Need some career advice!

FluxCapacitorFluxCapacitor Posts: 40Member ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm currently 17 years (in 2 months I'll be 1icon_cool.gif old and going to be a senior in high school this fall. I have my CompTIA A+ and Network+ certs and in a week I'm going to sit for my 70-270.

I've been contacted by a recruiter from the U.S. Air Force and I understand there are a lot of Computer Networking jobs in the AF. I've also received a $3,000 per year scholarship to Davenport University from my vocational school that I'm enrolled in.

Should I go to college right away or should I join the Air Force to gain valuable experience and money for college. I want to major in Network Security(Bachelors) . Is there a lot of jobs in the Air force that involve Network Security? or just, well...M-16 security lol.

It will cost me about $10,000 per year at the college I want to go to so I don't know if I should go straight to college or join the air force to make sure I can afford to get my degree.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • GoldmemberGoldmember Posts: 277Member
    Depends on your financial status.

    If you want to be a Network Security the AIR Force isn't bad start. Make sure you get a top secret clearance and then once you leave the AIR Force in 4 years you can get any job that offers secret clearance which they have plenty for security guys.


    There was a guy working in DC who was Cisco CCIE Security working with military making 150,000 per year....he also had Masters Computer Science, but you could easily make 6 figures with a top secret clearance.



    I say if you go to the AIR Force make sure you get a secret clearance because that clearance is worth its weight in gold.
    CCNA, A+. MCP(70-270. 70-290), Dell SoftSkills
  • HeroPsychoHeroPsycho Posts: 1,940Inactive Imported Users
    If you want to do security, going into the military is definitely your best option. Doing so and elevating your rank and clearances will entitle you to jobs people with more experience, education, and certs simply can't get because they don't have clearances.
    Good luck to all!
  • SieSie Posts: 1,195Member
    +1 for the Airforce job, sounds like a good oppertunity.

    Did they contact you directly or several people in your class??
    Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools
  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    I'd have to say go with the AF.

    At this time in your life, it'll keep you occupied, out of debt, you'll get experience, you may find that you want to stay in b/c its a secure job. Since its a non combative job, you can even have a family and normal work hours.

    If you dont want to stay in, you'll be able to save a ton of money, and you'll have college paid for. You can go to college anytime. Its a business, and will always be there. You'll only have this window for a short time.
  • lokey79lokey79 Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I did 4 years in the Army as an Information Systems Specialist. The military route can be very good if you take advantage of it. I recommend if you go the route of military take the time to learn everything you can. I spent the 4 years learning everything about networking I could and a little about servers. I left the Army a little quicker then expected (Injured), but I have a TS clearance and now contract for the Army as a Network Engineer on the secure side of the house.
  • empc4000xlempc4000xl Posts: 322Member
    yeah airforce is the way to go, but remember you could be doing network support in the sand somewhere(it always makes it fun though) and you will get at a min TS clearance when you work in it. Keep in mind that airforce advancement is kinda slow, so spend that time in between ranks and work on certs and that degree. Have fun and remember you will not just be doing IT all the time. You gotta stand at the gate every once in a while and do things of that nature. :D
  • FluxCapacitorFluxCapacitor Posts: 40Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the help guys but I have another question.
    How am I supposed to work on my degree if they move me to some base nowhere near a college that offers that major? I know there is a community college of the air force but will they send me to the college I want to go to so I can get my degree?
  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    Thanks for the help guys but I have another question.
    How am I supposed to work on my degree if they move me to some base nowhere near a college that offers that major? I know there is a community college of the air force but will they send me to the college I want to go to so I can get my degree?
    I wouldnt even worry about it. You'll have plenty of time for college when you get out. Do whatever job you do and knock out certifications...and have fun in your off time. Once you get out, your world will change.

    If you try to cram courses into a full work schedule and work on certs, you'll go nuts. Take the time to enjoy what could be your last semi-responsible-free time until you retire.
  • lokey79lokey79 Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the help guys but I have another question.
    How am I supposed to work on my degree if they move me to some base nowhere near a college that offers that major? I know there is a community college of the air force but will they send me to the college I want to go to so I can get my degree?

    Most posts have an education centers which offer college courses. In the Army we had eArmyU which offers a lot of different colleges and most have online degrees. The hands on experience, Top Secret clearance, certifications, and a degree; you will see a good paycheck for sure. I know I do! :D
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Posts: 2,621Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Look beyond education and realize the political climate you're possibly buying in to. My brother joined the army reserve to go to ROTC and wound up in Iraq for two years. Your mileage may vary. What you don't pay in money for college you WILL pay in time spent in the military. There are other ways to get money for college than joining the army/navy/air force.

    Also, you can't be guaranteed a job doing what you want in the military either. Recruiters will promise you the moon and that won't stop you from becoming a jet engine mechanic even though you want to be a network engineer.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
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  • lokey79lokey79 Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Paul Boz wrote:
    Look beyond education and realize the political climate you're possibly buying in to. My brother joined the army reserve to go to ROTC and wound up in Iraq for two years. Your mileage may vary. What you don't pay in money for college you WILL pay in time spent in the military. There are other ways to get money for college than joining the army/navy/air force.

    Also, you can't be guaranteed a job doing what you want in the military either. Recruiters will promise you the moon and that won't stop you from becoming a jet engine mechanic even though you want to be a network engineer.

    Ok so sometime in Iraq....Not a big deal; knock out some classes and focus on getting that experience. And your job is your job....If its in your contract you will get that MOS....if you dont then you failed to meet requirements. Now ROTC is different then being enlisted... An officer can get tossed around in jobs like nothing.
  • callmenobodycallmenobody Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats to you,
    Your are getting a great start already with your certs. I went in the Air Force During Desert Storm as a 3c (my AFSC) or computer operator. When I went in I was on a 6wk rotation of all the IT shops on Base (LangleyAFB 1stComm Squad) I went from Intel,Security, and the BaseNetworkControlCenter (BNCC) etc. I wound up staying with the BNCC. I was sent to UNIX training in MS (your TechSchool will be in biloxi most likely) I was sent to several M$ courses and MCTs also came on base to train us. On top of that I worked 7-4 M-F 99% of the time. The AirForce is a GREAT place to start a technical career, It really focuses more on smarts more than braun (hence so many fat Airforce guys, myself included). one last thing most likely you will have a TOP SECRET-SIOP/ESI clearance which is a big plus on the outside.


    Whatever YOU decide im sure you will be just fine. GOOD LUCK!
    "My voice is my passport. Verify me." -Sneakers (1992)
  • bran0923bran0923 Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Be careful about joining. I talked to a couple guys that use to be in the AF. They say now everything is outsourced to private companies. You are left just picking up the phone calling other companies to fix and implement networks, servers, etc. then doing the work yourself. However, this is what I heard, and only my 2 cents.

    PS they got out about 6 months to a year ago.
  • lokey79lokey79 Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    bran0923 wrote:
    Be careful about joining. I talked to a couple guys that use to be in the AF. They say now everything is outsourced to private companies. You are left just picking up the phone calling other companies to fix and implement networks, servers, etc. then doing the work yourself. However, this is what I heard, and only my 2 cents.

    PS they got out about 6 months to a year ago.

    Yes the military do pay people like me to come fix what they cant, but if you go in don't take the easy way out by calling the civilians..Try fixing it yourself first and get the experience.
  • FluxCapacitorFluxCapacitor Posts: 40Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    ok, so if I don't get a good enough score on the ASVAB, I don't get the job I want? I would rather not settle for a crappy job. So if I take the ASVAB that means I'm joining the air force regardless of my score? All I want is for my job to be written on paper and signed by me confirming that I AM going to be doing that job.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Thats right. The jobs you qualify for are based on your score on the ASVAB.

    You have to obtain a minimum score to be eligible to join. So, just because you take the ASVAB doesn't mean you are going in.

    You can get a contract stating what job you will get. Just keep in mind that the AF is still drawing down its numbers so your options will be less than if you went into the Army right now.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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