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No idea what i'm doing


Im currently half way through a BSc in cyber security and have always wanted to join the army.. My plan was to join as a soldier for a few years, after completing my degree, and then move into an officer rank later. On top of that, where I've been looking to go has nothing to do with my degree, 2 Yorks, 3 Rifles and similar. Have I got my head screwed on straight? It really feels like if I go down this path I will be wasting a large chunk of time on something, whether it be my degree or my time in the army. Maybe REME or signals would be a better choice, even if they don't interest me as much as the others. Any guidance that could help me make up my mind would be greatly appreciated.
@Tom201513, I was a soldier for around 11 years afterwhich I went off to uni. I did not do cyber security, I kicked off with software engineering and moved on with a couple of higher degrees into IS, data mining and predictive modelling using AI.

From personal experience I know that when it comes to the clever stuff of IT/IS the MoD buys in the talent to do the work from very expensive consultancy firms. Soldiers tend to stick within their specialist employment group whereas officers can be moved from one job to another every three years. For example a Major I knew had been a whizz at doing EOD (bomb disposal) for 3 years and after that he was posted to a Depot where he was driving a desk responsible for warehouse management.

I would ordinarily suggest that you go off and join the reserves doing the thing that you think you would really like to do and see if you do actually like it. That might be difficult at the moment with covid kicking around, but it may be worth your while making a phone call, or two. Even if you can't do reserves until later next year it may be worth your while considering going out to work for a year, doing the reserves for the year, and then applying for a commission once you are settled into the reserves. That way you get a bit of "try before you buy", so to speak.

Apart from asking us old farts on here you should contact some of the units you may be interested in and see if they are planning any open days once the pandemic calms down a bit. One thing I do know is that the need for cyber security is on the up and as well as the military there are another couple of govt agencies who are always looking for good, well qualified applicants.

Good luck.
I have just brought in a senior cyber security chap to HK. Ex-British army signals NCO plus a couple of stints doing 'other government work'. Super chap, built a great career in cyber security since leaving the army. Salary here well north of GBP 200k (with an effective tax rate of less than 15%).

He doesn't have a degree but did have training sponsored by the army and that did raise a few eyebrows but wasn't a deal breaker. I would, strongly, suggest getting your degree first. Cyber professionals are in massive demand and that is only getting bigger. Even if you don't directly use it in the army it will be there to fall back on afterwards and, if you do, opportunities may open up for you that you haven't yet considered.


War Hero
Once you have a BSc in cyber security you could try GCHQ.
They might even sponsor you for a MSc probably not as physical as the Army but a good career choice.

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