstly, what do you guys think of this? Any general advice?
    You need to realise that the role you mentioned has NOTHING to do with electronics. It has a lot to do with electrical systems, but there is a vast difference.

    As your link suggests, that role would have you working on a range of electrical supplies. This could range from working in a battery charging bay through to servicing generators that supply power to aircraft or detachments/exercises.

    If you want to work with electronics in the RAF then you should be looking at the ICT Tech role. Although changes are afoot, it is the ICT techs that look after all ground radar and comms/navigation systems. Have you heard of RAF Spadeadem? It is a huge electronic warfare range where pilots from many NATO countries come and outwit a range of anti air defences. ICT Techs maintain all of these systems down to component level.

    The ICT Tech training at Cosford covers a wide range of electronic principles, and there are opportunities to go back and do more in depth courses depending on your role. There is also an active scheme whereby serving personnel can apply for a commission in the CE branch and gain a foundation degree in the process. Staffs Uni also run a scheme whereby you can use large portions of your RAF training towards a BEng in Telecomms and Electronics.
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    (Original post by mango87)
    Why is this the top post? It says you posted this thread, not me

    In my case the two are intertwined. Something I want to do is something really useful, something that there's a shortage of. So it's really important to me that I don't go for a position that is oversupplied.

    Interesting.

    So are you saying that an RAF ICT Tech is closer to being a qualified electrician, than an RAF Electrician?
    There was a moderation faff I think
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    (Original post by mango87)
    Why is this the top post? It says you posted this thread, not me

    In my case the two are intertwined. Something I want to do is something really useful, something that there's a shortage of. So it's really important to me that I don't go for a position that is oversupplied.

    Interesting.

    So are you saying that an RAF ICT Tech is closer to being a qualified electrician, than an RAF Electrician?
    No. I'm saying that RAF Electrician has little to do with electronics. It has more to do with electrical supplies and power systems.

    You mentioned in your initial post that you wanted a role that involved electronics.

    I think you should drop the idea that you want to join in a 'sorely needed' role. It might be a romantic idea but the simple fact is that all trades go through peaks and troughs in terms of numbers and requirements.

    What do you want to do on a day to day basis?
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    (Original post by mango87)
    In my case the two are intertwined. Something I want to do is something really useful, something that there's a shortage of. So it's really important to me that I don't go for a position that is oversupplied
    So are you saying that if, in 5 years time, your trade is no longer a pinch point / in need of people, you'll leave?

    That's not how the forces works.
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    (Original post by mango87)
    I want to apply for a position where I'll be trained and be able to use those skills to be really useful.
    EVERYONE in the Armed Forces has skills and is 'really useful'. If they weren't, there wouldn't be a Trade that does that role. At different times, different roles take primacy but everyone has an essential role to play.
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    (Original post by mango87)
    You misunderstood. I'm talking about the potential for post-military employment if I ever left.
    What do you want to do when you leave? Surely that will help you decide on what trade to go for? Or even better, what don't you want to do?
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    (Original post by unruly1986)
    You need to realise that the role you mentioned has NOTHING to do with electronics. It has a lot to do with electrical systems, but there is a vast difference.

    As your link suggests, that role would have you working on a range of electrical supplies. This could range from working in a battery charging bay through to servicing generators that supply power to aircraft or detachments/exercises.

    If you want to work with electronics in the RAF then you should be looking at the ICT Tech role. Although changes are afoot, it is the ICT techs that look after all ground radar and comms/navigation systems. Have you heard of RAF Spadeadem? It is a huge electronic warfare range where pilots from many NATO countries come and outwit a range of anti air defences. ICT Techs maintain all of these systems down to component level.

    The ICT Tech training at Cosford covers a wide range of electronic principles, and there are opportunities to go back and do more in depth courses depending on your role. There is also an active scheme whereby serving personnel can apply for a commission in the CE branch and gain a foundation degree in the process. Staffs Uni also run a scheme whereby you can use large portions of your RAF training towards a BEng in Telecomms and Electronics.
    Is that Comms & Electronics branch you mean by 'CE Branch'. If so, what exactly would your role role be once commissioned. Would it be 'ICT Officer'?! I wasnt aware of this commission because its not on the recruiting site. Thanks for the info
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    (Original post by london2016)
    Is that Comms & Electronics branch you mean by 'CE Branch'. If so, what exactly would your role role be once commissioned. Would it be 'ICT Officer'?! I wasnt aware of this commission because its not on the recruiting site. Thanks for the info
    You can't be an Engineering Officer unless you have an approved Engineering or related degree. That is either as an AS (Aerosystems) or CE (Comms & Electronics) specialist.
    If you want to be involved with nut and bolts or wigglyamps and circuits then you don't want to be an Officer. An Engineering Officer is a manager, not a tradesman.

    There is no such role as ICT Officer, it's an airman trade. The ICT Technician's boss would likely be an Engineering Officer (CE).
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    (Original post by Schleigg)
    You can't be an Engineering Officer unless you have an approved Engineering or related degree. That is either as an AS (Aerosystems) or CE (Comms & Electronics) specialist.
    If you want to be involved with nut and bolts or wigglyamps and circuits then you don't want to be an Officer. An Engineering Officer is a manager, not a tradesman.

    There is no such role as ICT Officer, it's an airman trade. The ICT Technician's boss would likely be an Engineering Officer (CE).
    I came across this just a few mins ago with a google search for 'Ground Support Systems' because it seemed that all ICT Techs did that role (I dont know how true that is).

    And the little bit of information on the link corroborates the likelihood of an Eng Off being the boss of an ICT Tech.

    Here it is;
    http://www.raf.mod.uk/typhoondisplay...portsystem.cfm

    Thanks for the helpful info.
 
 
 
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