Should I relocate in hopes of finding a job?

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Ebrun in Madison, Alabama

38 months ago

I'm 22 years old and recently got out of the Army after 4 years as an Intelligence Analyst. I'm currently going to college since I don't have a degree and I know I will definitely need one in order to have any hope of getting a job in the defense and intelligence industries, and even that is low odds with so many applications flowing in with the economy the way it is.

My point of this post is that I'm trying to get some advice on whether or not it would be a good idea to just relocate to another part of the country where my job focus is more relevant? Here in Huntsville, AL the main focus is engineering and I can't find any entry level jobs as an analyst.

I know that my lack of a degree is hurting me, but I can't just solely go to school while my TS/SCI clearance expires; it seems like that's the only thing in my favor right now. I feel I'd be better off relocating to an area where there are more employers that need Intelligence Analysts. I've applied to positions in Virginia and D.C. that only ask for a high school diploma and 3-4 years of experience; yet no success. I worry that the fact that I'm not local is stopping me, although I'm aware that dozens if not hundreds are applying for the same position.

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jenab in Austin, Texas

38 months ago

Don't relocate without first having a job, unless you have plenty of savings to live off, and have a support network of friends and family in that area. Relocating is expensive, exhausting, and stressful, even if you have a job and housing lined up.

There are no guarantees even if it's a boomtown and you have experience in whatever field is booming.

And FWIW, having a degree means less and less these days.

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Ebrun in Madison, Alabama

38 months ago

jenab in Austin, Texas said: Don't relocate without first having a job, unless you have plenty of savings to live off, and have a support network of friends and family in that area. Relocating is expensive, exhausting, and stressful, even if you have a job and housing lined up.

There are no guarantees even if it's a boomtown and you have experience in whatever field is booming.

And FWIW, having a degree means less and less these days.

There isn't much else I can do, like I said I'm finding that company's won't even look at me without a college diploma. Although I wouldn't be surprised that in 20 years applicants will need a Master's in Food Service just to get a job at McDonalds.

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jab426 in Saint Petersburg, Florida

38 months ago

I am in a similar position to you. I separated early from the U.S. Air Force as a 1N031 Operations Intelligence Apprentice when I was 20 years old in June 2012 and I'm currently 22. Since separating I've worked a variety of security guard jobs with my secret clearance which don't tend to pay much (between $12-$13.50/hr) but they allow me to study on the job which is the main benefit. I'm taking the pre-reqs for an engineering degree right now because I'm good at math and feel it would open a lot of doors compared to getting a soft degree like finance, arts, etc. I don't have much interest in doing the whole Intel thing but if you insist on staying in the defense community I would look at clearancejobs.com for Intel Analyst positions, specifically ones that are OCONUS. I got an offer from a contractor called Archimedes Global for a 1 year deployment to Afghanistan and the salary was $85k with benefits. Personally I have no interest in doing the whole Intel/deployment/12 hour shift briefings stuff and I don't want to base my entire working life on being part of the military. If you don't expand your education and resume a TS and a few years of experience will only get you so far..particularly as defense spending drops. I believe your TS goes dormant two years after not being in an active billet that requires one and good for 5 years total after which you'd need another investigation done but it should be easier compared to the initial one. If you have any other questions or need career advice I could try to answer them the best I can from my own experiences.

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Jennifer Hinds in Phoenix, Arizona

38 months ago

Stay in school. It's the same blue sky wherever you go.

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