Degree for Officer



A week ago I couldn't wait until I was 18 and could become a Marines Officer, now I have just realised that it may be beneficial to join when I am 21, but I am not sure if i could wait the extra 3 years.

Could someone tell me the pros and cons of joining with or without a degree, thanks.



Jul 10, 2007
Reaction score
It's fairly straightforward.

No matter how many qualifications you have, you won't pass officer selection unless you display the Officer-like qualities which are sought.

Whilst you can gain a degree and life-experience if you go to university, rewarded with a £28K starting income, it doesn't necessarily mean you will pass POC, AIB & get selected. Likewise 80% of successful applicants have a Degree, but most have £15 to £20K student debt.

If you join with A levels, you are more likely to be able to live on the lower starting income as you have less debt. If you have the fitness required, the level of maturity/state of mind, the leadership potential & life experience, then you have nothing to lose by at least applying and trying your best. You will earn between £55-£60K in the 3 years you may have spent at Uni & gain 3 years seniority, earning the same or more than a graduate starting 3 years later than you.

If you are unsuccessful passing selection aged 18, then there's nothing stopping you re-applying 3 years later- BUT, there's no guarantee that the 3 years academics alone will be enough to pass selection a second time. In one troop of 55 other ranks, there were 19 graduates recently - that is testament alone to the standards required for other rank, let alone officer.