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Hey everybody, longtime lurker first time caller here. Just want to let you know you all have been a big help to me as I look into the WOFT program. Keep up the good work!

 

Anyways, I was wondering how getting a graduate education as a warrant officer works. I'm in my senior year of college and would like to eventually go for my Masters, but would like to do so a few years down the road (I'm a little burnt out of the college thing right now). I've been looking around the web for some information, but most of it seems to focus on the commissioned officers and their various programs. Is there an Army graduate education program for warrants or do most do it on their own? If it is on your own time, is it relatively feasible to do so (I know there's a lot of factors to what would or wouldn't make it feasible) or would it be better to get the Masters out of the way before applying? And if this has already been discussed somewhere, could you please point me in the right direction?

 

Thanks again!

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YogiBear,

 

The only program available for Warrant Officers is the degree completion program. I know a one Warrant Officer that has done that however, it will take you way from the cockpit for 2 years to finish a graduate degree. I do not know the specifics of this program but I am sure you can google it and find more.

 

As for formal Army programs such as ILE ect.. They do not exist for Warrant Officers.

 

As for continuing your education I know a handful of W2s and W3s with Masters degrees that they are earning on their own time, nights and weekends. These programs are predominantly internet heavy as we do not normally have the time to attend local classes. The same goes for undergraduate degree programs.

 

I am currently working on a Masters in Project Management through Embry Riddle.

 

I am not sure where you are at in the WOFT selection process but hypothetically if you do get selected for WOFT. You can expect to delay your graduate degree for 2 years at a minimum, Basic, WOCS, flight school ect… I think that will be plenty of time to get college out of your system.

 

Starting a graduate degree after flight school will give you about 4-5 years to finish a graduate degree before you are boarded for CW3. The graduate degree would significantly increase your competiveness in the Army’s promotion system.

 

Keep in mind that there aren’t a whole lot of CW2s and 3s with masters degrees but, the Army does promote higher education.

 

You are going to hear a lot of people saying there isn’t time. If you manage your time wisely you can earn a degree as an Active Duty Aviation Warrant.

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Yogi, it'd be easier to answer if you gave us an idea of what you wanted to get a Masters in, do you have a specific school/degree in mind or do you just want a grad degree on your resume? Aviation doesn't really require much additional civilian schooling to be a SME so it's not generally resourced by the army, unlike some of the other technical fields (like cybersecurity). You can certainly use Tuition Assistance to pursue a degree on your own time, but you're probably going to have to focus on an online degree which limits your options.

 

I have to disagree with Joe P, I've seen very few WO's with grad degrees and the ones who had them did not make CW4 despite being great guys and awesome warfighters. Promotion boards care a hell of a lot more about your OER's than they do about your civilian education. Not trying to talk you out of anything, just providing some food for thought.

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Ok, so there's no formal program, but some do it on their own time. That's good to know. I assume the course load would only be 1, maybe 2 classes per semester, which seems doable. And online isn't a problem for me as I've had a few classes that were internet only.

 

apacheguy, I would probably go for a degree in something technical, probably mechanical engineering or similar. Motivation for earning it is about 50% career focused, 50% personal desire. I'm finishing up a bachelors in history right now, which has covered the liberal arts/social sciences area of education pretty well and would like to go technical to round it out, and a technical degree is usually required for many of the jobs I might want to get into later in life.

 

Also, is there a reason many CW2's & CW3's don't have advanced degrees? Cost vs. benefit just not very high or are they focused on other things in life, like family?

 

Thanks.

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Is it even possible to pursue a mechanical engineering (or something similar) degree online? It was my understanding the engineering disciplines all require significant lab time. Particularly for a Master's program.

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apacheguy, I would probably go for a degree in something technical, probably mechanical engineering or similar. Motivation for earning it is about 50% career focused, 50% personal desire. I'm finishing up a bachelors in history right now, which has covered the liberal arts/social sciences area of education pretty well and would like to go technical to round it out, and a technical degree is usually required for many of the jobs I might want to get into later in life.

 

Well you do like a challenge eh? Has your undergrad included General Physics (1,2 and 3) and Calculus (1, 2 and 3) along with any of the other engineering classes required for admission to a credible engineering grad degree program?

 

Why not stay in history, focus on military history perhaps? The army values mil history very highly, even confers a Masters in History at the CGSC. Or Masters in Public Policy would make for a strong resume and be a better transition for you.

 

Either way, as long as you're plugging away at something using your TA you'll be improving yourself. Good luck.

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