college + uni or straight into military???

Hi, im in a difficult situation atm, a bit of a fork in the road. Now im working full time, and have done for 2 years, ive always wanted to sign up but havent been able to due to not being 4 years clear of asthma. Now in october i will be 4 years clear of my so called asthma, but im going back to college in septembe to study engineering.
Now my question to all of you is; do i a) go to college, university and do something like the TA or UOTC on the side and try for officer when i have my degree, and if i dont get through for whatever reason go for a regular.

Or b) do i do the college course and then apply full time for the army (maybe RAF) and use college and university as a back upincase i dont get into the military for whatever reason.

What would you do??

im 20 years old, will be 21 next june. Thanks for reading.
If its engineering you want to do then sign up.

Get paid to learn in the Army.

or go to college then Uni, get in debt then sign up.

I know what Id rather do.

However a couple of A levels never hurt anyone :)
I'd say go to college at least, it's best to have some A-levels behind you, not just for when you get out (it's not the most important thing, but it will be one day) and it's only 2 years. I wanted to drop college when I was doing it for army but glad I stuck it out until the end first.
I'm not entirely sure as to which trades, etc. this applies to, but if you are thinking of doing a particular degree which is useful to the Army they will pay you out a lumpsum, known as a "golden hello". I know of a lad who is going to study something to do with cookery or similar and is joining the rlc as a chef and he's been told he's eligible for it. Not sure how you'd go about getting this so best bet is ring up your AFCO or ask The IRON on here.
Go to university first. If you and the army don't suit each other later on, you will still be a graduate and have better job prospects than a non-grad. It also means that you can go on a post grad MA / MSc as a Captain without having to do an in-service honours degree first, basically saving a bit of time and earning valuable annual reports under your belt while your peers are back to school. It'll work out better in the end.
I'd tend to agree with the university first school of thought.

I note that you say that you have "always wanted to sign up" .... do you mean enlist as a soldier? where does the officer thing come in? Have you done any research into whether you will be a suitable officer candidate? Have you been in the cadet force, done any attachments, etc etc? Had any feedback?

The Engineers (and others) have plenty of soldiers with degrees as well as officers. You need to decide not only between doing a degree or joining straight up, but also between officer and soldier.

I'd still say uni first whichever option you go for vis a vis officer or soldier.
Goto uni then realise there is no point and Uni is **** unless your ace at your subject and that you do a decent degree, none of this film studies or sports studies crap.

I did 2year at uni and realised it was a huge mistake I now think that is 2years I could of been in a decent career learning to do something worthwhile.. and yes, being paid.

Not living on noodles like a tramp getting smashed on white storm
There's no reason why you can't just do some A-levels and a degree via distance learning once you are in. Maybe at first you will be too busy with training and stuff, but if you are motivated you could find the time. I have been thinking I might do a Open Uni course once I'm in. The army will pay something like £1000 a year towards any qualifications you take in you own time, and the courses let you pick how many units you want to study per year etc.
I would say go to uni first of all. Do a decent degree in a useful subject such as engineering. If you go in as an officer it increases your seniority (which means pay) and promotion rates. In the Royal Engineers if you have studied civil, electrical or mechanical engineering you can have a different career option by doing an in service MSc (which also involves an 18 month attachment to civilian industry) and gaining CEng status.
If there's a danger of not getting in or not liking it you probably want a university degree for life afterwards. Just a thought.
I did it the other way around: I joined on the back of A-levels, went through Sandhurst, loved it but wished to goodness I'd got a degree first. When I left I went off to get my degree but even now - more than a few years since - I'm still lagging behind my peer group.

Get your degree first. You'll have an opportunity to get involved in UOTC at the university and that might give you either:

(a) an unquenchable thirst for being in green, or
(b) a deep and meaningful dislike of green

Either way, you'll know.
Mentalist has got it absolutely right. His advice is the one to follow.

To the poster who is thinking of going down the OU route whilst in, it is only fair to advise you that while the OU can be very good indeed, it is a very hard way to go about getting a degree. The work should not be underestimated and all of those I know who have done it said that they found it hard to cope with it - on top of the day job. Also, the support offered varies in quality from subject area to subject area, and also with the area you happen to be in.

But.... Do remember that some subjects are not worth as much as others once you start job hunting. As others have said things like sciences and engineering are good, film studies and drama are not.
If you are able to complete an OU degree having joined up then you would be one impressive individual.

I simply do not believe it could be done. You wouldn't have the time, the inclination (too much beering it up and sh@gging to be done) or the study space (somewhere other than your bedspace in the block!) to do it.

Degree first. Then army.
for of all to schweik, il give you a brief run down on what i have acheived so far. I havent ever wanted to sign up as a soldier as in infantry, but soldier in the engineering field yes, I was in the air cadets (not much but i was there) for 3 years or so and loved it, i only left because i was very ill at the time.
I tried to join the TA as a combat engineer back in january this year, i was deffered due to not being 4 years clear of an inhalor, so when i do re-aply i will have to have a spirometery test done, assuming i pass that everything else medical wise is in check. I passed all my test whilst there besides the physical tests as i wasn't eligable to take part (i can do all the physical requirments already).
The only thing that is preventing me atm (assuming im 4 years clear which i will be in oct) from signing up is the fact i only have one a-level. Hence im going back to college in september, but im doing an access course instead of a-levels, so i can get direct entry to university upon completion of the course.

and its mech engineering i want to go in for, so not one of these mickey mouse degrees thats not a problem.

Alot of mixed opinions on here though i must admit, seems the general majority is pointing in the direction of university, and seeing as i wont get a-levels i would go straight from college to university.

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