Is college worth it?

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cashback
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Postby cashback » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:48 pm

In todays job market, it is very beneficial to have options. With the military, you have many options. Stay in and continue your military career, stay in and change jobs to something you prefer, get out and continue your job on the civilian side, get out and go to school for free in a career you want, or a combination of these.

When I was 18 or 19, I had no clue what I wanted to do. The air force had me pick 5 jobs. I picked 5 jobs that were the highest paying in the civilian world. I got lucky and got a job I liked.
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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:25 pm

JoDa wrote:As others have said, college - and grad school, if your field demands it - is worth it IF and only if you know what you want to do. Law enforcement doesn't require a degree up front unless you want to specialize (CSI-type stuff), but military experience would be of benefit in getting a PD job, and then you can always do GI Bill to get a degree if you feel it's necessary to advance on to detective or some other position you want. Military experience can also help you greatly if you want to do something at the federal level, from FPS to SS to even Park Service or CBP, or EVEN something more academic. We have a couple people with military backgrounds in my office and they did a service to themselves - got paid, got free education, and got preference when it came time to get hired as economists or business analysts. Even private-sector companies sometimes (not always, but sometimes) value a few years in the military.

If you feel like you're throwing money down the hole and don't really have direction, AND you feel like the military would provide that, it seems like as good an option as any. My dad got his BS in engineering, joined the Navy as a flight engineer, and then they paid for him to get his MS, and when he finished he had both the degrees and the experience that landed him a very good job for the rest of his life.

Personal experience: I started college in the WRONG (CAPITAL W-R-O-N-G) major and almost quit, when I stumbled into an entry-level econ course and fell in love. From that point forward, I researched what I wanted to do and made sure every class, internship, and other experience led towards that goal. I have a nifty little chunk of debt to show for it, but I actually make more than I owe now, and that wouldn't be possible without those degrees. But I wouldn't be in that situation without coming up with a goal and direction in my sophomore year. If you need time to figure yourself out, take it. A year or two off or a couple years in the military will cost you less than floating around without direction while paying today's tuition.


JoDA- I want to join either the CHP or LAPD as I think I would do well with both agencies and I like both of their missions and type of LE work that they do. I feel like I am, for 2 classes this semester, I paid 410$ plus 260$ for the books, whereas I make 1,250$ a month pre-tax and about 1,070 after tax, and I feel like it's going to take longer. Classes are harder to get because of the fact that everyone is going back to school. I think it would be a better plan then just floating around without any direction and paying almost over half my monthly pay just for a semester of school and 2 classes.

cashback wrote:In todays job market, it is very beneficial to have options. With the military, you have many options. Stay in and continue your military career, stay in and change jobs to something you prefer, get out and continue your job on the civilian side, get out and go to school for free in a career you want, or a combination of these.

When I was 18 or 19, I had no clue what I wanted to do. The air force had me pick 5 jobs. I picked 5 jobs that were the highest paying in the civilian world. I got lucky and got a job I liked.



Those would be the jobs I prefer (Hospital Corpsman, Air Traffic Controller, Damage Controlman, or Operations Specialist) but am fine with learning other jobs and skills that could help me. Were you an Air Traffic Controller in the AF as well? I'm planning to serve 4-5 years and then separate from the military. I actually thought about joining the military straight out of High School, but I wanted to experience college first, now that I think about it, I should have joined first and then gone to school. If I may ask, what jobs were they?
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darkguy2
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Postby darkguy2 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:30 pm

Well for book costs you can always just get them online for free as long as they are not specific to your school. Here is a good list of places to look. I got one of my engineering books that would of cost me $500 for free.
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cashback
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Postby cashback » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:38 pm

Snowman wrote:JoDA- I want to join either the CHP or LAPD as I think I would do well with both agencies and I like both of their missions and type of LE work that they do. I feel like I am, for 2 classes this semester, I paid 410$ plus 260$ for the books, whereas I make 1,250$ a month pre-tax and about 1,070 after tax, and I feel like it's going to take longer. Classes are harder to get because of the fact that everyone is going back to school. I think it would be a better plan then just floating around without any direction and paying almost over half my monthly pay just for a semester of school and 2 classes.




Those would be the jobs I prefer (Hospital Corpsman, Air Traffic Controller, Damage Controlman, or Operations Specialist) but am fine with learning other jobs and skills that could help me. Were you an Air Traffic Controller in the AF as well? I'm planning to serve 4-5 years and then separate from the military. I actually thought about joining the military straight out of High School, but I wanted to experience college first, now that I think about it, I should have joined first and then gone to school. If I may ask, what jobs were they?


Yes I was ATC in the military. I left for basic 2 weeks after high school graduation. I dont remember all 5 jobs I picked, but three of them were ATC, meteorology (weather) and physical therapy.
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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:38 pm

Darkguy- That was the problem, for my math and English class, they were school specific. But I'll keep that website for usage whenever I need to buy another textbook.
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Postby linuxmachine » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:40 pm

On the flip side I have ex military friends who came out of military equally lost on what they want to do with their life, and in some cases wished they'd just take a year off from everything to do some soul searching. Military isn't for everyone either

cashback
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Postby cashback » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:45 pm

linuxmachine wrote:On the flip side I have ex military friends who came out of military equally lost on what they want to do with their life, and in some cases wished they'd just take a year off from everything to do some soul searching. Military isn't for everyone either


Even so, theyd have a 4 year degree paid for them if they chose.
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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:47 pm

Linux- I would think that it would be because they weren't sure what they wanted when they joined either or did the type of work they didn't like so that can be a cause. I agree, it isn't for everyone, but in many cases it absolutely beneficial for someone. I can't take a year off, or else I'd have to move out or my parents or gonna kick me out lol..
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Postby sakhalin » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:26 pm

You could apply for the LAPD now. All you need to have is American Citizenship, a G.E.D or HS Diploma, and a clean record. You can be 20 and a half to take the written test. If it doesn't work out for you, you can try the military.
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Postby Snowman » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:40 pm

Cashback- How do you like being an ATC? I'm considering that as a rating if the Navy has a opening for it when I enlist.

Sakhalin- I know. But from the LAPD Officers that I talked to and have known for a little while now almost all of them recommend Military service because it will help if you are selected. I have a clean record with no arrest, drug usage or anything of the like, no tickets, etc. I just don't want to be turned down for after going through the entire process, whereas If I have Military service, I think it will be beneficial and give me an edge to get hired with either agency.
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