Is it worth taking a master's degree if I intend to join the Intelligence Corp either way?

Hey

So I'm in need of a little advice here.
I've noticed threads around the masters degree topic but they don't seem to answer my question and view the topic in a different light.

Anyway, since high school, I've always wanted to have a career in either military intelligence or the foreign office. I'm currently studying a BA degree in International Politics and Intelligence Studies with Chinese and set to graduate next year. I've decided for certain that I'm to join the Intelligence Corps as Operator Technical Intelligence.

However, I also want to do a 2 year masters course, and chosen what course I would take. The masters course includes intensive language and study abroad in two foreign languages.
Ideally, I would prefer to do the Masters course then join the intelligence corp after.

But I'm torn on whether to do it or not, because is it really worth it? And that's what I need the advice on.

Since the masters includes advanced education in 2 languages, it will be put to good use and will be incredibly useful in the role of technical intelligence (since it's all about translating and analysing communications etc) and I also have to take into account the benefits it could have with a career, post army.
But given it takes 2 years and will cost a lot (total estimated around £55k), is it better to join the Corp after bachelor's graduation, skip the masters idea and complete their linguistics training in foreign language instead? (Although from what I've heard, the languages in the masters course aren't available in the army's linguistics training)

See, I intend to join the Corp and complete their training courses anyway after university. After discussing it with family members whom have air force and army experience, they've said I could've gone on to achieve what I want even without an undergrad degree, so is an MA degree just too much?
Since I have to decide and apply for said masters soon, Im asking for advice from people who know what's what such as yourselves.

I would appreciate all advice and opinions on this, so thank you so much in advance.
 
The Army will still be there when you finish your degree, and you won't be in the Army forever, & the more qualifications you have when leave - the better your chances of employment and wages will be.

Be sensible and do the Masters degree first, not only will you probably have better promotion chances when you are actually in the Army, but you will always know that you can fall back on those qualifications should you find that the Army is not everything you expected it to be.

It's good to 'hedge' your bets as they say.
 
I’m now retired but I had a “varied” career over almost 48 years. I enjoyed all of my working life (in the main) but if there is one thing I would do differently it is pursuing recognized qualifications when I had the chance. There was a time when I might have been able to short cut a Professional Engineer designation - but didn’t. There was another time when biting the bullet and pursuing a Professional Accounting designation would have made sense. I didn’t do that either. (I didn’t need them, but either or both would have given me satisfaction).

These days, everybody and his brother (and most ARRSE boneheaded wives it seems) has a Bachelor’s degree.

It is very much a good idea to go for a Master’s if you have the ability and the opportunity.

I notice that even the Army Sergeant Major has an MBA (???!!!)
 
As the others say - do your masters degree. You can always join an Army Reserve Intelligence Corp unit while you are completing it. You will probably find a lot of the people there who you have a lot in common with.
 
I'd do the Masters later when you may have a better idea of what you want to do it in. The army has a huge range of educational opportunities for which you will be paid. Plus there's no guarantee they will use you in a role which needs your language at Masters level.
 
Having a decent job in the next year or so is likely to be more useful than a Masters

E2A: have a look at how the educational establishment you want to do this in thinks it will weather the CV19 disruption.
Student fees are unlikely to go down in the near future.

The army tends to insulate you from civvie things like recessions (as I discovered when an ex girlfriend reacted rather angrily to my observation that the 90s recession hadn't seemed that bad overall)
 
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Hey

So I'm in need of a little advice here.
I've noticed threads around the masters degree topic but they don't seem to answer my question and view the topic in a different light.

Anyway, since high school, I've always wanted to have a career in either military intelligence or the foreign office. I'm currently studying a BA degree in International Politics and Intelligence Studies with Chinese and set to graduate next year. I've decided for certain that I'm to join the Intelligence Corps as Operator Technical Intelligence.

However, I also want to do a 2 year masters course, and chosen what course I would take. The masters course includes intensive language and study abroad in two foreign languages.
Ideally, I would prefer to do the Masters course then join the intelligence corp after.

But I'm torn on whether to do it or not, because is it really worth it? And that's what I need the advice on.

Since the masters includes advanced education in 2 languages, it will be put to good use and will be incredibly useful in the role of technical intelligence (since it's all about translating and analysing communications etc) and I also have to take into account the benefits it could have with a career, post army.
But given it takes 2 years and will cost a lot (total estimated around £55k), is it better to join the Corp after bachelor's graduation, skip the masters idea and complete their linguistics training in foreign language instead? (Although from what I've heard, the languages in the masters course aren't available in the army's linguistics training)

See, I intend to join the Corp and complete their training courses anyway after university. After discussing it with family members whom have air force and army experience, they've said I could've gone on to achieve what I want even without an undergrad degree, so is an MA degree just too much?
Since I have to decide and apply for said masters soon, Im asking for advice from people who know what's what such as yourselves.

I would appreciate all advice and opinions on this, so thank you so much in advance.
Have you considered joining the reserve int corps during your masters?

You could get that sort of qual whilst in the regs.
 
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Hi

I'm actually in a very similar situation to you; set to graduate next year with a degree in International Business, and with similar career aspirations. Moreover, I plan on undertaking a two-year Arabic masters before utilising my MB pass to go reg officer. The reason for my undertaking of the masters first is because officers do not receive paid linguist training in the Int. Corps.

As a foreword I'd just like to state these are just the thoughts of a stranger, and I hope it just allows you to refocus the factors that are weighing on your ability to deicde.

Considering your intentions are to go this route anyway, I would personally undertake it after university. I think that your BA study sets you up in a fantastic position for service within the Int Corps; but agree that the utility of the masters doesn't match that of two years in the army for what you want to do.

If finances are of importance to you, at this crossroads its important to understand opportunity cost. For yourself at the end of the two years you can either be a masters graduate with a host of new career options and 55k in debt/cost, or a Lcpl. with a salary. Were you to join as an OPTI after 29 weeks you would be on a £26.8k salary, over two years grossing a positive parallel to the cost of the masters. The career options opened by a masters degree aren't relevant if you're desiring to be on this route now and still are in two years - my main thought is why delay what you want to do for two years of debt? It's true that the army isn't going anywhere, but neither is the ability to study for a masters full time via a career intermission, or find a way to manage undertaking masters study on a part-time basis. Moreover not having a masters would leave you some space to specialise / develop new skills outside of languages that could help you were you to begin to look for a civvie career.

The ability to study abroad in a country and culture that interests you is probably one of the factors most attractive to pursuing the masters route. The Int. Corps does offer attachments, training opportunities, and deployments abroad that might meet this need for exploration. Also, as a salaried soldier you could still explore the countries and cultures that interest you without formally studying them, whilst still being able to undertake intensive language training, advancing your service career, and gaining the experiences that entails.

A key thought I have on this is that Int Corps. linguist training is for 18 months, personally I would be frustrated were I to spend two years studying two European languages to a masters level (for example), to then not utilize or refresh them spending 18 months intensively learning Pashto.

Hope this helps some.
 

soleil

War Hero
Since I have to decide and apply for said masters soon, Im asking for advice from people who know what's what such as yourselves.

I would appreciate all advice and opinions on this, so thank you so much in advance.
Have you seen any Masters which you think are a particularly good match for you?
 

Bobby_Bert

Old-Salt
The Intelligence Corps is running weekly Q&A sessions via a Zoom call/Webinar.

Simply dial in at 1600 on Thursday. Next session is 7th May. Follow this link. Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now

Or see their various official social media accounts for updates.

It may be of use.
 

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