Me From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 220 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1231 times:
A four year degree is just about a necessity. A major in Aviation is a good idea beacuse it shows prospective employers you are dedicated to your field of study and it allows you to earn your flight ratings and degree at the same time. One draw back, it limits your career options. Most pilots have a degree in something other than aviation. A sure bet for an interview question would be "tell me why you studied Sociology if you wanted to be an airline pilot?".
DC-9CAPT From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1241 times:
I got my PPL while I was in college and got my Wings of Gold in the Marine Corps.
While in college, I got a BS in Economics and Management. If you go the military route (with the Marine Corps at least) you won't really need to worry about what you majored in. Cases in point:
(1). Guy in my squadron majored in music and flew F-18s--now with UPS. He's one hell of a drummer. And a pilot.
(2). Another gentleman in my RAG played football for the Cornhuskers--right off the bat that should tell you that he's no rocket scientist by any means--and majored in something that got him out the door in four years. He got a job with USAir.
A lot of guys I see now who are coming up through the civilian route, due to the market and all, major in aviation technology, aviation operations, etc. They come from schools like Embry Riddle and North Dakota, etc. This is great exposure to the industry from the get go.
Regardless of what anyone tells you...get a degree. It's far easier to explain why you majored in Sociology than explaining why you didn't major at all.
Even the military is relaxing some of the standards (because pilot retention is a factor), and your eyesight may not be a disqualifying factor. So, I wouldn't rule out the military as an option. Don't go off and talk to an enlisted recruiter because you may get suckered into something you may regret. Get some information on ROTC and talk to an-ROTC specific representative.
The bottom line though, is that airlines have an extensive interview process. You will be judged on Your experience, skill, knowledge, and how well you get along in the cockpit with others. Those interview panels really judge how adaptable and personable you are. Even though some come across as adversarial, it's not the questions themselves, it's a point of seeing how you react. Not having a degree will disqualify you in most cases. Having a degree in something off-beat will just come up conversationally. Nobody will disqualify you for having a 3.5 in Sociology.
Go out and start your flight training. Major in what you want and what you enjoy.
Seamen Staines From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 2 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1173 times:
Meister - Good for you to look into this early on. First of all, I would recommend that you visit an FAA certified Doctor to see if your vision is good enough to get a 1st Class medical ticket. If not, forget about it.
Assuming you can pass, then I would recommend either the NROTC or the AFROTC program at a college of your choice that offers them. From there, graduate, take your Commission, and apply for flight training. Get paid while you train, rather than pay through the nose FOR training.
Then there are the Academies. Navy and AF flight training can be applied for after graduating from USAFA, USNA, and USMMA.
The latter has the lowest payback (obligation) requirements.
Mcomess From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 2 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1165 times:
Contrary to what everyone else in the forum thinks, I would recommend majoring in something other than flying, even if your goal in life is to become an airline pilot (as mine is). Just for arguement's sake, suppose that after being an airline pilot for several years, you lose your medical for whatever reason. With a degree in aviation, and all your life spent in aviation (flight instructor, charter/corporate work, and airline employment), what is there for you to do? That's why I recommend you get a degree outside of flying (even if its affiliated, like Aviation Business Management - a popular course at Riddle) so that you leave your options open.
I know many people can not afford to do their flying at a regular 61 flight school (where they will learn more btw). To them, I recommend doing a going to Riddle or some other collage that allows you to minor in flying, and still get a major like basket weaving and folk dancing.
That way, if you lose the medical, you can still persue the other feild, and have competitive credentials so that you can maintain a descent standard of living.
Also, I truly believe the interviewer (who is typically not a pilot), will be impressed that you exercized such good contingency planning and forsight.