Posted on Jan 31, 2019
Elizabeth Allenrep
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I've finally figured out what job I want, 3D0X3 or 3D0X2, 3D0X4 are what I would be okay with .
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MSgt Cyber Developer
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I'm very much a fan of the X4 career field and it seems like some positive changes might be being made to make it better and closer to the fight.
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TSgt Joshua Duplin
TSgt Joshua Duplin
>1 y
I liked it, too...but the state the field was in in 2016 when I retired makes it hard for me to recommend it without a lot of "it can be great, but" statements along with it.

I honestly don't think the Air Force knows what to do with enlisted software developers these days. It probably doesn't help that the career field is about 1/10th the size it was in the 90s and a lot of people aren't even aware it exists.
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MSgt Cyber Developer
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>1 y
So, that's actually changing. Our latest STRT revamped nearly the entire STS. We're also working on getting 10 new JQS' published just for programmers. And the Air Force is looking at how to use programmers closer to the fight instead of in support roles. CFMs are starting to look at the billets and evaluate if a programmer should be doing that job or not and moving those to organizations that do have a software development need. There was a talent management conference in CO last week and my understanding is that programmers were a huge part of the discussion.

#MX4GA
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TSgt Senior Cyberwarfare Capabilities Instructor/Integrator
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May I suggest you look at the 1B4X1 career field as well? While assignments are somewhat limited, you do have an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of Cyber Operations.

(Full disclosure: I am a Cyber Warfare Instructor at Hurlburt Field).
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TSgt Joshua Duplin
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Edited >1 y ago
Honestly, if someone wants to go to a Cyber related field right now I'd say 1B4X1. Half the reason my career field (3D0X4) shrunk so much was because about half the AFSC was retrained to 1B4.

ASVAB scores will have to be fairly high to get in any of these fields. If they still require it the EDPT test is absurdly easy.

But because you asked:

In my opinion, of the three 3D0X4 is the hardest of the three (assuming you get a job in your AFSC). X4 and X2 are primarily technical jobs but from most of the people I knew in X3 were doing it's primarily a make phone calls and do paperwork job. Because of the nature of the job, 3D0X4s end up doing a lot of the same things 3D0X2s do. Software development generally requires a fair amount of system administration knowledge.

3D0X4 feels like a dying career field. When I first enlisted there were enough programmers in my unit to account for around 20% of the entire career field now. Assignment choice is EXTREMELY limited and they're not the bases anyone is chomping at the bit to goo. Because of that X4s don't PCS much (I served 20 years and had only 3 assignments, 4, 8, and 8 years). A lot of the time units don't really know what to do with the X4s they get so you end up doing stuff that's outside your AFSC (X2s get this pretty often, too).

Unlike 3D0X4, 3D0X2 has pretty good assignment choices.

If you get an assignment where they actually use X4s the way they should it's usually a pretty awesome job. Most of the time you'll end up doing a lot of sysadmin-lite work on top of software development which rounds you out nicely and makes you competitive for system admin/network admin jobs after you separate in addition to software developer jobs.

X2 and X4 have very good job prospects when you eventually have to rejoin the civilian world.

Edit - If you do end up with 3D0X4 your choices are probably going to look something like this: Tinker AFB, Maxwell AFB, or Fort Meade.

A lot of 1Bs also end up at Fort Meade.
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Elizabeth Allenrep
Elizabeth Allenrep
>1 y
thank you for the advice, I will look into the 3D0X2 , I really want to be stationed in the UK, from what I heard they only send medical mos, do they really send all cyber to Keesler ms for tech school?
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TSgt Joshua Duplin
TSgt Joshua Duplin
>1 y
Yes, all the cyber career fields go through Keesler.
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