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Is An Aviation Degree Feasible?

Mon May 27, 2013 7:02 pm

If this has been discussed in the past, please direct me to that thread and Delete this one. I could not find anything Similar.

Back To what I meant to ask Aviation Experts and and Professionals:

I am a San Jose State University student, an aviation enthusiast and an Aviation Management Major, however I always ask myself am I doing the right thing? I know I Know, everyone tells me to follow your passion, but hell its about the money too, I want to be able to do something I love and have a good living, however lately, being a profficient student, I am yet to to be able to find an entry level position at Field Based Operator, or an Airline. I do well in my classwork, and am an active student in student life as well. I know living in the Silicon Valley there is a lot of competition for simple jobs like gates agents or ticketing agents, but when I fly I see utter losers who are behind that desk, and sometimes I feel like I know more than they do! And still, I have not gotten one answer for internship, or career opportunities. SInce my degree is a hybrid program between the College of Engineering, and College of Business(CoB) ( overlooked and administered by the the College of Engineering!) I am better connected to the CoB, and I have made connections with professors, and am now appointed as a student assistant in the Plenary Commission for CoB's events. So I am not really a loser, but often I feel like I am

So with my "sob" story, I ask is it feasible to major in such a niche field of study and have a career opportunity? And if so with an aviation management degree, what are the correct steps, or steps to be established as a professional in the industry?
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RE: Is An Aviation Degree Feasible?

Mon May 27, 2013 7:26 pm

Quoting SQSFO (Thread starter):

So with my "sob" story, I ask is it feasible to major in such a niche field of study and have a career opportunity?

Looking in Your backyard for a start, at SFO, particularly. Jobs are posted from time to time under City/County Jobs in San Francisco....good benefits & pay. I've seen several airline employees retire and go to work for the City @ SFO or just quit their airline job and do the same (if too young to retire). I would think that the same would hold true in other big city airports like LAX/ORD & NYC Airports (which are controlled by the Port Authority).
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RE: Is An Aviation Degree Feasible?

Mon May 27, 2013 8:00 pm

I thought that SJSU's Aviation program had been closed after they lost the building at SJC?

I can't speak as someone who works n the aviation industry; however, I can speak as someone who had planned on a career in aviation, looked seriously into SJSU's aviation program, and knew someone who graduated out of that program.

Granted, I had intended on becoming a commercial pilot, but I learned that, while a degree was mandatory, the subject studied was less important. Airlines were more interested in seeing that you had followed through with completing the degree work. I don't know whether other aviation careers see things in a similar light; however, something to keep in mind is that a "generic" business degree can be used in many different fields, while an aviation business degree has a pretty narrow focus. That could end up providing you with a disservice, given the need for flexibility in today's job market. Hopefully people who work in aviation on the ground can answer more definitively, but I would recommend going for a "generic" business degree, maybe with a strong minor in aviation.

With that having been said...I mentioned that I knew someone who graduated from SJSU's aviation program. I thought that the program had been closed down, so I hope that the fact that they're up and running means that they've cleaned up their act...but, in 2004 or '05 or so (my memory fails me on the exact year), the program ran into some serious trouble. I don't remember the details, but I recall that they were either at risk of losing their accreditation or actually had lost their accreditation, and the person I knew found that her degree wasn't worth the paper it was written on. She ended up not being able to find any work, and finally gave up on flying and entered a training program to become an ATC.

I hope that someone can give you a better answer, but I hope that this anecdote might help you some...I wish you the best of luck!!
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RE: Is An Aviation Degree Feasible?

Tue May 28, 2013 12:46 am

Quoting warden145 (Reply 2):
I thought that SJSU's Aviation program had been closed after they lost the building at SJC?

While the lease was over, and that building was lost, the aviation program continued to survive. There is a new building at RHV, and only a few classes actually require an off-campus setting. Losing that building only meant, less exposure for the Department of Aviation and Technology.
And I can feel her pain, because the Faculty of SJSU is keen on keeping the Department as it is the only public insitutition with such a program and generates federal funding as such.
However the College of Engineering (which the depatment falls under) hates and disregards the department as there is no means of reasearch and development from the school, but its its kind of a hoax, because Purdue's Aviation department does an extensive amount of research.

Regarding the Deparment's Accrediation, I checked with a faculty member who I am pretty close to, and that wasnt the case, the Whole College of Engineering (WASC) was the issue.

The Department a few years underwent a money scandal, and mismanagement of the Aviation part of the Department of Aviation and Technology. The Department Chair at the time, who was in absentia guilty, still teaches at SJSU due to tenure, but is no longer the Department's head.

And Thanks for the anecdote. I due however plan on furthering my education, but I am unable to say at this point if it Will be aviation.

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