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Posted: 9/23/2002 3:40:43 PM EDT
I'm sort of thinking about joining the military. All the jobs I see require experience. I was lazy and didn't get an internship my last year of college so I have no experience. I don't think 6 months of troubleshooting Sony computers counts. so, what do you all know about military jobs for CS majors? So far I know that my degree will get me into OCS, which is a plus (better pay), but what types of jobs are available? I'm hesitant to directly contact a recruiter due to the fact that they'd then start calling weekly (they used to do that when I didn't show any interest in joining) Thanks for any info.
Link Posted: 9/23/2002 3:47:23 PM EDT
Well..... Odds are unless you join the military, you aren't going to work for them directly. Your best bet is to find a company that is contracted by the US Govt. I work in a Computer facility (USAF). We have very few GS employees. either you are military, or a contractor. What field exactly is your interest? If you don't look for specifics, you'll get stuck working at a help desk or something. We have a few security folks, but you have to be pretty sharp to get that type of job.
Link Posted: 9/23/2002 4:12:23 PM EDT
sharky30, You can do alot better moneywise getting a job at a defense contractor, and if you play your cards right, you will still get to work a couple months a year trudging through mud, sand, etc... all around the country, eating MRE's, watching missile launches, schmoozing with the military, etc... but at the end of the day you get to go home to a nice hotel instead of sleeping on a tarp, and hear the ca-ching as more money gets deposited in your bank account. I got a cheesy CS degree from a state college that's translated into 12 years of designing software for anti aircraft missile systems, and it's been a mix of stressful, but really cool and satisfying work. Have gotten to see tons of cool explosions, wild life, and fun mixed with monotonous paperwork back in the office. If you already have the degree, use it to it's best advantage as a designer of new weapons, not a user. You'll be richer, and doing a bigger favor to your country if you're a talented software nerd.
Link Posted: 9/23/2002 4:18:50 PM EDT
I would get a federal civilian job before joining the military. try [url]www.usajobs.com[/url] All else fails I here the Air Force has a cyber warfare unit.
Link Posted: 9/23/2002 6:23:44 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/23/2002 6:44:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2002 6:46:12 PM EDT by reconBYfire]
If you have a BS or a BAS Computer Science go Naval Intelligence as a Crytoanalyst. You will go in as an officer. See your local navy recruiter. Just had a friend do last semester. He had 4 years prior service in the army so they sent him to a naval indoctrine program to understand the naval way. By the way they paid him while he was in school. My edit: no prior military is required...he just had it so I mentioned...
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 3:40:46 AM EDT
I was in a "high-speed," "high-tech" supersecret military occupation, a vital part of the nation's intelligence community. For the first couple of years, here were my primary "jobs": -Hole-digger; -Camo net setter-upper: -Truck driver; -Truck washer; -Mechanic's assistant (mechanics don't really do much maintenance on your vehicles; you do it all while they "supervise"); -Shredder operator (the closest I got to actually doing "intelligence" work); -Lifter of heavy objects; -Carrier of aforementioned heavy objects; -Guard duty. I also got pretty good grounding in the operation and carrying (for long distances) of crew-served weapons, which actually the most fun part. After a couple years of this fun, I finally did some "real" intel work, but it wan't quite as much fun as being a grubby animal in the field, although the hours were better. Regardless of what job you select in the military, you will probably wind up doing something completely different. Pick something that sounds fun.
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 3:46:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By reconBYfire: If you have a BS or a BAS Computer Science go Naval Intelligence as a Crytoanalyst. You will go in as an officer. See your local navy recruiter. Just had a friend do last semester. He had 4 years prior service in the army so they sent him to a naval indoctrine program to understand the naval way. By the way they paid him while he was in school. My edit: no prior military is required...he just had it so I mentioned...
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Agree with this advice. The Navy has a pretty good track record of utilizing your civilian training. However, the needs of the service will ultimately prevail as is true of all the services.
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 5:41:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By natez: I was in a "high-speed," "high-tech" supersecret military occupation, a vital part of the nation's intelligence community. For the first couple of years, here were my primary "jobs": -Hole-digger; -Camo net setter-upper: -Truck driver; -Truck washer; -Mechanic's assistant (mechanics don't really do much maintenance on your vehicles; you do it all while they "supervise"); -Shredder operator (the closest I got to actually doing "intelligence" work); -Lifter of heavy objects; -Carrier of aforementioned heavy objects; -Guard duty. I also got pretty good grounding in the operation and carrying (for long distances) of crew-served weapons, which actually the most fun part. After a couple years of this fun, I finally did some "real" intel work, but it wan't quite as much fun as being a grubby animal in the field, although the hours were better. Regardless of what job you select in the military, you will probably wind up doing something completely different. Pick something that sounds fun.
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96B, huh? lol... should have gone 97B.
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 6:26:23 AM EDT
Go ahead and give the military a try. I know the Air Force has a hard time training and keeping alpha-geeks since they can earn 3 times what the AF was paying them on the outside. As such, turnover was heavy and re-enlistment bonuses were high. If you go in as an officer you'll be "managing" computer operations functions and services. What this really means in the long run is that you be able to do some incredible networking with lots of government contractors and be able to set yourself up really well with a job, for when you do decide to resign your comission and go back to being a civilian.
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 8:09:54 AM EDT
Ok...so you want to join up...good. What do you WANT to do? Your degree does not limit you to any specific fields in any of the services. Having said that, you might eventually get pidgeonholed later on...after you get through the various basic wickets. For example[s]: In the Navy you can be a surface warrior and shoot missiles, hunt subs, conn the ship around the ocean, after midnight...right behind a carrier...in total darkness...in sheer terror, afraid that the carrier is going to suddenly turn and cut you in half. You will learn all about what makes ships tick...sort of play at Star Trek. If you stay in, you'll get to go to grad school at Monterey, CA. Nice place...but then it's back to another ship...and another and another. Get the drift? (I served in seven in 28 years.) Lots of folks on a ship...and nowadays, some are good looking womenz too...NO...DON'T GO THERE! Forget that. If you like lots of scientific and scholastic abuse and don't mind living REAL close to your shipmates, you could complete nuclear power school and join the submarine force. If you like civil engineering stuff like building runways, barracks and golf courses overseas, and playing soldier too, then the Navy SeaBees are for you. (They may not want a computer weenie...but it's always worth a try!) If you always wanted to drive your own bulldozer, the Army heavy armor is for you. Nothing quite like driving an M1A2 Heavy around to give you that feeling of, "Go ahead ass hole...make my DAY!" If you are qualified (and crazy), you could be a naval aviator and fly planes from carrier decks at night. [shock] If you want to be a tough-as-boot leather real leader of men on the cutting edge of ground warfare, then join the Marines or the Army Rangers and lead men into combat. If you want to rescue stupid boaters, chase dopers and drive little cutters up and down the coast and rivers of America, the the Coast Guard is for you. If you like playing in the mud, being tortured by your instructors who want you to drown, eating snakes and lizards, swimming in the cold rough sea, playing with machine guns, grenades, and all other sorts of evil black weapons, disappearing from your family and friends for ohh...say six months at at time, killing bad people, and in general being the baddest dude on the planet, then the Navy SEALs are for you! If, on the other hand, you would like to work in a quiet, air conditioned office/computer lab with elevator music playing softly in the background, live in town or in an air conditioned officer's quarters, be able to drive home at night after "work", wear a tie and have a cute young enlisted female "airman" bring you your coffee, then the USAF is the way to go. [;D] Uhhhh...has that helped at all?
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 9:00:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: 96B, huh? lol... should have gone 97B.
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Close. 98C. Twice the work, none of the glory, and nobody knows what it really means...
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 9:16:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/24/2002 9:17:51 AM EDT by mattja]
I was thinking cryptography or intelligence too, but after reading LWilde's post, I'm thinking wow, that would be more fun. And remember, Gordon Eubanks, ex-CEO of Symantec, has an MSCS from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, so it worked out okay for him. BTW, he was a naval officer in the nuclear submarine force.
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 9:40:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mattja: I was thinking cryptography or intelligence too, but after reading LWilde's post, I'm thinking wow, that would be more fun. And remember, Gordon Eubanks, ex-CEO of Symantec, has an MSCS from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, so it worked out okay for him. BTW, he was a naval officer in the nuclear submarine force.
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Which would be more fun?
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 9:49:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/24/2002 9:52:26 AM EDT by 5subslr5]
Originally Posted By mattja: BTW, he was a naval officer in the nuclear submarine force.
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Of course he was a sub sailor !! A person capable of being a CEO would be a 'deep' thinker and not simply a 'surface skimmer' !!! [:D]
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 10:40:10 AM EDT
I was thinking cryptography or intelligence...
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Cryptology is BREAKING codes, Cryptography is MAKING codes. Cryptographic fields are all part of intelligence. None of them qualify as "fun" (trust me on this one). If you want a decent job with marketables skills, pick something in the Air Force that is technical and does not involve strictly military tech. If you want to have "fun," pick a ground-combat oriented branch, and pick a job that invloves shooting or blowing things up. If you do any intel-related field, you run a strong chance of having to spend as much (or more) time in the field as the grunts, with the same physical demands (or worse), without the satisfaction of big explosions or blasting things apart. Again, trust me on this.
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 11:42:23 AM EDT
An entry level officer is only going to make about 20k a year, and thats 14k a year less then what even a school teacher makes around here, and theres no guarantee you'll be put into the branch you want. The only officers making real money are those that have been in the service for years and years and risen through the ranks. You can take a look, military pay charts are easy to find online. Many Defense contractors in DC are going apesh%t trying to find workers, but they limit their searches to those who have current Top Secret Security clearances. The FBI is running behind by 4 years in processing secruity clearances, and if the contractors deadline for a project is 2 years, well you get the picture. Also don't go thinking that you can't find a job because you didn't get inturn experience. Everyweek I go to job networking meetings and i've met hundreds of guys who have 15-20 years of engineering experience and masters/multiple bachelor's degrees who can't find a good job to save their lives. The problem isn't you or me - Its the economy, and its severely fucked up.
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 11:53:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By LWilde:
Originally Posted By mattja: I was thinking cryptography or intelligence too, but after reading LWilde's post, I'm thinking wow, that would be more fun. And remember, Gordon Eubanks, ex-CEO of Symantec, has an MSCS from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, so it worked out okay for him. BTW, he was a naval officer in the nuclear submarine force.
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Which would be more fun?
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The job where you get to seek and destroy. [:D]
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 12:05:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By natez: Cryptology is BREAKING codes, Cryptography is MAKING codes.
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AFAIK, cryptology is the scientific study of cryptography, and cryptography includes both the tasks of ciphering and deciphering. They are the same area of study.
Cryptographic fields are all part of intelligence.
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Sure.
None of them qualify as "fun" (trust me on this one).
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That depends on the level in which you're involved and what you deem to be fun. I know guys who spend their free time trying to break strong encryption just for the fun of it. If you enjoy mathematics it can be quite stimulating and enjoyable. Of course, you have to be the kind of person who enjoys solving puzzles and to be good at it you have to have a certain kind of rare intelligence. BTW, these skills are highly marketable. The computer security field is making smart people very rich every day.
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 3:43:26 PM EDT
Mattja, I just remember the definitions from a test in junior "crippie wannabe" school about a decade and a half ago. I think that was exactly as they appeared (it was probably the only one I got right, too; I barely squeaked through that course). Scratch that-I don't think I was supposed to talk about that...
Link Posted: 9/24/2002 4:06:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By natez: Mattja, I just remember the definitions from a test in junior "crippie wannabe" school about a decade and a half ago. I think that was exactly as they appeared (it was probably the only one I got right, too; I barely squeaked through that course). Scratch that-I don't think I was supposed to talk about that...
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They probably got the definitions wrong. I always thought it would be a fun field, but I'm too crappy at math for that kind of work. Talk about sliding by, you should see me college math scores. Thank God in the real world, CS takes much less math than people think (depending on your specialty, of course.)
Link Posted: 9/25/2002 6:28:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2002 6:32:19 AM EDT by LWilde]
Originally Posted By SliPkNoT: An entry level officer is only going to make about 20k a year, and thats 14k a year less then what even a school teacher makes around here, and theres no guarantee you'll be put into the branch you want. The only officers making real money are those that have been in the service for years and years and risen through the ranks. You can take a look, military pay charts are easy to find online.
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Well...just so to set the record straight as to military pay: I went to the Defense Accounting and Finance Service (DFAS) site and looked up the pay scales. Here is what I found: Entry level officers make far more than $20K/year. Here are the monthly pay numbers for a new O-1, Ensign or Second Lieutenant with less than two years total service: Base pay: $2097.60 Housing: $582.60 Messing: [u]$166.37[/u] Total: [b]$2846.57[/b] Note, this does NOT include extra pay and allowances for sea pay ($100.00), flight pay ($125.00), submarine duty pay ($175.00), or specialty pays for SEALs, doctors/dentists/pharmacists, EOD [shock] (NO WAY!), parachutists, or carrier flight deck pay. In addtion to the direct compensation, you have access to the military medical care system (I know...it sucks but it's also FREE for the active duty memebers.), and the exchange and commissary systems. Take it from an old retired military officer...those last two are really good deals too. I buy guns at the local Marine exchange (No tax!) and I save about 20% on my monthly grocery bill at the commissary. These "hidden" non-direct compensation numbers do help at the end of the month. WRT the choices of "branch" of service, that word has many possible meanings. Branch as I understand it means the branch of service, i.e., Navy, AF, USMC, Army, and Coast Guard. I suspect we all know that we can pick and choose what "branch" we join? If "branch" as used here refers to a subspeciality warfare area within each of the services, then that too is selectable to the officer candidate. The catch is that for the more elite, more difficult "branches" like the SEALs or Rangers, or pilot training, then the candidate must "qualify". Other than that, officer candidates have great flexibility in choosing their career paths.
Many Defense contractors in DC are going apesh%t trying to find workers, but they limit their searches to those who have current Top Secret Security clearances. The FBI is running behind by 4 years in processing secruity clearances, and if the contractors deadline for a project is 2 years, well you get the picture.
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I am a program manager for a defense contractor in the Washington area. We are looking for qualified employees all the time...and since most or our work involves classified projects, prospective employees must be able to pass a security investigation. The clearance process is taking about two years now. Clearances are done by the Defense Security Service. Here is their website: [url]http://www.dss.mil/[/url]. Most of our work and that of most contractors and government offices here is at the Secret and Confidential level, not Top Secret. Top Secret work requires a special clearance and special access. I am the only employee at my firm currently in that category because of the nature of the work I'm currently involved in. In my case, I already had a TS clearance when I retired from the Navy in 1992, so we did a "bring-up".
Also don't go thinking that you can't find a job because you didn't get inturn experience. Everyweek I go to job networking meetings and i've met hundreds of guys who have 15-20 years of engineering experience and masters/multiple bachelor's degrees who can't find a good job to save their lives.
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Not sure of the meaning here...but just let me say this. Your ability to find work in this field or for that matter in any other is totally dependent on a mix of several factors such as education, experience, the current "law of supply and demand" in that area. For example: -The local job market for someone of your skills, experience, and education. The law of supply and demand is in effect here. For example, lots of Navy officers want to retire in the Norfolk, VA or San Diego, CA areas. That means there are tons of guys with like resumes all vying for the same jobs. Employers love that...keeps salaries down. -Your personal experience and education. I'll take a guy with years of practical experience with a "soft" degree such as history or english over a newbie with a math or EE degree. Not that I don't value the kid with the hard science degree, but he might be better suited to starting out at one of the local labs. I need guys who know the ropes and the customer (Navy in this case). Having said that, most employers in my area demand technical degrees, and ask for MSs when they can get them. ALL want experience...and the quickest path to that club is joining the service. I and every one of my peers in this company and most of our competitors are former or retired officers. All of our senior company officers are retired naval officers. That is just the way it is here in the DC area. BTW...most of us pay real well too. My bottom line recommendation: Get a technical degree of some sort...something you like. If you can't, just get a degree. Then join the service. Matters not which branch. Refer to my previous posting for career fields. What do YOU want to do? IF you don't think a military career is for you, get out after your four years is up. Now you have the education AND the military ticket punch. Good Luck! [soapbox]
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 8:10:13 AM EDT
Sorry LWilde, I didn't mean to ignore your post. I thought the thread died on the 24th and haven't looked for it until now. By "branch" I was refering to Army OCS, where you are assigned to a certain branch after graduation (e.g. Armor, Infantry, Chemical, Signal Corps, Ordnance, Engineering, etc). Just because you list a particular branch as your first choice doesn't mean you'll get it, so its a bit of a gamble. As far as pay for an O-1, I wasn't sure (I said around 20k) and thats why I let him know he could see the online paychart for himself. At the time I researched going into the Army OCS the pay was lower - 23,112 a year to be exact. As of 2002, the base pay has increased to 25,164 a year. BAH I really don't count because it only applies if he's living off base, and even so its designed to cover only 80% of the average cost of an apartment in that area. (that at least was the figure a few months ago when i researched it). I really didn't want to get too wrapped in numbers, but my basic point is that he obviously wanted a job where he'd be making good money, otherwise he we would not have gone to the extra effort to get a Computer Science degree; so I figured he'd want to know about pay. Just 2 years ago he'd be starting out at at least 40k a year for a software job, but that was before the recession.
Not sure of the meaning here...but just let me say this. Your ability to find work in this field or for that matter in any other is totally dependent on a mix of several factors such as education, experience, the current "law of supply and demand" in that area.
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Though some in the media and some politicians are trying to sweep it under the rug, we are in a full blown recession. Since you're still employed with a good job maybe you don't see it. Please don't try to imply that whats going on is somehow healthy or normal because its anything but. I was laid off from my engineering job 14 months ago, and the best I can do now is a retail job now making about 30% of what I used to. My wife was also laid off around that same time and she's making about 45% of what she was. I also work with guys with 15 years experience in tech, some of which were making above 110k a year and one of which is a retired navy officer turned engineer. At job networking meetings there are people with 15+ years of experience who don't know the meaning of the term "soft degree" who are at a dead end. Each of us are actively looking for work around the country, emailing companies and sending out hundreds of resumes and networking with others week after week, month after month, yet to no avail. There is a forgotten demographic made of hundreds of thousands of people just like me around the country (if not the world) who paid their dues to get good jobs and who worked their asses off to make themselves successful - the American way - and now through no fault or their own have lost it all. Whew, rant over. Sorry to go [soapbox] on you. I know you're not trying to bust my balls and I don't want to bust yours. This is just a real sensitive topic for me.
Link Posted: 9/29/2002 12:59:30 PM EDT
lot of interesting posts thanks lots to think about. Part of the problem is that I'm in western NY, really bad economy here. only jobs are, for the most part, service related (cashiers, waiter/waitress, and other retail/customer service stuff). It's not just the CS related jobs that are hard to find.
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