Should I join the Air Force if I want to break into Diplomacy/Intel?
February 18, 2013 11:19 AM Subscribe
I am 27 years old, and now considering whether I should join the Air Force on an intelligence track in order to improve my chances of getting a job at State, or just improving my career options in general. Is this a wise decision?
posted by masterisosceles to Work & Money (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I was laid off from my job in a consultancy back in December, and have been applying for jobs without any luck so far; either my qualifications don't match up, or the details of the position don't interest me.
I have a MA in International Relations from the University of Washington, speak completely fluent Japanese, and am a beginner in Farsi. In the past, I have worked as a translator, and as a consultant where I was doing statistical analysis and report writing.
Recently, one of my friends that I met at a Stanford language program went into the air force, and I thought that he must have hit upon bad straits to have enlisted. I called him once he got out of basic, and what he described to me seemed to be a dream come true: free language training at Monterey DLI, college loan forgiveness, free living expenses, one month vacation, and $20k in hand (which is essentially the money that I would have in-pocket each year living in NYC). What he said at the end of it, though, was that he was nearly guaranteed a spot in the NSA, or in State once he got out. It sounded too good to be true.
I just took the Foreign Service Exam for the second time last week; even if I passed, I have a good chance of not passing the PNQ section again--just like last time. Would going into the Air Force give me better opportunities for a career in diplomacy or intelligence?
Thanks for your help.