Does the Degree matter?

I'm curious to see what are serving/ex-serving soldiers/officers thoughts on certain degree subjects.

Now, I'm in my final year at university, studying Sports Development. A course that teaches:
-Business
-Politics
-HR
-Biomechanics
-Psychology

amongst other things.

But because it's a sports degree, do recruiters look at this negatively? Perhaps, believing that Engeineering & Maths degree graduates are instantly better qualified to join the army as an officer.

I have average (but acceptable) GCSE's, did a BTEC before coming to uni but believe I am a suitable candidate for officer entry.

Would recruiters look at my academia history and profile me as someone who isn't intellectual just because of my education choices?


I'm interested to hear your thoughts, thanks.
 
Last edited:
Do you have the necessary A Levels or equivalent? That is the entry standard, not a degree.
 

sup rec

LE
Book Reviewer
35 ALIS points and 180 UCAS points that is all the recruiters will look at. If you haven't got these then the degree doesn't over ride so you may find yourself as a non starter for officer anyway.
 
I have 41 ALIS points and 320 UCAS points so I could apply now. I was just wondering whether the degree subject studied was in any way significant when joining up. Seems to me from the responses, that currently a degree is a bonus as the requirements don't actually demand one.

Cheers for the replies,
 

sup rec

LE
Book Reviewer
I have 41 ALIS points and 320 UCAS points so I could apply now. I was just wondering whether the degree subject studied was in any way significant when joining up. Seems to me from the responses, that currently a degree is a bonus as the requirements don't actually demand one.

Cheers for the replies,

That's right. A degree is not a pre-requisite for a commission
 
OMFG! Even the RAF have this sorted! of course the degree matters, just go to any joint signals unit and look at the Royal Signals DE officers just trying to comprehend communications engineering.

The RAF requires its engineers to have relevant degrees for their branches, so aircraft engineers have engineering degrees, communications engineers have communications electronics degrees.

Royal Signals officers have things like animal psychology degrees (I don't lie, I have met that officer!), and then end up in charge of engineers sorting out highly complex communications systems with no clue whatsoever what is going on. The Army needs together with the times. It might take no brains to charge a machune gun nest,or other such suicidal role that a "meja studies" graduate might just be capable of filling, some some roles are not about "leading men" they are about understanding the task, and having valid input. Is it really any wonder the other services have very respect for Army Officers?

If you want to join with a sports degree be a feckin PTI. If you can't join the Army as a PTI direct, then go to the RAF, you can there, but only if you can also walk the walk by competing in at least two sports at county standard.

Perhaps you could join a local sports centre, they will always need highly qualified counter staff.
 

watchandshoot1

Old-Salt
The army has plenty of people with 2.2 degrees in fine arts and media studies etc.

Everyone has degrees these days. What sets you apart from the 10,000s that graduate with the same degree as you each year is the important point.
 

Subsunk

War Hero
Book Reviewer
I'm curious to see what are serving/ex-serving soldiers/officers thoughts on certain degree subjects.

Now, I'm in my final year at university, studying Sports Development. A course that teaches:
-Business
-Politics
-HR
-Biomechanics
-Psychology

amongst other things.

But because it's a sports degree, do recruiters look at this negatively? Perhaps, believing that Engeineering & Maths degree graduates are instantly better qualified to join the army as an officer.

I have average (but acceptable) GCSE's, did a BTEC before coming to uni but believe I am a suitable candidate for officer entry.
.

Which regiment or corps are you looking at?
 
Which regiment or corps are you looking at?
The Royal Corps of Piss-taking Politicians? They are unique in that they have several battalions - 1st labour (general muppetry and cretinery), 2nd conservative (obnoxious and creepy, but with a specialist back-handering squadron), 3rd lib-dem (anything outside being in harms way or making a decision) and the specialist 4th Bn - made up of a mix of cretins who can undermine a civilisation by hugging trees and hating "differents".
Feck me - I must be pissed again
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
OMFG! Even the RAF have this sorted! of course the degree matters, just go to any joint signals unit and look at the Royal Signals DE officers just trying to comprehend communications engineering.

The RAF requires its engineers to have relevant degrees for their branches, so aircraft engineers have engineering degrees, communications engineers have communications electronics degrees.

Royal Signals officers have things like animal psychology degrees (I don't lie, I have met that officer!), and then end up in charge of engineers sorting out highly complex communications systems with no clue whatsoever what is going on. The Army needs together with the times. It might take no brains to charge a machune gun nest,or other such suicidal role that a "meja studies" graduate might just be capable of filling, some some roles are not about "leading men" they are about understanding the task, and having valid input. Is it really any wonder the other services have very respect for Army Officers?

If you want to join with a sports degree be a feckin PTI. If you can't join the Army as a PTI direct, then go to the RAF, you can there, but only if you can also walk the walk by competing in at least two sports at county standard.

Perhaps you could join a local sports centre, they will always need highly qualified counter staff.
Much as it grips my shit to be fair to scaley officers, the point of the DE officer in the Army isn't to be a subject matter expert, although it's nice if he or she is, it's to command soldiers, which, arguably, is a full-time job in itself, especially when things are getting exciting - which they tend to do more for the gallant lads in green than for the effete mechanics of the paramilitary wing of British Airways or the Andrew (although I grant you that things get very fucking exciting indeed for the Andrew when they do).

The Army chooses to keep technical expertise largely in the ranks and with the LE cadre, they find that works well for them.

Comparing a RAF engineer or a Royal Navy ditto with his Army equivalent is apples and oranges.

As for what sort of degree you have, crack on - it doesn't matter overmuch, to be a successful thruster you need not to be a specialist, rather a gifted generalist (aka dilettante, according to some); far more important that you enjoy the company of soldiers and are able to lead and motivate them. Get through AOSB, then through Sandhurst. Concentrate on that for now.
 

Subsunk

War Hero
Book Reviewer
A switched-on young person can come straight from school and still smash it if they have the strength of character and the officer-like qualities. A degree helps but academic smarts are not the be-all and end-all of getting a commission.

Be ready to defend your choice of degree subject though - I can see a lot of banter in your particular horoscope about Applied Underwater Egyptian Basket Weaving from people with more conventional subjects, and it will certainly be discussed at AOSB. They won't be slagging it off, but they will be keen to see you explain what it's about, what it can bring to you as a leader and why you did it.
 
I have 41 ALIS points and 320 UCAS points so I could apply now. I was just wondering whether the degree subject studied was in any way significant when joining up. Seems to me from the responses, that currently a degree is a bonus as the requirements don't actually demand one.

Cheers for the replies,
A degree matters for the promotion track. I believe a post grad moves up the ranks quicker, hence more money.


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What's been said about "being prepared to defend " your choice is right.
If you can give a good answer, making your "strange " subject sound perfectly normal , make it sound interesting to people who know nothing about it, it can work to your advantage.
 
The best platoon commander I ever served under back in the seventies had a degree in history. He ended up a major general and now has a very nice job running the non religious side of a major London cathedral.

A degree will open doors for you that not having one won't especially in civvy street which is somewhere you will likely end up in unless you are one of the small select group of military prodigies destined for great and wonderful things in the mob.

I might sound like your dad and I'm probably old enough to be your grandad but get the most out of education that you can while you are there. It might not seem obvious to you now but later on, you will be very happy you did stay and get the best you could from your educational experience.
 
As a child, the eleven plus passed me by, because only eleven boys from my year could go to Grammar.

I became a hewer of wood and a drawer of water, Until i joined the Army.
 
I have 41 ALIS points and 320 UCAS points so I could apply now. I was just wondering whether the degree subject studied was in any way significant when joining up. Seems to me from the responses, that currently a degree is a bonus as the requirements don't actually demand one.

Cheers for the replies,

I worked in the recruitment office of my lot when I was in for a couple of years. A huge part of the job was shuffling potential officers around and looking after them during pre selection weeks before sending suitable applicants off to the regular commissioning board.

Suitably qualified individuals from many backgrounds applied for pre-selection. Applicants ranged from people with predicted GCSE and A level results to individuals with Doctorates. We even had a fully trained opera singer turn up for one week who entertained in the NAAFI ...... He was TA SAS though.

The fact that you will have done a degree shows the ability to study, absorb information and produce prepared reports on that information. It will stand you in good stead if you decide on a career in the military. The officers I knew when I was a squaddie who were better with their paperwork all seemed to be grads. As a grad you have had three years learning how to produce and present reports so it puts you ahead of 18 year old entrants in terms of those skills.

I did uni after the Army and got a degree and post grad qual. What I learned in the army definately helped me at uni, but I wish I had possessed my uni learned skills before I joined the army.

Get the degree then join. Best of luck.
 
Yet another BA graduate wondering what others think of his degree. There's a surprise. It doesn't matter what modules may have been in your degree, it's still a sports science degree. Am I being snobbish? Yes I am. The jobs market is awash with BA grads who (unless they stay in academia or are very fortunate to find work in their specific field) are filling jobs that they are massively over qualified for because they chose to do a degree in a subject with very little relevance to what's actually required by the UK jobs market. Because of the quantity of BA grads with firsts (because for a lot of them, their degree was easier than a Chatham girl at ten to two) the value of a degree has been diminished severely. Thank you very much Labour, for starting to push for 50% or so of school leavers to uni, thus hamstringing apprenticeships and technical courses.

Rant over from a frustrated BSc grad.
 

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