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Author Topic: Getting a good degree ASA(Reasonable), clep tests, underway classes, sub vs surf  (Read 3491 times)

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Offline EasyToNerdsnipe

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Hello, I am (almost) an ETN, and my current plan is to get the most education I can before getting out at 6 years with a decent portion of my retirement savings already set aside, to be filled out and retirement ready by 35 (40 if I'm slow).

As far as my googling has shown, being a good navy nuke can be really good for future careers, or be considered only a minor supplement, depending on what you are applying for and/or luck, while a Bachelors of Science or Engineering (I tend to be more engineer oriented than scientist) is much more widely accepted and dependable.

So the main question(s) are what's the best and/or most efficient way to get this while in the fleet? One of my instructors mentioned Clep tests, which I admit I don't know much about. And Carriers currently seem like the better option for underway classes after getting quals done.

Additionally, it sounds like carrier will be MUCH better for my sleep schedule, (I'm that guy who leaves the rickover as soon as the NDI's do so I can be in bed by 2130 and get 7-8 hours of sleep each night or I slow down bad. And yes ORSE will be a nightmare for me.)

Also, while the post 9-11 GI bill is nice, I'd prefer to either use it for my future children, a master's, or not delay my civilian money making beyond a good ROI, (because time IS money, and early money+investing is worth more later)

What can I expect when I get to the fleet? Will I be totally unable to get quals without functioning on an average of 4 hours sleep, (as 2 of my instructors think is the case)? If so I'm screwed. Will it just take me a month or two longer? (That I can live with.) Are Clep tests as good as I think, (getting credit for weeks-months worth of learning just by beating a multiple choice test )? How much will the Navy pay for?

Also, how does this change if i'm stationed on the JFK while it's still in shipyard (which is looking somewhat likely for my class)?

My original deciding reason for going Navy Nuke instead of paying college to be a Nuclear Engineer was that I abhor debt and want to retire as soon as reasonable, which by the numbers suggested the Navy as my best choice, but only if the contract secured my chances of a $60K to $100k+ per year job after 6 years, (with diminishing returns after that.)

I am ok with having practically no personal time now if it means reaching my goals sooner, (though actually disciplining myself for it isn't always perfect).

One last thing. I'm expected to be on T-Track for 1 maybe 2 months. Anything useful I can do with my off time then?

Thank you all.
« Last Edit: Feb 25, 2018, 09:32 by EasyToNerdsnipe »

HeavyD

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The JFK is a decommissioned conventional carrier. Hopefully you mean PCU John F. Kennedy.  ;D

At best, while assigned to a carrier you can knock out your general classes (English, Humanities, etc) through CLEPs and possibly classes on-board.  the on-board classes re limited in what's offered and how many seats. PLUS, your number one priority will be getting senior-in-rate qualified, DC qualified, and ESWS qualified.

If you want an Engineering degree, it most likely isn't going to happen while assigned to a ship/boat.  If you want an Engineering Technology degree, you MIGHT be able to work one in from Thomas Edison State or Excelsior since they are both online.

As far as sleep, I personally managed between 4 and 6 hours, with 5 being the average. Part of that is collateral duties, part of it was leadership duties, part of it was watch rotation.

As far as your nuke contract guaranteeing a $60k-$100k /year job, there are zero guarantees, other than death and taxes.  What you get out of the Navy and what you get after the Navy will be determined by what you put into the Navy.

Lastly, are you at Power School or Prototype? From reading the post, it isn't easily identifiable.

Best of luck and thank you for volunteering to serve!
« Last Edit: Feb 26, 2018, 10:17 by HeavyD »

Offline ComradeRed1308

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If your goal is to retire very early, your best bet might be to stay in for 20 years and collect the military retirement.  As for transferring GI benefits, you need to be in the Navy for at least 10 years (or commit to being in for 10 years) before you can transfer them to a dependent.  As for getting an Engineering Degree while going through training, that might be very difficult.  Engineering curriculum will usually require labs and classes that you must be physically present for as opposed to doing it online.  While in training or attached to a sea command, you'll likely not have a consistent enough schedule to pull it off.  I'm not saying its impossible, but make sure you do your homework that you can actually complete what you're setting out to do.  Also Engineering careers usually are heavily experienced based with regards to their pay scale.  Senior, experienced engineers will make good money but junior entry level positions won't pay very much.  If you do transfer from the Navy to an Engineering career you will most likely be starting off as an entry level engineer which won't provide enough money to retire at a young age.  You would probably be better served right away looking for operator or technician positions that will pay better off the bat, especially if you can get into the civilian nuclear sector (which unfortunately is shrinking by the year.)

Another thing to consider is why you want to retire so early.  Retiring at 40 just sounds like a recipe for boredom. 

Offline EasyToNerdsnipe

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The JFK is a decommissioned conventional carrier. Hopefully you mean PCU John F. Kennedy.  ;D

^Yes, I am referring to the PCU John F. Kennedy

At best, while assigned to a carrier you can knock out your general classes (English, Humanities, etc) through CLEPs and possibly classes on-board.  the on-board classes re limited in what's offered and how many seats. PLUS, your number one priority will be getting senior-in-rate qualified, DC qualified, and ESWS qualified.

^understood, though supposedly quals are to be done within the first 18 months on the ship, leaving me 2 1/2 years for classes in my extra time.

If you want an Engineering degree, it most likely isn't going to happen while assigned to a ship/boat.  If you want an Engineering Technology degree, you MIGHT be able to work one in from Thomas Edison State or Excelsior since they are both online.

^I want an Engineering degree, and apparently some people who wanted me to join the navy were misinformed about the difficulty of getting degrees as a nuke. Though I would still like to get as close to completion as i can, so that finishing it after my 6 years are up doesn't take to long.

As far as sleep, I personally managed between 4 and 6 hours, with 5 being the average. Part of that is collateral duties, part of it was leadership duties, part of it was watch rotation.

^This isn't an encouraging answer for me. For a period of time I trained myself to need a carefully consistent 6.5 hours of sleep, and the results were still sub-optimal, I am honestly worried how I will function with an inconsistent 5 hours per day. Let alone standing watch for 8 hours at a time

As far as your nuke contract guaranteeing a $60k-$100k /year job, there are zero guarantees, other than death and taxes.  What you get out of the Navy and what you get after the Navy will be determined by what you put into the Navy.

^My recruiters (non-nukes themselves) would have had me believe it was a gold stamp of approval for such jobs, but I'm planning to hedge that bet with the degree I'm asking about.

Lastly, are you at Power School or Prototype? From reading the post, it isn't easily identifiable.

^I am on I&CE in A-School. The "almost an ETN" was in reference to finishing A-School and being promoted from SN to ETN3.

Best of luck and thank you for volunteering to serve!


Sorry if the qoute/reply doesn't come out right. I'm not used to this forum yet.

Offline EasyToNerdsnipe

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If your goal is to retire very early, your best bet might be to stay in for 20 years and collect the military retirement.

^I think I'd prefer not having to deal with the various problems of the Navy nuke for 20 years,(lack of general freedom being one of the biggest concerns) even if it turned out i had to keep working for a couple years more than if I stayed in.

As for getting an Engineering Degree while going through training, that might be very difficult.  Engineering curriculum will usually require labs and classes that you must be physically present for as opposed to doing it online.  While in training or attached to a sea command, you'll likely not have a consistent enough schedule to pull it off.  I'm not saying its impossible, but make sure you do your homework that you can actually complete what you're setting out to do.  Also Engineering careers usually are heavily experienced based with regards to their pay scale.  Senior, experienced engineers will make good money but junior entry level positions won't pay very much.

^thanks for the info

If you do transfer from the Navy to an Engineering career you will most likely be starting off as an entry level engineer which won't provide enough money to retire at a young age.

^if it pays >$50k/year I can manage it according to the math (though understanding reality likes to deviate a bit).  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/ and http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/29/how-much-do-i-need-for-retirement/

 You would probably be better served right away looking for operator or technician positions that will pay better off the bat, especially if you can get into the civilian nuclear sector (which unfortunately is shrinking by the year.)

^I have considered those, and decided I would also be happy with them. Engineer itself is more of a life goal than a career goal

Another thing to consider is why you want to retire so early.  Retiring at 40 just sounds like a recipe for boredom.

I don't intend to "retire" the moment I am Financially Independent from my job, but rather to minimize the time I spend on something I don't want to do, just because it pays me, and maximize my time on things I find fulfilling, (building, inventing, writing, and church-civic-political involvement/activism come to mind). Currently, that goal seems best served by me maximizing my income and savings to retire early and free up roughly 8-10h/day, 40-60h/week, ~120 days/year for my own personal use, rather than my boss'.

Offline Marlin

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I'm not used to this forum yet.

   Good observation, we have a lot of experienced posters and a fair share of curmudgeons. Sometimes the curmudgeons have the best advice as they tend to be older more experienced posters. Try to focus on the advice more than the admonitions of errors in assumptions or naivety, which is why you are posting in the first place.

Offline Marlin

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I don't intend to "retire" the moment I am Financially Independent from my job, but rather to minimize the time I spend on something I don't want to do, just because it pays me, and maximize my time on things I find fulfilling, (building, inventing, writing, and church-civic-political involvement/activism come to mind). Currently, that goal seems best served by me maximizing my income and savings to retire early and free up roughly 8-10h/day, 40-60h/week, ~120 days/year for my own personal use, rather than my boss'.

   I have a friend (an ex-nuke MM) who is doing exactly what you are describing but did it outside of nuclear. It has been a rollercoaster ride for him as an entrepreneur, inventor (has a number of patents), and engineer. He has been part owner of a textile factory, is building a large pontoon raft to use as a barbecue shack on a lake, developed a water treatment process for recycling fracking water, worked in political campaigns, and does odd jobs/contracts in slow periods to stay solvent when everything else is slow. He lives on his houseboat 365 days a year. By the way all of this without a formal degree.

   Having said that the Navy and nuclear power in general are looking for institutionalized people who conform. That is not a bad thing for a heavily regulated business that requires dependable focused people. My friend did use his Navy nuclear time as a springboard (literally dove off the nuclear map when he got out) but was able to do what you are describing. It was not easy for him but he did not do it from retirement. If you enter the nuclear field after the Navy and can retire as soon as you say ( I am skeptical) will you still have that independence of mind to convert back to the chaos of an entrepreneur/inventor.

My  [2cents]  playing  [devious]  advocate.
« Last Edit: Mar 04, 2018, 01:32 by Marlin »

TVA

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You won’t have time in a civilian career. I do admire the goal.

Offline GLW

Do not get married or have children until all of your other goals are done,...


You will lose control of a huge percentage of your prerogatives for either or both of the above,...


Plus the unexpecteds,....

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

TVA

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What I said wasnt entirely correct. Time is when you make it. What I should have said it there are no “40 hours a week” jobs in the civilian industry

Offline SloGlo

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What I said wasnt entirely correct. Time is when you make it. What I should have said it there are no “40 hours a week” jobs in the civilian industry
aye have decades of 4x10= 40 our jobs inn my resume.
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

Offline SloGlo

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Do not get married or have children until all of your other goals are done,...


You will lose control of a huge percentage of your prerogatives for either or both of the above,...


Plus the unexpecteds,....
that's watt high hefner sayed... after the first marriage.
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

Offline MMM

What I said wasnt entirely correct. Time is when you make it. What I should have said it there are no “40 hours a week” jobs in the civilian industry
I average 40 hour weeks, long term, except outages. I also make time to work on a Masters degree. That being said, it you want to work on quals and qualify, there's no such thing as a "sleep schedule," you pretty much don't get to sleep. If you flake out and think you can focus on school and not quals, requests for TA will be shot down, if that doesn't motivate you, then there's NJP and restriction. If you decide you'll catch up on sleep on watch, well, see the previous statement.

Now for the real insults, which I can't believe nobody mentioned. There's no Bachelor's of Engineering. It's either a Bachelors of Science (BS) or Bachelors of Arts (BA). Engineering is the specific program in the BS field. How can you even be thinking of college if you don't know that very basic thing?

Insults over, back on topic. CLEP tests are a good way to get some classes out of the way, but verify with the college you apply to how many they accept. Most engineering programs only take a few credits from the nuke pipeline (maybe 12 or 15, but probably single digits), and may not accept many from CLEP, but they would all be general education, leaving you to figure out how to get labs done for chemistry and physics.

Offline EasyToNerdsnipe

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Thanks for the advice everyone.

 


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