Chapter 2

Knowing What It Takes to Get Your Dream Job


Finding out there’s more to life than the AFQT score

Making sense out of line scores

Discovering how each military branch uses line scores

The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) portion of the ASVAB is your most important score because it determines whether you can join the service of your choice. However, qualifying to join is only part of the picture. Unless you’d be content to spend your military career painting things that don’t move, you need to understand how the ASVAB relates to various military job opportunities.

Civilian employers generally use a person’s education and experience level when selecting candidates for a job position, but in the military, 99 percent of all enlisted jobs are entry-level positions. The military doesn’t require you to have a college degree in computer science before you’re hired to become a computer programmer. You don’t even have to have any previous computer experience, nor does the military care if you do. You’re going to go to military school to study how to make computers stand at attention and fly right.

Sounds like a good deal, right? So what’s the catch? Well, believe me — the military spends big bucks turning high school graduates into highly trained and skilled aircraft mechanics, language specialists, and electronic-doodad repair people. In an average year, the services enlist about 175,000 new recruits. Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of combat boots! ...

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