To all those going in without A levels...

RossRobObey

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Hey all,

I'm contemplating whether or not I should do A-levels before joining the RM. I would love to join now (after GCSEs), however I don't know where this would leave me, when the time comes and I have to find a job, after leaving the RM.

Can all the people who are signing up, without A-levels, tell me what you think to this, do you have any plans for when you leave?

OK, so when the time comes - on my CV will be EX-Royal Marine, but is this enough to secure a well paid job that will suit me for the min. of 10 years until I retire?

Ross.
 

GreyWing

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Ross,

To be honest mate from an employers point of view it depends a lot. The RM's have their own educational courses and with you being under 18 before being operationally deployed, you should have time for plenty of courses in service.

Although from an employers point of view, with the speed of technology changing these days, you will have to careful what you choose with regards A Level Courses.

After all what good would someone with an A-Level in technology obtained 20 years ago be good for today? Unless he is going to program my VCR. It's not a dig at anyone and it's just the speed at which things are changing today and will increase to change in the future.

I don't speak from any higher authority than anyone else in this and others may have a different point of view. But if and when you leave the RM's, if you were to spend 2 years at A-Levels or equivalent then, you will have an upto date qualification and much more attractive to employers.

Personally I'd join the RM's early and they will teach you what you need to know and get you qualified. Only down side would be is if you had to leave early due to injury or left of your own accord.

All the best
GW
 

CommandoJ

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hey mate i was in the same boat as you around xmas.

hard i no what to choose, i chose to leave at xmas i gave it 6months and if i didn't like it i didn't stick at it so atleast i tried. so i will never be thinking 'what if'?

it depends on 'how you use them' nowadays. what to do with mine i wouldn't know if i had got them.

however people may say 'why did you leave, what happens then hey hey hey?' fair point to make but its not their decision its yours!

i never was a fan of education well school, but i do like to learn new skills. since leaving 6th form, i have got a job however it doesn't really agree with me, IOW its cr*p. BUT i have joined a rock climbing club to which i always wanted to do but never had time. due to a levels so i had to work 24-7 to get a good grade.

if you have a likability about you, then that can be the best thing i think, e.g. if you were employing someone to work at your store would you hire the one with lots of GCSEs A*'s degrees the works, however is stuck up and could send out the wrong image about your company or ............ well you can figure the rest out for yourself.

my final point is that if you do decide to do not do them, keep yourself busy most of the week don't become a couch potatoe! persue your chosen career RM, and most of all

'don't look back and think what if' because when you look round again SMACK a big load of problems that you didn't see coming.

so crack on, and THINK CLEARLY AND CALMLY, take life as it comes.

Please let me know your decision. hope this helps.


regards and good luck,

CJ


PS the people on this site when i had this problem helped me a lot, so Cheers guys again.
 

RossRobObey

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Thanks for that GW and CJ.

Those answers have definitely helped.

I'm certainly thinking more to joining now, because of the reasons GW has said about the A levels being pretty irrelevant.

Also I like what CJ has said about giving it 6 months, then if not - go to college or something and nothing is lost.

It has certainly given me something to think about, I have to let my 6th form know within a few weeks, as to whether I'm going to be joining for not.

At the mo, I'm thinking to finish GCSEs, not go to 6th form but to get a job while working at getting my fitness up to standard and proceeding to join.

There is no way I'm letting the RM out of my sites, either way.

Ross.

PS. Please keep the comments coming...
 

GreyWing

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Ask your parents as well mate, it's always good to have them on side and they'll give you their thoughts.

Some A levels are relevant and some are not, some are relevant today and won't be in 10 years time. I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you what to do but like the rest of us I'm afraid your just going to have to decide which is which as we go along.

The RM's have intergrated some good educational courses into soldiers careers. So you will have some good oportunities for qualifications in there and I know from one of my mates that certain trades are head huntered by organisations when they leave, such as communications.


GW
 

RossRobObey

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I'm going to have a chat with my Mum tonight about it all. Not sure about father though, I don't live with him - however still get along - but he wasn't pleased with my wanting to join after A-levels, let alone before. I don't know whether he's trying to be supportive (because he left school before he even took his GCSEs, however is doing VERY well for himself [Mercedes - the lot]) but all he seems to do is try to talk me out of things.

GW - Can you give me some links or a place to look, in connection with the further education I can get in the RM?

Ross.
 

LAS920

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The majority of answers on here are leaning towards the 'join straight away' ethos, a point of view which I respect and understand. Here's my view;

I was in the exact same shoes as you five years ago, I left school, got virtually all A's at GCSE and the world was my oyster (kind of!) Basically, I applied for the Royal Marines, and applied to do A Levels at college but kept my forces applications open, so as to keep all avenues open until the latest date. I began to like college and decided to stay, without attempting my PRMC etc. I'm glad I did this, because now, I have 4 A' Levels, and I also have a degree, which is allowing me to join as an Officer. As Grey Wing rightly says, my qualifications will be old A' levels in the future, however, A' Levels are not simply skill courses, they are Academic courses, which aim not only to educate, but to improve general academic capabilities, something which will never go out of date, and will always be useful. Going to college and Uni I have learnt a lot about myself and where I want to go. I know I want to be a Marine Officer, and I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind. Studying has also given me the tools to research my interest in the Marines further, and gain a greater understanding of what the job entails etc. All along, strengthening my application.

My advice to you would be this;

1st) Study as far as you possibly can whilst its free and convenient, imagine leaving the marines at 35, been on tour around the world, lived the high life etc etc, and then having to go and study. Nightmare.

2nd) The marines arent going to go anywhere, college gets further and further away the older you get, the more responsibilities you have.

3rd) Scenario; You join the marines this year, pass PRMC very well, begin training, get half way through training, and break your back (touch wood). What are you left with then?

4th) If you are questioning joining, then you really need to re-consider. It's not something you should do if there is any doubt in your mind at all. I had doubt, didnt join, studied, now i'm joining, and have absolutely no doubt in my mind, at all that this is what I want.

5th) I dont care what anybody says (no disrespect greywing) but A levels will never be irrellevent. How much can human biology change in the next 30 years, 100 years, 1000 years, my guess is not a lot. How much is Maths going to change? English? Music? Physics? Not very much at all. Not only do you learn the subjects you study at college, but you learn how to learn. Properly. Something which no other course can teach you. I can understand how GW has got this idea that an A Level in technology will be irellevent in 20 years time, but I think maybe he's getting mixed up with GNVQ's, diploma's etc. Which are generally aimed at teaching skills i.e. VCR fixing. Hence the title including 'vocational'. What you learn at A level will never leave you. If you are considering GNVQ's, then I would tend to agree with GW. What you learn in them courses is useless unless practised consitantly on copletition of the course.

Sorry to rant, but I think it's very important that young lads like you consider everything very carefully.

Lee
 

RossRobObey

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At least it's not a balanced argument!

I agree with all the points being raised, but one comment I have - to Lee's 4th point: I am not questioning joining. Just when to join, I know this is what I want (as much as I can, I suppose) and hell, I'm going to do it. I'm just unsure if the wise move is to get some quail's behind me now, or when in the RM.

As for joining as an Officer, this was my original choice - however I have thought it through and it doesn't seem right to me. I do not think I would 'enjoy' having the extra responsibility, Yes the pay would be nice. But I don't think it's what I want.
 

CommandoJ

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Scenario; You join the marines this year, pass PRMC very well, begin training, get half way through training, and break your back
not having a go here, but JUST TO POINT OUT to all in general, that if you have studied till your 20 or whatever and this could happen to, i am afraid and annoyed to say it but all those qualifications MAY not be worth all out to be, due to people wanting to hire more able people, if you did become paralyzed or w/e.

however i think that at the end of the day both arguements are good for the person, whatever he/she chooses to do, just because you do A-levels doesn't mean your'e going to succeed, on the other hand having no GCSES etc... cannot stop you from doing what you want. i think most of us would agree with this.

as long as you put the effort in academic or not, you still have a chance to do well.


Regards

CJ
 

GreyWing

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(no disrespect greywing)
Lee
No problem this side Lee, I haven't been insulted on this site since someone called me fat. :fight:I'm checking IP addresses as we speak.:bully:

Anyway, back to the matter in hand.

My advice will be relevant to one person and not to another, Lee's will be the same and it's upto you to decide which one fits best for you. Like I've said in a few post similar to this, whatever you choose don't look back and think you should have chosen the other path. Just crack on and make the best of a fabulous set of options you have.

There is no doubt what Lee says about education being harder to do when you get older. You have to balance that with my point of view from an that of a person looking to employ people at the time, and that changes.

You have to also look at standards of education, imagine if in 10 years their was a press release under the freedom of information act that showed New Labour were handing out degrees and A-levels for anyone that could sign their name between 1997 and 2008. Employers in the future might devalue anyone with an A level between those dates. A levels may even be scrapped and changed for a new qualifiaction that is more respected. Or in 5 years they could make A levels easier to hit targets and you will be tainted by that. Those examples are extreme but the point I'm trying to show is that the respect in a levels and how relevant they are going to be in the future is something you may have no control over. You could find yourself with certificates that aren't worth what they are now.

One thing is for sure is that they aren't going to get any harder and more respected, because if they admit they need to be made harder. They will make a clean cut and start a new quialification such as the baccalaureate.

The main thing you should consider is that the RM's have spent thousands of £'s on huge new learning zones on bases and especially at Lympstone to cater for this exact question you are trying to answer. So joining in the RM's certainly does not mean the end of your academic learning.

I'm not saying you should join now Ross, all I am saying is that you need to consider points of view from Lee, your parents, your careers team and people like me. Then you will have to make your own decision.

All the best
GW
 

Creed

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Well Since i left school i Took a Carpentry & Joinery Course at Highbury ( still finishing End Exam May 2nd) can't wait to get it done. It's always good to have an extra leg to stand on if you know what i mean just incase something goes wrong I.e RM not working out.
 

Leedham

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Ross mate, like a few ppl have said i was in the same situation as you!

I was forced into doing A levels before joining because my mum refused to sign the form for me to join at 16. Did 3 A levels in construction, recently got a conditional offer at 4 uni's, and was going to go to uni up untill i had a chat with a careers advisor. I spoke to him about career prospects in construction and also about careers in RM. He kind of said the same as grey wing..."if you join the marines without going to uni then your A levels wont be too much use when you come out after say 5-10 years"... he was kindah biased against the marines and made it seem like uni was a better option. Had a good think and went to a AFCO and had a meeting with a RM careers advisor, he came up with the suggestion of not letting my A levels go to waste and join as a YO. Again went and had a good think and decided YO would be too much responsibility for me so id go back to my origonal idea of joining as a marine. Which is where i am at the moment, after 2 years, and *text deleted* ive not got very far *text deleted*...if my mum wasnt such a tool i could of joined 2 years ago (hopefully passed PRMC and RT) had 2 years experience in the marines and be looking forward to my first deployment after my 18th (june this year).

so basically what im trying to say is if you do go and do A levels, be prepared to maybe face the fact it was a waste of time. On the other hand because i have A levels ill be elligable for a quicker promotion in the marines (if im good enough). Oh and if i dont get in the marines my A levels may come in handy there. Would be able to go to uni and get a better payd (but less rewarding and exciting) job than the marines. Its kindah an impossible choice really, do i get A levels before joing or dont I? only person that can answer that is yourself really. (or in my case my *text deleted*ing mother! *text deleted*)

My view of life now is, join the marines as a marine...specialise in something with transferable skills e.g. driver, PTI, something in logistics ect...stay in the marines as long as possible and get as far up the promotion ladder as possible. then retire and hopefully not have to get a civillian job
 

RossRobObey

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Sounds good pal, I like the idea of specializing in something that WILL be of use in the future, not thought about that before.

Gutted about you mum "being a tool"...

Ross.
 

greenlid

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If you didn't do A Levels would you join up now or get a job and wait a couple of years?
 

RossRobObey

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If I don't do A-levels I'm going to finish GSCEs (May) then get a job for a few months, about 4-5 months so I have time to prepare then join.
 

greenlid

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From my own personal experience I'd always say wait until you're a bit older maybe 18. I think the added maturity and life experience will stand you in good stead, but thats just my opinion.
 
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