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isabellaksmith

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Pursuing a Degree
« on: Nov 04, 2015, 10:45 »
Good Afternoon,

I recently joined the Navy as a "nuke". I understand there is a long road ahead of me, but a couple of thoughts have been on my mind. I was hoping to find some valuable guidance here.

After completion of training and being sent to the fleet, what are enlisted nuclear operators' probability/ chances of earning a bachelors degree? From what I have read on this forum and others, it seems as though their days are rather long and given the very nature of the job, are not always in a position to devote the time necessary to earning a degree (long hours, access to Internet, etc.) Furthermore, if one does complete their bachelors, how apt is the Navy to send a qualified candidate to graduate school to pursue a degree in the nuclear field? Is this possible or more likely something pursued when one leaves the Navy?

Excuse any ignorance. This is all new to me. I look forward to reading your shared wisdom.

Thanks! :)

[I've been in college for several years already and have accumulated quite a few credits (primarily general education courses) so I would most likely just have to take major specific courses. A particular online college that I was applying to informed me that I would only have to take 12 more courses to receive my Bachelors of Science]
« Last Edit: Nov 04, 2015, 10:56 by isabellaksmith »

Offline Frank Cable

Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #1 on: Nov 04, 2015, 11:18 »
What type of degree are you asking about?  If it's some garbage degree like criminal justice, human resources or psychology the odds are good. If it's a respected degree, such as physics, chemistry or mechanical/electrical engineering that require laboratory courses it will be extremely difficult if not impossible.

isabellaksmith

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Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #2 on: Nov 04, 2015, 11:32 »
Frank,

"Garbage" degree for bachelors- criminal justice. But I was mainly curious as to the prospects of pursuing graduate work if I enjoyed the field, wanted to continue my education, but also wanted to stay in the Navy. It may not be feasible and I'm still happy with my decision to join regardless...just wondering.


Offline MMM

Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #3 on: Nov 05, 2015, 05:26 »
It depends. If you're on a sub, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, depending on your underway schedule. If you're on a carrier, it's significantly more doable, but it will take a lot of work. You'll still have the problem of courses with labs, as they are tough to find in evening classes, but if you stay in long enough to be an instructor, you could pull it off.

isabellaksmith

  • Guest
Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #4 on: Nov 05, 2015, 08:16 »
It depends. If you're on a sub, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, depending on your underway schedule. If you're on a carrier, it's significantly more doable, but it will take a lot of work. You'll still have the problem of courses with labs, as they are tough to find in evening classes, but if you stay in long enough to be an instructor, you could pull it off.

Thanks for the advice. Is there access to the internet on carriers? Am I allowed to bring a personal laptop or tablet to do schoolwork on?

HeavyD

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Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #5 on: Nov 05, 2015, 09:07 »
Internet access? - Yes, but it is limited to the ship's intranet linked computers.  And there's like say, 2 per a division of 30 personnel.

Can you bring your laptop/tablet? - Yes

Can you bring your laptop/tablet to do course work on? - If you need access to the internet, no.  You are not allowed to directly connect any personnel electronic devices to the ship's network.  Also, when I retired in 2011, the carriers didn't have any wireless network onboard.

Me personally, I did my initial sea tour without doing any college courses.  After I transferred to shore duty, I got my associates.  2nd sea tour, no classes.  2nd shore tour, finished a bachelor's.

There are courses offered on carriers. The majority of them were on-line, with several computers (like 3) set aside in the ship's library specifically for these courses.  However, there were 2700 personnel in ship's company, with another 1300 in the airwing on deployment.  Add in a watch rotation of 5 and dimes (5 hours on watch, 10 hours off) or 5 and 15s (15 hours off), during which your "off" time really isn't off since you need to sleep, attend training, do maintenance, work on your quals, do admin work, etc.  And yes, I realize my surface watch rotation was probably way better than my submarine brethren :)

Just some tidbits about life on a carrier underway.  Best of luck to you and thank you for volunteering to serve your country!

isabellaksmith

  • Guest
Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #6 on: Nov 05, 2015, 10:11 »
Internet access? - Yes, but it is limited to the ship's intranet linked computers.  And there's like say, 2 per a division of 30 personnel.

Can you bring your laptop/tablet? - Yes

Can you bring your laptop/tablet to do course work on? - If you need access to the internet, no.  You are not allowed to directly connect any personnel electronic devices to the ship's network.  Also, when I retired in 2011, the carriers didn't have any wireless network onboard.

Me personally, I did my initial sea tour without doing any college courses.  After I transferred to shore duty, I got my associates.  2nd sea tour, no classes.  2nd shore tour, finished a bachelor's.

There are courses offered on carriers. The majority of them were on-line, with several computers (like 3) set aside in the ship's library specifically for these courses.  However, there were 2700 personnel in ship's company, with another 1300 in the airwing on deployment.  Add in a watch rotation of 5 and dimes (5 hours on watch, 10 hours off) or 5 and 15s (15 hours off), during which your "off" time really isn't off since you need to sleep, attend training, do maintenance, work on your quals, do admin work, etc.  And yes, I realize my surface watch rotation was probably way better than my submarine brethren :)

Just some tidbits about life on a carrier underway.  Best of luck to you and thank you for volunteering to serve your country!

Thanks! This was helpful. Basically, I need to take advantage of my time at shore :)

 
« Last Edit: Nov 05, 2015, 11:17 by isabellaksmith »

Offline spekkio

Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #7 on: Nov 07, 2015, 02:44 »
If you want to go to college, then go to college. If you wanted to be a nuke and get paid to finish college, there's the NUPOC program. Otherwise, your best bet is to wait until you separate and use the GI bill to finish school.

Your opportunities to get a meaningful college degree as a first tour nuke will be nearly impossible. The guys I've known to take college courses at sea were doing intro courses like Calculus, and they struggled to even get B's since it is all self instruction. Your best chance is to apply for STA-21 out of prototype.

Unfortunately, you will have no opportunity to attend graduate school while enlisted.

Considering you only have 3 semester's worth of work to do, I would advise you to finish college.

Offline MMM

Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #8 on: Nov 08, 2015, 08:04 »
If you want to go to college, then go to college. If you wanted to be a nuke and get paid to finish college, there's the NUPOC program. Otherwise, your best bet is to wait until you separate and use the GI bill to finish school.

Your opportunities to get a meaningful college degree as a first tour nuke will be nearly impossible. The guys I've known to take college courses at sea were doing intro courses like Calculus, and they struggled to even get B's since it is all self instruction. Your best chance is to apply for STA-21 out of prototype.

Unfortunately, you will have no opportunity to attend graduate school while enlisted.

Considering you only have 3 semester's worth of work to do, I would advise you to finish college.

The part about grad school isn't entirely true. There are reputable schools that have graduate degrees available through distance education (ASU, UND, ODU as some examples). That said, you will run into the same issues that you have earning your bachelor's degree only more so, it's pretty much all self study, they take a lot of time, and in this case there will be even fewer people to help you.

Offline Rerun

Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #9 on: Nov 09, 2015, 08:51 »
I know 3 guys who got Post Grad degrees while enlisted. It can be done..

Offline spekkio

Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #10 on: Nov 09, 2015, 09:52 »
The part about grad school isn't entirely true. There are reputable schools that have graduate degrees available through distance education (ASU, UND, ODU as some examples). That said, you will run into the same issues that you have earning your bachelor's degree only more so, it's pretty much all self study, they take a lot of time, and in this case there will be even fewer people to help you.
The ODU grad degree isn't worth the paper it's written on.

That's besides the fact that a at least half a grad degree's value comes from shaking hands with people.

Offline spekkio

Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #11 on: Nov 09, 2015, 09:53 »
I know 3 guys who got Post Grad degrees while enlisted. It can be done..
Were they sent to a resident program while AD?

JsonD13

  • Guest
Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #12 on: Nov 10, 2015, 12:44 »
I recieved my bachelors (not as "respected" as most), and almost 2 (yep, TWO) graduate degrees while enlisted in the Navy.  My sea/shore rotation helped immensely with this (it was NOT your standard sea/shore rotation). 

The people here are giving you what you can expect, based upon what happens to the majority of enlisted sailors in the nuke pipeline. 

It is possible, but you have to dedicate your off time to your education.  I knew from the start I wasnt going to make the Navy a lifelong career at the enlisted level, so my focus was to use the time while I was in to "catch up" to those in my age group that were getting their degrees and starting their careers.

The Navy will not send you to school, unless they plan on commissioning you as an officer afterwards.  However, you have programs available to you while in that can assist with the financial cost (GI Bill and Tuition assistance).

Most nuclear field degrees have a lab or in school component.  For one of my graduate degrees (health physics), I had to get permission to take leave to attend a 3 week, 40 hour a week lab at school.  It was very challenging to do the required work (because the school did not make its standards different for distance students and students on campus), but in the end I got the desired result.

It can be done.  It's unlikely.  You need part luck and a whole lot of drive and dedication to get it done.

Offline spekkio

Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #13 on: Nov 11, 2015, 03:00 »
The people here are giving you what you can expect, based upon what happens to the majority of enlisted sailors in the nuke pipeline... 

The Navy will not send you to school, unless they plan on commissioning you as an officer afterwards.  However, you have programs available to you while in that can assist with the financial cost (GI Bill and Tuition assistance).
Not just expectations, but the bottom line was written right in your post. When prospective Navy enlistees ask about school, they're asking about opportunities to be sent to school while AD. I used the word 'attend' on purpose.

You don't need to join the Navy to go to night school or do online coursework after your day job. In fact, joining the Navy makes doing that much harder. As you mentioned, college doesn't work around your duty schedule, underways, or whatever else comes up that prevents you from having a regular schedule.

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #14 on: Nov 11, 2015, 08:20 »
I was on a tender after sub duty (enlisted nuke), and I used the neutral tender duty to get some college credits at the community college level at 6 credits per semester (2 classes without labs), and back then the navy paid for it all as long as you got an A.  It helped me later when I used my GI Bill to get a bachelors degree and it didn't adversely affect my quality of life while I was on the tender.  I looked forward to the classes.  There was no way in hell I could of done this while on the sub.  If getting the whole enchilada seems too out of reach when you get on the pond, think of it as getting ahead in the game and making it easier when you get to civ-life.  Try to get some of the harder classes out of the way if you can or work on areas you may be lacking in.  Also keep in mind that not all colleges will transfer all of your credits, but most will as long as there aren't too many.   Also feel out your command and see what they can do for you, some suck and some will try to help.

isabellaksmith

  • Guest
Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #15 on: Nov 12, 2015, 09:55 »
Thanks for the input, guys. I appreciate it. I suppose I will just have to see how it all unfolds once I get out there  :)

Offline Rerun

Re: Pursuing a Degree
« Reply #16 on: Nov 12, 2015, 10:03 »
Make DARN sure being a nuke is what you want to do before taking the second oath.

 


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