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#1 Midwest Product   User is offline

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Military Programming Jobs for a college grad?

Posted 03 April 2011 - 01:52 AM

I've got one year left until I graduate from a four year university with a degree in Computer/Information Sciences, and I'm torn between the military and grad school. The adventurous side of me is leaning towards the military. I'm fairly fluent in Java, although I can also code in assembly and C++. I have had this desire to serve in the military, but I really want to use what I have learned and continue learning, without being a "bullet sponge." Once the summer rolls around, I'm going to visit some recruiters, but I wanted to hear from the public first (since I'm sure recruiters will do anything to get a healthy, college educated recruit).

Since I will have a four year degree, I [think] it would be wasteful to go in as enlisted, when I could start as an officer. However, most (actually...all?) of the jobs I have seen that even vaguely hint at programming are enlisted jobs. I just really want to pursue this dream and serve my country. I don't care what uniform I have to wear or what part of the globe I'm stationed in, but I do want my career field to be pertinent to my studies, and not backtrack to a more simpler job task.

Any ideas from the civilian or military folks out there? I know these jobs must exist, but I am having trouble finding any info on them elsewhere.

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#2 hookiethe1   User is offline

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Re: Military Programming Jobs for a college grad?

Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:32 AM

Seems like you're doing things a little backwards compared to normal, usually people join up to get the degree, not get the degree first and then join, but in either case, someone with a degree in computer science is unlikely to become a bullet sponge. Modern armed forces are very logistics heavy and rely on huge mobile networks relaying tons of data at very high speeds and levels of reliability. I'm sure any of the branches would love to have you, you might even want to go talk to them now, you might get your final year paid for.
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#3 NeoTifa   User is offline

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Re: Military Programming Jobs for a college grad?

Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:12 PM

It really depends on the branch. Engineering and tech services are in really high demand, but don't think just because you have a degree that they're just gonna give you a butter bar and send you on your way. Some branches, like the Air Force, are trying to get rid of officers, so just taking a freshly graduated kid with no ROTC (you never indicated that you've taken it) is going to have a low chance of getting it. Once you're enlisted and have your foot in the door they might consider you, but as enlisted you most likely wont get any real programming jobs, as those are usually reserved for officers, but instead might just get tech support stuff (I work with a few TSgt's who do A+ stuff) or some field job like that.

Also, don't listen to the recruiters. They all lie. They get a $2k bonus check for meeting their quota of recruits, and will do anything to get you to sign the dotted line. Besides, there's one thing that most people forget when they join: you're a soldier first, your other job second. If they need "bullet sponge", they reserve every right to take you out of your comfy little cubicle and shove a gun in your hand. Now, you could try to get a civilian job on base. They generally have a military structure, but you're not obligated to get deployed. You can volunteer to get sent over to do tech stuff in the field as a civilian, with the offer of a very nice shiny bonus check, but you're not going to fight.
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#4 AlbuquerqueApache   User is offline

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Re: Military Programming Jobs for a college grad?

Posted 08 April 2011 - 08:49 AM

Of all of the branches of the military I would even be remotely interested in, (air force or navy) the recruiters act as if they could care less and that you are wasting their time. Obviously the Army and MC are probably more aggressive, but those aren't branches that appeal to me.

Anyway, I noticed a lot of jobs that are tech related being shifted to the civilian sector (at least stateside).
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#5 NeoTifa   User is offline

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Re: Military Programming Jobs for a college grad?

Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:18 PM

Well, yeah, that's probably because they've already filled their quota. They don't care about you anymore, they've already got their bonus check. Most people want to join the military to help pay for their school and living expenses, but don't want to be "bullet sponges", so they go to the "safe" branches, aka AF and Navy. This has caused a surplus of airmen and lieutenants, and since they don't really do much to low rank, they're trying to get rid of them. Don't get me wrong, they do a lot of mission essential stuff, but most of the more active fighting roles and piloting are left to like captians and stuff (or so I've seen in my experiences) and the sgts do most of the technical work. For other stuff they've been hiring civilians.
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#6 s1ack3r07   User is offline

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Re: Military Programming Jobs for a college grad?

Posted 10 April 2011 - 12:57 AM

Take your skills and become a contractor for the military. Pay is by far greater than anything you can manage from the military. These guys over here with me currently make 175-250k a year and they basically maintain equipment from full motion video feeds to running cable/fiber to different locations. Military has turned into a welfare system and that is one of the reasons why I am getting out. Military is good to get a security clearance though.
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