Higher Education: Your Experiences, Your Questions

Marauder06

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Just completed my first semester towards my MBA. Sadly I am going to have to take a break at this time due to my command not approving my leave for one of the on campus residency periods for third semester. I am happy to report a 3.87 GPA and look forward to getting at it again next year, where I'll hopefully be at a new command.

Has anyone ever switched schools while perusing a graduate degree? I have considered switching to a school closer to home and it is also considerably cheaper, from almost $1,900 a credit hour to just over $800. I know switching will very from school to school, but I'm curious how it went for anyone else.


I did. I switched from University of Phoenix to Webster University when UofP changed my program and didn't grandfather me into the old rules. I'm actually glad that happened, because UofP's reputation starting sliding a few years after that.
 

Devildoc

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@NavyBuyer , great GPA and work! Good luck with figuring out how it'll pan out.

I just finished my first year of grad school. Nursing is theory-heavy and the curricula still has a lot of hoops that are 100% totally and completely useless information in the 'real world'. I had a health policy class which was good, and the assessment for advanced practice providers was excellent. The other classes, meh. I am in summer session now taking a research class. It's the proverbial elephant, trying to eat it one bite at a time.
 

Gunz

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My wife just got her masters from University of Florida. (International Strategic Communications.) I'm proud of her but that's a lot of student loan money that we'll have to pay back. And the youngest still has two more years to go at FSU.

Guess I won't be getting that new tractor anytime soon.
 
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Devildoc

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My wife just got her masters from University of Florida. (International Strategic Communications.) $40-grand. :wall::wall: I'm proud of her but goddam that's almost five bills a month payback out of the cookie jar. And the youngest still has two more years to go at FSU.

Guess I won't be getting that new tractor anytime soon.

I am very (VERY) fortunate in that my employer reimburses, so my degree will essentially be no cost to me. Even so, my university is about $1,200 for a 3-hour class, so my entire Masters will be around $13K.

I will say all colleges in the UNC system are quite reasonable. I had been in grad school at Duke, that degree was gonna set me back $50K.
 

BloodStripe

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I did. I switched from University of Phoenix to Webster University when UofP changed my program and didn't grandfather me into the old rules. I'm actually glad that happened, because UofP's reputation starting sliding a few years after that.

Thanks, I'll look into WU. I have 15 credit hours complete so the more I can carry over, the better. I looked into William and Mary and they will take up to nine, which is better than zero.
 
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Marauder06

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Thanks, I'll look into WU. I have 15 credit hours complete so the more I can carry over, the better. I looked into William and Mary and they will take up to home, which is better than zero.

Depending on what you want the degree for, W&M is a much more prestigious school than WU. It might be worth a little additional time/cost.
 

BloodStripe

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Depending on what you want the degree for, W&M is a much more prestigious school than WU. It might be worth a little additional time/cost.

While I agree that W&M is better on paper, I plan on staying a GS employee, so who the degree is from doesn't matter as much as it does having a check in the box. With that being said, I don't want just a check in the box. I want to learn and earn the degree. I was going through a program with GS 14 and 15's in the acquisition community and defense industry managers (mostly Lockheed's Skunk Works and Boeing), which made for a really great classroom dynamic.
 

R.Caerbannog

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Just outta curiosity, is a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology worth much when trying to get into the intelligence sector? The reason I ask, is I'm about to finish my Bachelors this fall and the postings I qualify for via USA Jobs are mainly Park Ranger gigs. Originally I was looking at getting a gig in archaeology, but after being around my peers and going to the some of the Anthropology/Archaeology conferences I'm not so sure. Long story short, I'm curious to know if I have any routes open getting into the intelligence field.

At the moment, I'm deciding if I should bite the bullet and attend grad school (non-thesis option) where I am or seek a degree that will get me a gig in the DOD or the intel world. Currently, I have three semesters and change (almost 4) of GI bill left. Adding to that, I should be able to transfer between 6-9 credits towards my masters from my undergrad as I've taken some dual credit grad/undergrad courses; if I go the anthropology route. Guess I'm not sure if I should just suck it up and go the archaeology route or see what else is out there. Anyone have any ideas?
 

Florida173

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Just outta curiosity, is a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology worth much when trying to get into the intelligence sector? The reason I ask, is I'm about to finish my Bachelors this fall and the postings I qualify for via USA Jobs are mainly Park Ranger gigs. Originally I was looking at getting a gig in archaeology, but after being around my peers and going to the some of the Anthropology/Archaeology conferences I'm not so sure. Long story short, I'm curious to know if I have any routes open getting into the intelligence field.

At the moment, I'm deciding if I should bite the bullet and attend grad school (non-thesis option) where I am or seek a degree that will get me a gig in the DOD or the intel world. Currently, I have three semesters and change (almost 4) of GI bill left. Adding to that, I should be able to transfer between 6-9 credits towards my masters from my undergrad as I've taken some dual credit grad/undergrad courses; if I go the anthropology route. Guess I'm not sure if I should just suck it up and go the archaeology route or see what else is out there. Anyone have any ideas?

It's on you to find an application for your degree in the intelligence community. Generally a bachelor's degree is pretty useless and since everyone has one and I haven't seen a good correlation between the type of degree and how good an analyst is. I've worked with a guy that had a culinary degree and was amazing.. I've also seen a ton of guys without degrees that are amazing too. Since DIA has put so much weight on just having a degree, it's put an emphases in feeding their ideal educated analysts. The ivory tower of academia is a lie.

My BS degree in Arabic and Middle Eastern Cultural Studies helps pretty often because of my language skills, but honestly we need analysts learning data analytics nowadays. The community needs to stop hiring data scientists that have zero intelligence community analytical experience. Theirs a couple of master's programs out there that cater to us.

Once my better half finishes her PHD program, in going to pursue one of those. In the meantime there's a shitload of certificates people can get like CEH, security+, GISP, ETC...
 

BloodStripe

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By getting into the DoD, are you wanting to do strictly Intel work, or, are you willing to enter civil service in any capacity? I am an 1102, which is a Contract Specialist, and it only requires a bachelor's degree; however, you must have earned at least 24 credit hours in business. It's a great career field that also has a lot of promotion potential and is in high demand all over the world. Inside of the career field exist multiple facets that can lead you to a desk job in D.C or contingency contracting in a third world country that lacks every necessity possible, and it's your job to get those for everyone there. The easiest way in is via an internship program. You'll hire in as a GS 07 (assuming you have at least a 3.0 GPA) and you will be promoted every year for the next three years to a GS 12. If you want to know more feel free to send me a PM.
 

8482farm

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Just outta curiosity, is a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology worth much when trying to get into the intelligence sector? The reason I ask, is I'm about to finish my Bachelors this fall and the postings I qualify for via USA Jobs are mainly Park Ranger gigs. Originally I was looking at getting a gig in archaeology, but after being around my peers and going to the some of the Anthropology/Archaeology conferences I'm not so sure. Long story short, I'm curious to know if I have any routes open getting into the intelligence field.

At the moment, I'm deciding if I should bite the bullet and attend grad school (non-thesis option) where I am or seek a degree that will get me a gig in the DOD or the intel world. Currently, I have three semesters and change (almost 4) of GI bill left. Adding to that, I should be able to transfer between 6-9 credits towards my masters from my undergrad as I've taken some dual credit grad/undergrad courses; if I go the anthropology route. Guess I'm not sure if I should just suck it up and go the archaeology route or see what else is out there. Anyone have any ideas?

It depends, what is the concentration of your Anthropology studies? Have you been involved in any kind of internship or undergrad research?
 

Il Duce

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Just outta curiosity, is a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology worth much when trying to get into the intelligence sector? The reason I ask, is I'm about to finish my Bachelors this fall and the postings I qualify for via USA Jobs are mainly Park Ranger gigs. Originally I was looking at getting a gig in archaeology, but after being around my peers and going to the some of the Anthropology/Archaeology conferences I'm not so sure. Long story short, I'm curious to know if I have any routes open getting into the intelligence field.

At the moment, I'm deciding if I should bite the bullet and attend grad school (non-thesis option) where I am or seek a degree that will get me a gig in the DOD or the intel world. Currently, I have three semesters and change (almost 4) of GI bill left. Adding to that, I should be able to transfer between 6-9 credits towards my masters from my undergrad as I've taken some dual credit grad/undergrad courses; if I go the anthropology route. Guess I'm not sure if I should just suck it up and go the archaeology route or see what else is out there. Anyone have any ideas?

I'd recommend you apply for the types of jobs you're interested in now. You'll find out much more where you'll fall short (if you do) through the interview process.

The best IC analysts have significant IC experience and have advanced degrees. There are a number of ways to get those things simultaneously - the educational opportunities in the IC are world-class. I recommend people start young in the IC and let their career shape their educational pursuits rather than trying to fit in all the education up front.
 

R.Caerbannog

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Golly, thanks for the heads up guys. I didn't realize that there were so many options out there apart from internships, specializing in linguistics, and/or cultural anthropology. This is going to sound dumb, but I always figured intel people sat behind desks and trawled through mountains of data in order to find out the meaning behind the chess moves of state-level actors and supply the data to counter them.

From what I've been exposed to in arch/anthro classes, the end goal is to determine behaviors based on artifacts deposits (garbage piles) from people long gone. Hence me thinking that intel and archeology fell into a similar vein of sifting through data to understand human behavior.

@Florida173 Didn't think about certificates, will do research and see if my school offers any of those. This semester I started the coursework for a GIS certificate, so I'll have to reconsider if that GIS cert is gonna be worth the time and energy.

@NavyBuyer I'll definitely take a look at the requirements for being a contract specialist and figure out how quickly I can take and finish the classes required for that field. Thank you, I never would have known about OPM jobs.

@8482farm Most of my classes have been focused on the basics of historic and prehistoric archaeology of the North West. As for undergraduate lab work, I've helped in the identification and cataloguing of historic artifacts associated with an old army dump site from the late 1800's. At best I can make assumptions about past behaviors based on artifact types and how they are deposited in layers of soil. I.e. officers having access to higher quality booze based on the types of glass alcohol vessels found near their quarters. Not sure if that helps.

@Il Duce That's awesome to know, I'll make a trip to the career center and update my resume. Might as well get prepped for rejection, lol.

Seriously, thanks guys. Always felt intimidated looking into the IC field, have been under the impression that it was full of people like Summer from Firefly. You know, the type that can kill you with their brain. Now I'm not as worried.
 
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