Coast Guard Ratings
As I posted here I finally decided to go ahead and join the Coast Guard I am currently awaiting my scheduled time to take the ASVAB test.
It was suggested by some others in my other post to research some ratings that may give me skills after my service.
I was hoping to draw on some unbiased opinions and knowledge of you guys to help point me in some directions to research.
I am currently an electro-mechanical parts designer (drafter/engineering assistant for the last 5.5 years) and have had some electrical classes, IT classes and lots of drafting classes, I dont know if this expierence could help me in the Guard or not.
I am especially interested in the Boatswains Mate rating but I wonder how it could really transfer into the real world. I know they also have electrician and IT ratings.
I guess I'm just looking for advice and opinions from people who have been there and done that.
When you finally get to your station, make sure you enroll in the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (MAP). Take a look at the career fields available on the MAP and look at what is required to complete the certification. For example if you went with BM, and you enrolled in the Police MAP, provided you were doing the duties required of the MAP, you could start working towards a certification as a Police Officer. One note, just because you were certified by the MAP as a Police Officer, it doesn't mean the agency you apply for will automatically hire you as such. What it will do is make you a more marketable / desireable candidate.
As far as picking a rating to help you out when your enlistment is up, I suggest you read the DOL's section on the military, then look at the links on the left and look for careers you might be interested in; see what are the job outlooks for 4-5 years down the road. In your case, I took a look at the closest job I could find according to what you described your current duties to be - Engineering Technicians. Then decide if that career field will be good to go to when your time in the Guard is up.
You could visit the DOD's transition webpage and look around to see what skills are on demand when your time is up, comments from people separating, etc.
You may also visit one of the military forums and look for the Coast Guard section to ask advice from current coasties. Heres a few:
Military.com Forums - Powered by eve community (Look for PO1Kalbach, hes a USCG CPO and recruiter who knows his ropes)
USMilitary.com Forums - Powered by vBulletin
Thanks for such a great response that definatley gives me a direction to go.