BenflysDTW
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Aviation Management Degree?

Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:45 am

Hi all,
I recently posted a forum called "Airline Finances."
I learned a few things from that forum and wanted to refresh and start a new one. Sorry if this doesn't help you as it's all about me! :lol: :lol:
I have now updated my current decisions but they are not final and I'm going to need some help :)
Here is some basic information:
I am a current High School Senior in Michigan. I plan on completing prerequisite classes at Washtenaw Community College for a year, (maybe 2) before transferring somewhere else. I have already registered for the Fall semester of this year.
Here are my basic questions:

I really want to go into Aviation Managment but more specifically the financial, the forecasts, the planning, as well as airport and route planning/structuring. Which of course is a part of Aviation Management...

Is an Aviation Management degree necessary for a good career in the aviation world?

Given all the competition?

How big of an impact does seniority have?

Without connections do I stand a chance at getting valuable internships while studying in college?

And maybe the biggest of all... so let's say I don't get into an Aviation Management school. I currently planned on getting a finance degree from UM Dearborn with a minor in either Accounting, Management or even Information Technology. The problem is, I like all of these minor options I just don't know which one would really be the best.

So is it up to me for these minor options or is there a real strategy or minor that I should choose?

As far as I know there are three schools that offer Aviation Management degrees in Michigan which is quite a lot as most have one or zero.
Eastern Michigan University (closest to home)
Western Michigan University (Most well known, may be best for jobs)
Northwestern Michigan University (Pretty far from home and I'm not 100% sure that they have a specific major but I remember reading something somewhere...)

If I don't go to an aviation school as the list above suggests I will likely go to:

UM Dearborn (Most likely, literally every student is a commuter here and they all have/had internships while attending NOT RELATED TO AVIATION JUST BUSINESS IN GENERAL)
Michigan State (Good school as it is commonly known)
UM Ann Arbor Yeah right! (yes they accept 25-50 students from community colleges each class) trust me I will NOT get my hopes to high for this!

As a side note every Public a University must accept the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) which basically means that all the schools above must accept some number of CC students. It's equivalent to 30 credits or one year of schooling.

I have been advised to stay away from small state schools as nobody really knows about them.

Also as a side note, money does matter and that is why as of right now my choices remain in Michigan.

I have a friend who has an Uncle who works with the WCAA at Willow Run airport in Ypsilanti. My friend told me that he may be able to help me in finding more information about all of this, but I would like some other opinions as well.

I have applied for tours of Western's Aviation program as of today.

Please feel free to criticize, but with reason and hopefully based upon some sort of experience/evidence.

Thank you for your time in advance!

-Benjamin
Last edited by BenflysDTW on Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
drdisque
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:13 pm

Unless you want to be something like a station manager, most airlines don't give a flying flip about Aviation Management degrees. They get lots of applicants from high caliber institutions, so the fact that an applicant from a lower caliber institution took a few classes on aviation management isn't a deciding factor.

Honestly the best way to get an aviation management job is to get an MBA from a top 100 program as that is who makes up the vast majority of management new hires without prior airline experience.
 
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tb727
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:04 pm

I went to Eastern Michigan(ugh 15 years ago :boggled: ) and at the time it was the best Aviation Management program in the country. It covers all the areas you talked about and I really learned a lot. I ended up becoming a pilot, which was the plan the whole time, but did this degree because it still involved aviation and was a good back up for me if I didn't fly. Definitely take as many classes at Washtenaw as you can, that's the one mistake I made where I could have saved a little money because a lot transfer. If you like it get an MBA and there are plenty of places to go. You'll get your foot in the door and climb the ladder from there.
Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:36 pm

tb727 wrote:
I went to Eastern Michigan(ugh 15 years ago :boggled: ) and at the time it was the best Aviation Management program in the country. It covers all the areas you talked about and I really learned a lot. I ended up becoming a pilot, which was the plan the whole time, but did this degree because it still involved aviation and was a good back up for me if I didn't fly. Definitely take as many classes at Washtenaw as you can, that's the one mistake I made where I could have saved a little money because a lot transfer. If you like it get an MBA and there are plenty of places to go. You'll get your foot in the door and climb the ladder from there.


Thank you for your insight.
I have another question.
On my last forum, I asked if college mattered and ma of couple people told me that my college choice sucked (I originally choose Eastern for a generic finance degree.) I figured out that UM Dearborn was a pretty good choice and may actually look better and be cheaper. So my question is, in the aviation world does college choice matter, and would it be better or worse if I did or did not get a direct degree in aviation management?
Like I could just get a generic business degree in management and finances.
And after words I could go to Germany and get an MBA in aviation management. I know German and I have relatives that live there. Is this a good choice?
Or recommended?
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:47 pm

An MBA has more clout in the business world, and then you're in the "where's the MBA from " game? I suggest getting a BA in an aviation field and an R-ATP (see www.cwu.edu, www.und.edu) with a high enough GPA and CV ornamentation (extracurricular activities, publications) to get into a top 50 MBA program. Then... pilot or airline mgmt are both open to you. The BA degreee doesn't matter... the MBA matters. MBAs have "tracks", e.g., finance, IT, marketing, HR. If you think big about being in the C-suite, do a joint JD/MBA(finance).
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:22 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
An MBA has more clout in the business world, and then you're in the "where's the MBA from " game? I suggest getting a BA in an aviation field and an R-ATP (see http://www.cwu.edu, http://www.und.edu) with a high enough GPA and CV ornamentation (extracurricular activities, publications) to get into a top 50 MBA program. Then... pilot or airline mgmt are both open to you. The BA degreee doesn't matter... the MBA matters. MBAs have "tracks", e.g., finance, IT, marketing, HR. If you think big about being in the C-suite, do a joint JD/MBA(finance).

Thanks for your help. I cannot become a commercial pilot due to my type 1 diabetes. I will take a good look at your information!
 
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tb727
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:05 am

BenflysDTW wrote:
tb727 wrote:
I went to Eastern Michigan(ugh 15 years ago :boggled: ) and at the time it was the best Aviation Management program in the country. It covers all the areas you talked about and I really learned a lot. I ended up becoming a pilot, which was the plan the whole time, but did this degree because it still involved aviation and was a good back up for me if I didn't fly. Definitely take as many classes at Washtenaw as you can, that's the one mistake I made where I could have saved a little money because a lot transfer. If you like it get an MBA and there are plenty of places to go. You'll get your foot in the door and climb the ladder from there.


Thank you for your insight.
I have another question.
On my last forum, I asked if college mattered and ma of couple people told me that my college choice sucked (I originally choose Eastern for a generic finance degree.) I figured out that UM Dearborn was a pretty good choice and may actually look better and be cheaper. So my question is, in the aviation world does college choice matter, and would it be better or worse if I did or did not get a direct degree in aviation management?
Like I could just get a generic business degree in management and finances.
And after words I could go to Germany and get an MBA in aviation management. I know German and I have relatives that live there. Is this a good choice?
Or recommended?


Honestly, do what makes you happy because that's all that matters in the end! I wouldn't put much into what anyone says about what college you pick. It's not the name of the school on your degree, it's you that matters. Go out there and do the best you can do and that's what it is all about. Stay at home, save some money. If you go to Germany and get to stay with relatives that's good too and it's a good experience for your life. I'd love to fly over there but at this point in my life I don't want to convert my ratings and go through all the hoops when I have a perfectly good job flying here.
Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
 
stratosphere
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:42 am

Kinda don't know what your asking here. I understand you cannot go the pilot route due to medical ( I have diabetes too now) But there are quite a few careers that put you close to airplanes even with diabetes. If you were going for Airline Pilot I would say get a different degree but since you are not going that route I would say that is a good degree if you want to work in aviation. Do you plan to get any FAA licenses like [email protected] or Dispatcher? That can help you in the field as well. Good Luck .
 
drdisque
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:15 am

BenflysDTW wrote:
Thanks for your help. I cannot become a commercial pilot due to my type 1 diabetes. I will take a good look at your information!


You could become a rated pilot and then work as a dispatcher to gain professional experience and contacts at airlines before getting your MBA. That would actually be a really good route.
 
IPFreely
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:05 am

BenflysDTW wrote:
I really want to go into Aviation Managment but more specifically the financial, the forecasts, the planning, as well as airport and route planning/structuring. Which of course is a part of Aviation Management...

Is an Aviation Management degree necessary for a good career in the aviation world?


Take a look at the people who have jobs like the one you want. How many of them have degrees in aviation management?

If you can't reach them directly you can contact their employer's HR department; they are usually willing to set up email, phone, or in-person career interviews with students. Especially if you make it clear you are only looking for information and are not an applicant at this time.

My guess is a very small percentage -- maybe close to zero -- will have a degree in aviation management.
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:56 am

drdisque wrote:
BenflysDTW wrote:
Thanks for your help. I cannot become a commercial pilot due to my type 1 diabetes. I will take a good look at your information!


You could become a rated pilot and then work as a dispatcher to gain professional experience and contacts at airlines before getting your MBA. That would actually be a really good route.

That's a good insight. Now would the MBA be in aviation management or... just in finance, management or just MBA? MBA covers it all...
 
Cush
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:24 pm

To be completely honest, your degree type and where it is from doesn't play a very big part in landing a job like this. I love aviation, have traveled the world many times over, and have a masters from a very good school. Yet, i couldn't work my way up the 'airline ladder' due to the politics involved. It's all about who you know, and/or who you sleep with. That's why i got discouraged and moved on to other fields for employment. Does it suck working your tail off, only to find out a co-worker got the new position/promotion because they are hooking up with the supervisor/manager? Yes. But what can you do about it? Nothing... That's the reality of the airline industry sadly.
Fly me to the moon let me play among the stars.
 
drdisque
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:55 pm

Top MBA's don't offer Aviation Management programs, so your best bets are Finance, General Management, IT management, or marketing.
 
drdisque
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:56 pm

Cush wrote:
To be completely honest, your degree type and where it is from doesn't play a very big part in landing a job like this. I love aviation, have traveled the world many times over, and have a masters from a very good school. Yet, i couldn't work my way up the 'airline ladder' due to the politics involved. It's all about who you know, and/or who you sleep with. That's why i got discouraged and moved on to other fields for employment. Does it suck working your tail off, only to find out a co-worker got the new position/promotion because they are hooking up with the supervisor/manager? Yes. But what can you do about it? Nothing... That's the reality of the airline industry sadly.


This is also unfortunately true at a lot of airlines. There's a lot of sucking up, literally and figuratively, to get ahead. It's also why I left the industry.
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:22 pm

drdisque wrote:
Top MBA's don't offer Aviation Management programs, so your best bets are Finance, General Management, IT management, or marketing.

Not here in the states. Countries like France, Germany and even China have MBA programs for aviation.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:38 pm

drdisque wrote:
Top MBA's don't offer Aviation Management programs, so your best bets are Finance, General Management, IT management, or marketing.


In the States, there's one major exception to that broad statement: Sloan School, at MIT.
Google "Global Airline Industry Program - Massachusetts Institute of Technology" after the web admin fixes the hack some (MIT undergrad?) did on the website certificate. Prof. Belobaba, a legend.
https://www.amazon.com/Global-Airline-I ... e+Industry
Get that book, and if you can't put it down, you're born to the field.
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:31 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
drdisque wrote:
Top MBA's don't offer Aviation Management programs, so your best bets are Finance, General Management, IT management, or marketing.


In the States, there's one major exception to that broad statement: Sloan School, at MIT.
Google "Global Airline Industry Program - Massachusetts Institute of Technology" after the web admin fixes the hack some (MIT undergrad?) did on the website certificate. Prof. Belobaba, a legend.
https://www.amazon.com/Global-Airline-I ... e+Industry
Get that book, and if you can't put it down, you're born to the field.

I am ordering this book today! No questions asked! :) Would it matter for what I do as an undergrad to get into a program like this? I am currently planning to get a BBA or some other type of business degree (BS in Finance).
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:33 am

Your undergrad performance TOTALLY matters. It's MIT, dude, the apex of higher education in many fields. As I wrote above, your admission depends upon " high enough GPA and CV ornamentation (extracurricular activities, publications) " ... and your GRE scores and recommendations. I have never regretted my time there. Quite the opposite.
 
drdisque
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:53 am

Honestly, people with undergrad degrees from EMU or U of M Dearborn pretty much don't get into MIT-Sloan MBA (unless they have some insane accomplishments).

They would likely even snub their nose at anything other than straight A's from Michigan State.

Also, you take the GMAT to get into an MBA program, not the GRE.
 
mmo
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:50 pm

drdisque wrote:
Top MBA's don't offer Aviation Management programs, so your best bets are Finance, General Management, IT management, or marketing.


ERAU has a MBA in Aviation. Certainly within the aviation industry it one of the highest rated Universities.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
drdisque
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:17 pm

ERAU is NOT a top MBA program.
 
mmo
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:14 pm

drdisque wrote:
ERAU is NOT a top MBA program.


Please read what I wrote. In your "world" maybe not, but in the aviation industry, I would disagree.

And your credentials are???
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
drdisque
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:51 pm

I just worked in management for two major US airlines and have friends in management at virtually every US airline of any size and I can tell you, at both we had only a handful of undergrads from Embry Riddle and no MBA's.
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:22 am

Huh... I have no idea if I’m doing an MBA or not time will tell. BUT my bachelors does NOT require a degree in aviation management to get into these MBA programs right?
I mean yeah do any of the US3 CEO’s have master degrees? Ed Bastian only has a BBA from a small university. Man I wonder how he even became the CFO of Pepsi.
 
IPFreely
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:54 am

mmo wrote:
drdisque wrote:
ERAU is NOT a top MBA program.


Please read what I wrote. In your "world" maybe not, but in the aviation industry, I would disagree.

And your credentials are???


Let's put it this way. ERAU has documented their highest achieving alumni on their website:

https://alumni.erau.edu/s/867/social.as ... &pgid=2306

Among them are the CEO of Miracle-Gro, a former Air Force One pilot, a talk show host, etc. Nobody who has become a CEO or high level executive of a major (or small) airline as the OP seems to be striving toward.

If the OP is looking for a prestigious aviation degree whether it's BS or MS or MBA, he should consider Purdue. I concur with drdisque -- ERAU is not a top MBA program. It might be a top ten aviation MBA program by default (because there might only be ten), but it is not a top MBA program. A Purdue degree will open more doors than a ERAU degree in aviation. And considering that the OP is still in high school he should keep his options open. A Purdue degree will open doors in almost any industry; outside of aviation nobody has ever heard of ERAU.
 
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BMIMSNPHX
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:41 am

This post will be TLDR material. But, when I was in Benjamin's position, I was hungry for any opinions I could find on this topic. So here goes...

I was pretty much in the exact same situation as you, Benjamin, three years ago. I was going into community college, planning to knock out the prereqs for an Aviation Management degree. I was looking at two nearby schools offering the degree. I had (and still have) the same interests as you, particularly in Network Planning and Revenue Management. But, by the end of my first semester of college, I was dead-set on majoring in Economics. Fast forward to now, I am a junior studying Economics at a top 25 business school. I have no regrets and many opportunities to enter the airline industry. That said, I cannot completely discount an aviation degree. Let me break down my thought process/experience below.

First off, I think you are in a great position to make the decision that is right for you. Community college rocks! Sure, you might not be able to get into those big-name schools. But, the cost-effectiveness and, in my state, quality far outweigh those disadvantages! In fact, my desire to complete another year at community college was one of the big reasons I chose to go with a non-aviation degree. Stick with community college for two years and stay in-state!

You need to be very careful when choosing an Aviation Management program. One of my two options was ERAU. Cost and my not being a fan of the city in which it was located essentially eliminated that option. That said, all the classes seemed relevant and interesting. They place a heavy emphasis on basic business concepts.

The other program I considered is at the large public university I am now attending. I really liked the Aviation program at said university. But, as I continued to evaluate the required coursework, I became more and more irritated. Most of the classes I would need to take pertained to areas of aviation that do not interest me: MRO, ground school, etc. Other filler classes did not seem that relevant or rigorous.

I wanted to learn the basics of business, especially accounting and economics. Many aviation degrees barely touch on these subjects. I do know that Ohio State’s ( :thumbsdown: boo :D ) Aviation Management program is integrated with their business school. If I had an option like that, I might have taken it. Thankfully, I was able to take the main Aviation Management class last semester as an elective. For me, it was well worth the drive to the airport. At the same time, I was affirmed in my decision of not choosing that major. The class lacked the substance and rigor I would expect of an important 300-level class. The class was just a fun experience and I did get to meet some people in the industry.

My research echoes what many have already said above, Aviation Management degrees are useless outside the industry. Airlines are businesses. If you have baseline business skills, you can learn to apply those to whatever industry you chose to enter. As with every business, there are ups and downs. Having that baseline gives you more lateral mobility.

My senior project in English was a career report. Of course, I wrote about airline network planning. Because interviews with industry professionals were required, I sent out questionnaires to Network Planning departments at over ten carriers. I got about a 50% response rate, respondents included analysts a couple of years out of college all the way up to Directors and VPs of Network Planning. This was extremely helpful in planning my educational path and reinforced my interest in the career path. These professionals possess a unique passion for their field and were more than willing to give quality, substantial feedback. Many of their suggestions (especially from the "higher ups") pointed to quantitative degrees. Finance/Accounting are probably great options for you. That said, a good number of respondents had Aviation Management degrees. From my observation, Aviation Management degrees are an excellent way to get into the airline industry. You will probably make connections in the industry that are not possible elsewhere. That, of course, comes at the price of aforementioned flexibility. See if you can find career fair information for the business schools you are considering. AA, WN and G4 recruit at my school. If it looks like airlines are not recruiting at the business schools you are considering, Aviation Management might be much more appealing.

There is nothing wrong with not working in your dream job right out of college. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Newport helped me realize that (read it!). Learning and networking will go a long way to helping you reach your career goals. In fact, I would strongly encourage you to reach out to professionals in a field you are considering. Sure, you may not be able to establish a deep connection that leads to a job. On the other hand, an informational interview can really help you understand what employers are looking for. Once you know the skills necessary for a position you like, work hard to be really good in those areas. LinkedIn is a valuable resource for this. Get a solid profile and start reaching out to people in a position you are interested in.

My point is, evaluate your options based on the value and enjoyment you will get from the degree. Obviously, most of the weight falls on value. Most of the Network Planning professionals I talked to specifically mentioned Finance and Economics as good degrees. I love my Economics classes. If Finance/Accounting are interesting for you, then go for it. If you can take some aviation coursework along the way, do it! There are so many ways to learn about the industry besides college classes. In fact, I would argue that classes take the fun out of the learning! Read books like Rapid Descent, Empires of the Sky, Hard Landing, Worst to First, Nuts! and that textbook someone mentioned above. Seek out websites and periodicals that cover your interests. Hard-to-find sites I personally like includes RoutesOnline, anna.aero, CAPA Centre for Aviation. If Revenue Management is your thing, call Sabre and see if they will send you Ascend and check out https://www.youtube.com/user/RickZeniRMVideos/videos.

I have not reached the end goal, working in the airline industry. But I am confident I have placed myself in a position to win. If you (or anyone else reading this) have questions, reply or DM me. I probably hold the lurking record, been coming here daily for years. Best wishes!
New home airport: BMIMSNPHXDFW
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:48 am

drdisque wrote:
Also, you take the GMAT to get into an MBA program, not the GRE.


No longer true. (but true 20 years ago)
http://mitsloan.mit.edu/mba/admissions/faq/

"More than 1,200 business schools now accept GRE scores for MBA admission — among them the top-ranked such as Harvard, Stanford and MIT. “Most MBA programs view GRE and GMAT scores equally,” says Jason Baran, public relations manager at Educational Testing Service, which runs the GRE. "
https://www.businessbecause.com/news/mb ... enges-gmat
 
strfyr51
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:23 am

that's a pretty cynical answer, And? It's not true! I worked at United 34years and EVERY summer we had college interns underfoot. (come to think of it? We had college interns underfoot all YEAR!) IN my last 15 years I worked in Maintenance control as a Fleet Maintenance controller for the B737, A320-A319, B757, and B747. and the interns seemed to do all the "Dirty work" in compiling reports for Delays and Cancellations.
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:51 pm

I went to WCC, and I think that I will just transfer to either Eastern’s or Western’s aviation programs. A lot of credits transfer; and I think I will enjoy my time more in college if I get to work with people who have similar interests to me.
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:30 pm

BMIMSNPHX wrote:
This post will be TLDR material. But, when I was in Benjamin's position, I was hungry for any opinions I could find on this topic. So here goes...

I was pretty much in the exact same situation as you, Benjamin, three years ago. I was going into community college, planning to knock out the prereqs for an Aviation Management degree. I was looking at two nearby schools offering the degree. I had (and still have) the same interests as you, particularly in Network Planning and Revenue Management. But, by the end of my first semester of college, I was dead-set on majoring in Economics. Fast forward to now, I am a junior studying Economics at a top 25 business school. I have no regrets and many opportunities to enter the airline industry. That said, I cannot completely discount an aviation degree. Let me break down my thought process/experience below.

First off, I think you are in a great position to make the decision that is right for you. Community college rocks! Sure, you might not be able to get into those big-name schools. But, the cost-effectiveness and, in my state, quality far outweigh those disadvantages! In fact, my desire to complete another year at community college was one of the big reasons I chose to go with a non-aviation degree. Stick with community college for two years and stay in-state!

You need to be very careful when choosing an Aviation Management program. One of my two options was ERAU. Cost and my not being a fan of the city in which it was located essentially eliminated that option. That said, all the classes seemed relevant and interesting. They place a heavy emphasis on basic business concepts.

The other program I considered is at the large public university I am now attending. I really liked the Aviation program at said university. But, as I continued to evaluate the required coursework, I became more and more irritated. Most of the classes I would need to take pertained to areas of aviation that do not interest me: MRO, ground school, etc. Other filler classes did not seem that relevant or rigorous.

I wanted to learn the basics of business, especially accounting and economics. Many aviation degrees barely touch on these subjects. I do know that Ohio State’s ( :thumbsdown: boo :D ) Aviation Management program is integrated with their business school. If I had an option like that, I might have taken it. Thankfully, I was able to take the main Aviation Management class last semester as an elective. For me, it was well worth the drive to the airport. At the same time, I was affirmed in my decision of not choosing that major. The class lacked the substance and rigor I would expect of an important 300-level class. The class was just a fun experience and I did get to meet some people in the industry.

My research echoes what many have already said above, Aviation Management degrees are useless outside the industry. Airlines are businesses. If you have baseline business skills, you can learn to apply those to whatever industry you chose to enter. As with every business, there are ups and downs. Having that baseline gives you more lateral mobility.

My senior project in English was a career report. Of course, I wrote about airline network planning. Because interviews with industry professionals were required, I sent out questionnaires to Network Planning departments at over ten carriers. I got about a 50% response rate, respondents included analysts a couple of years out of college all the way up to Directors and VPs of Network Planning. This was extremely helpful in planning my educational path and reinforced my interest in the career path. These professionals possess a unique passion for their field and were more than willing to give quality, substantial feedback. Many of their suggestions (especially from the "higher ups") pointed to quantitative degrees. Finance/Accounting are probably great options for you. That said, a good number of respondents had Aviation Management degrees. From my observation, Aviation Management degrees are an excellent way to get into the airline industry. You will probably make connections in the industry that are not possible elsewhere. That, of course, comes at the price of aforementioned flexibility. See if you can find career fair information for the business schools you are considering. AA, WN and G4 recruit at my school. If it looks like airlines are not recruiting at the business schools you are considering, Aviation Management might be much more appealing.

There is nothing wrong with not working in your dream job right out of college. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Newport helped me realize that (read it!). Learning and networking will go a long way to helping you reach your career goals. In fact, I would strongly encourage you to reach out to professionals in a field you are considering. Sure, you may not be able to establish a deep connection that leads to a job. On the other hand, an informational interview can really help you understand what employers are looking for. Once you know the skills necessary for a position you like, work hard to be really good in those areas. LinkedIn is a valuable resource for this. Get a solid profile and start reaching out to people in a position you are interested in.

My point is, evaluate your options based on the value and enjoyment you will get from the degree. Obviously, most of the weight falls on value. Most of the Network Planning professionals I talked to specifically mentioned Finance and Economics as good degrees. I love my Economics classes. If Finance/Accounting are interesting for you, then go for it. If you can take some aviation coursework along the way, do it! There are so many ways to learn about the industry besides college classes. In fact, I would argue that classes take the fun out of the learning! Read books like Rapid Descent, Empires of the Sky, Hard Landing, Worst to First, Nuts! and that textbook someone mentioned above. Seek out websites and periodicals that cover your interests. Hard-to-find sites I personally like includes RoutesOnline, anna.aero, CAPA Centre for Aviation. If Revenue Management is your thing, call Sabre and see if they will send you Ascend and check out https://www.youtube.com/user/RickZeniRMVideos/videos.

I have not reached the end goal, working in the airline industry. But I am confident I have placed myself in a position to win. If you (or anyone else reading this) have questions, reply or DM me. I probably hold the lurking record, been coming here daily for years. Best wishes!


Wow!!! How long did it take you to write all of this? Thanks for your time. It was very helpful and will continue to be helpful as time goes on. I will take a look at your books, and I will contact professionals about their opinions as well. I don’t really have to decide on a major right now, but it’ll likely be either aviation management or a general degree in business/finances. Are you gearing towards an MBA?
Benjamin
 
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BMIMSNPHX
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:41 pm

BenflysDTW wrote:
Are you gearing towards an MBA?


Not at this time. If the opportunity is right and my future employer pays for it :) , I will definitely consider one.

BenflysDTW wrote:
Thanks for your time. It was very helpful and will continue to be helpful as time goes on. I will take a look at your books, and I will contact professionals about their opinions as well. I don’t really have to decide on a major right now, but it’ll likely be either aviation management or a general degree in business/finances.


My pleasure, I am glad you found my post useful. You are in a great position, you can take your time to figure out where you want to go. I hope your educational experience is a great one!
New home airport: BMIMSNPHXDFW
 
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kaminari
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:47 pm

I know I'm a little late to the party here but I wanted to mention that I recently went through a similar situation where I debated on what type of Master's degree to pursue. My BA is not aviation or business related, but I currently work as an airport operations supervisor at a major international airport. I wanted to get my masters as it means more money and better opportunities, so I researched airport or aviation management vs an MBA. I found that for airport management, it is better to have an MBA and to supplement that with certificates in airport management trough ACI, IATA, and AAAE. While it seems very specialized, you are still managing people and a business and you do not pigeonhole yourself into just aviation if you find another opportunity. Ultimately too, the MBA will be cheaper, and there are some schools that do not require GMAT or GRE anymore.
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:49 pm

kaminari wrote:
I know I'm a little late to the party here but I wanted to mention that I recently went through a similar situation where I debated on what type of Master's degree to pursue. My BA is not aviation or business related, but I currently work as an airport operations supervisor at a major international airport. I wanted to get my masters as it means more money and better opportunities, so I researched airport or aviation management vs an MBA. I found that for airport management, it is better to have an MBA and to supplement that with certificates in airport management trough ACI, IATA, and AAAE. While it seems very specialized, you are still managing people and a business and you do not pigeonhole yourself into just aviation if you find another opportunity. Ultimately too, the MBA will be cheaper, and there are some schools that do not require GMAT or GRE anymore.

That's ok! I still come back and check this forum every day. I have been starting to think in the opposite direction, I would get a BBA in aviation management while getting a standard MBA without aviation management. Time will tell. I really only want to go into aviation management as a career. Are there any other Aviation Master's programs besides MIT and ERAU? ERAU pretty much requires you to go to their Bachelor's program.
 
RushmoreAir
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:27 pm

BenflysDTW wrote:
That's ok! I still come back and check this forum every day. I have been starting to think in the opposite direction, I would get a BBA in aviation management while getting a standard MBA without aviation management. Time will tell. I really only want to go into aviation management as a career. Are there any other Aviation Master's programs besides MIT and ERAU? ERAU pretty much requires you to go to their Bachelor's program.


I'm also late to the party, but thought I'd chime in since I'm an alumnus of the aforementioned MIT program and now work in route/network planning at HA.

For MIT there are a couple different ways you can go, all of which let you have some degree of aviation focus. Of course, there's the Sloan MBA program which is the most flexible, but perhaps the hardest to get into (would likely require UM-A^2 or straight-As in East Lansing). With the MBA, you can focus your elective classes on the aviation specific course offerings. There's also the M.S. in Air Transportation Systems from the AeroAstro department. This is probably the most aviation-specific, but would also likely require a STEM undergrad degree from a decent school.

Lastly, there's the M.S.T. program (which was my choice). It's incredibly fun to learn about transportation planning in all modes, though you can focus your electives on aviation as much as you desire. They have a relatively high acceptance rate for MIT (~high 20s), and if you have a demonstrated interest in transportation research (undergrad internships and research projects!) and have taken calculus/econ/stats, it doesn't matter what major you had for undergrad. I had good grades (3.9 GPA) in MechE at a smaller state school, and I got in! If you're accepted through one of the aviation-centered labs (including working for Dr. Belobaba), they guarantee two years of funding, so money is not an issue.

Also, FWIW, one of the consulting "senior research engineers" in Dr. Belobaba's lab did his undergrad at EMU. So it's possible!

As far as other aviation-targeted master's programs go, I also applied to the following schools:

George Mason: http://catsr.ite.gmu.edu/
UC Berkeley: https://www.its.berkeley.edu/node/2527 (this one is more generalized to all transportation, but they have aviation components)
Georgia Tech: https://www.isye.gatech.edu/users/john-paul-clarke

In terms of what you can expect in industry, our network/route planning team has undergrad degrees in subjects like MechE, ChemE, Computer Science, Econ, and International Relations (no "aviation management" or even BBAs). All but one of us have grad degrees too, split between quantitative fields and MBAs. Everyone went to either a top undergrad and/or a top grad school (Penn/Wharton, Brown, Stanford, UCLA, MIT, Georgetown). We have a couple ERAU grads sprinkled in other planning departments. Because of this, I would recommend going as technical as you can while maintaining your grades - save the fluffier business stuff for grad school.
NW UA DL F9 CO WN LO QF FI AC MU CA EU LH LX DY B6 AA HA NZ MW HU U2 SK AF EK IB HX WS G4 AZ IG 4B

The views and opinions as expressed in this post are entirely my own and are not those of my employer, Hawaiian Airlines, Inc
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:31 pm

RushmoreAir wrote:
BenflysDTW wrote:
That's ok! I still come back and check this forum every day. I have been starting to think in the opposite direction, I would get a BBA in aviation management while getting a standard MBA without aviation management. Time will tell. I really only want to go into aviation management as a career. Are there any other Aviation Master's programs besides MIT and ERAU? ERAU pretty much requires you to go to their Bachelor's program.


I'm also late to the party, but thought I'd chime in since I'm an alumnus of the aforementioned MIT program and now work in route/network planning at HA.

For MIT there are a couple different ways you can go, all of which let you have some degree of aviation focus. Of course, there's the Sloan MBA program which is the most flexible, but perhaps the hardest to get into (would likely require UM-A^2 or straight-As in East Lansing). With the MBA, you can focus your elective classes on the aviation specific course offerings. There's also the M.S. in Air Transportation Systems from the AeroAstro department. This is probably the most aviation-specific, but would also likely require a STEM undergrad degree from a decent school.

Lastly, there's the M.S.T. program (which was my choice). It's incredibly fun to learn about transportation planning in all modes, though you can focus your electives on aviation as much as you desire. They have a relatively high acceptance rate for MIT (~high 20s), and if you have a demonstrated interest in transportation research (undergrad internships and research projects!) and have taken calculus/econ/stats, it doesn't matter what major you had for undergrad. I had good grades (3.9 GPA) in MechE at a smaller state school, and I got in! If you're accepted through one of the aviation-centered labs (including working for Dr. Belobaba), they guarantee two years of funding, so money is not an issue.

Also, FWIW, one of the consulting "senior research engineers" in Dr. Belobaba's lab did his undergrad at EMU. So it's possible!

As far as other aviation-targeted master's programs go, I also applied to the following schools:

George Mason: http://catsr.ite.gmu.edu/
UC Berkeley: https://www.its.berkeley.edu/node/2527 (this one is more generalized to all transportation, but they have aviation components)
Georgia Tech: https://www.isye.gatech.edu/users/john-paul-clarke

In terms of what you can expect in industry, our network/route planning team has undergrad degrees in subjects like MechE, ChemE, Computer Science, Econ, and International Relations (no "aviation management" or even BBAs). All but one of us have grad degrees too, split between quantitative fields and MBAs. Everyone went to either a top undergrad and/or a top grad school (Penn/Wharton, Brown, Stanford, UCLA, MIT, Georgetown). We have a couple ERAU grads sprinkled in other planning departments. Because of this, I would recommend going as technical as you can while maintaining your grades - save the fluffier business stuff for grad school.


The only STEM related major I am interested is information technology, I’ve already tried engineering labs and chemistry at my high school. I did not completely hate it, but the management of aviation intrigued me x100 times more. It’s not too late for me at the moment to choose my major, but I have really only been connected to majoring in aviation management, finances, and overall business management. I know for a fact that I would not be interested in many or, if any of the STEM majors; I would probably drop out...
I guess this is a weakness of mine, but I’m just being honest.
Would you happen to know my chances of getting into an accredited MBA program (aviation orientated or not) from these schools:
EMU
WMU (Western Michigan)
UM Dearborn or Ann Arbor
I would get an aviation management degree from EMU or WMU, the others would be BBA.
I would really like to stay in my beautiful home state of Michigan mostly for financial reasons.
Thanks for your feedback!
Benjamin
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:08 pm

BenflysDTW wrote:
Are there any other Aviation Master's programs besides MIT and ERAU? ERAU pretty much requires you to go to their Bachelor's program.

Also... https://graduateschool.und.edu/future-s ... ograms.cfm
 
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Alphazone
Posts: 218
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:02 pm

You should complete prerequisites at Washtenaw and transfer to U-M Engineering operations engineering program, which will give you a path to internships at airlines e.g. UA, DL.

"Applicants for transfer admission to UM College of Engineering will have completed prerequisite courses:
MTH 191 (Calculus I) 5 credit hours
MTH 192 (Calculus II) 4 credit hours
MTH 293 (Calculus III) 4 credit hours
MTH 295 (Differential Equations) 4 credit hours
CPS 171 (Intro to C++) 4 credit hours
CEM 111 (Gen Chem I) 4 credit hours
CEM 122 (Gen Chem II) 4 credit hours
ENG 111 (Composition I) 4 credit hours
ENG 226 (Composition II) 3 credit hours
PHY 211 (Analytical Physics I) 5 credit hours
PHY 222 (Analytical Physics II) 5 credit hours"

Bro
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BenflysDTW
Topic Author
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:48 am

Alphazone wrote:
You should complete prerequisites at Washtenaw and transfer to U-M Engineering operations engineering program, which will give you a path to internships at airlines e.g. UA, DL.

"Applicants for transfer admission to UM College of Engineering will have completed prerequisite courses:
MTH 191 (Calculus I) 5 credit hours
MTH 192 (Calculus II) 4 credit hours
MTH 293 (Calculus III) 4 credit hours
MTH 295 (Differential Equations) 4 credit hours
CPS 171 (Intro to C++) 4 credit hours
CEM 111 (Gen Chem I) 4 credit hours
CEM 122 (Gen Chem II) 4 credit hours
ENG 111 (Composition I) 4 credit hours
ENG 226 (Composition II) 3 credit hours
PHY 211 (Analytical Physics I) 5 credit hours
PHY 222 (Analytical Physics II) 5 credit hours"

Bro

I have a distaste for engineering, I tried several classes at my high school and it never settled me. The teacher was great and it has nothing to do with the way the class was set up. I’m only saying this because I know it will be extremely difficult for me to stay focused on my studies in engineering because I won’t want to do it. :( Unless my mindset changes within the next 1.5-2.5 years after WCC. :)
Thanks for your insight, I will take a deep look at it.
What about information technology? That intrigues me much more.
My dad is an IT geek and works in the industry.
He could teach me a lot. And it’s used extensively in the aviation industry.
So before this crazy aviation management BBA stuff, I originally planned on transferring to UM Dearborn for Finances and a possible major in IT.
What are your thoughts/suggestions?
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:49 am

I am pretty sure that MTH 191 is only 4 credit hours.
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:50 am

Would this be UM Ann Arbor? It will be very difficult to get in.
 
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Alphazone
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:41 am

To be competitive in finance, you have to find internships already in undergrad years, and this is a lot of work.
If you like, I will send you relevant info via email, feel free to PM me for that.

With regard to IT, you can familiarize yourself with SAP Business Objects product suite, Tableau, OBIEE, MS Power BI. Maybe your dad can help you. I am in the Ann Arbor area and I can also try to help you, vis-à-vis avgeek-stuff I'll be out of town for the May 5 collectibles show at YIP airport but you will be able to meet my friend who is a similar age as you and also wants to work in the industry.

Edit– I see that you are in Livingston County, so my friend lives even closer to you than I do, you could even carpool to the collectibles show.
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TWA772LR
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:40 am

If you want to do route planning or any kind of forecasting (financial, labor, etc...) you'd want to get a degree in Economics, finance, or marketing.I got my BBA on econ and intl biz last August and learned a ton about forecasting. For 99% of jobs, most employers don't care what your degree is in, as long as you're competent and know what you're taking about.

And hit the inernship applications hard in the fall semester of your sophomore year. I had 2 internships, 1 before my senior year and one immediately after I graduated. The second one was for a major US airline. I'm now just a CSA. That goes to show you how hyper competitive the labor market is today. You're better off going to school to be a pilot if you want to take the easy(er) road.
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
jetero
Posts: 4457
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:58 am

TWA772LR wrote:
I'm now just a CSA


We’ve all had to do it ...

(Maybe just us economics majors!)

Next time you think of “CSA,” think of this

http://www.departedflights.com/COcontin ... tes67.html

Wishing you the best of luck in Denver
 
BenflysDTW
Topic Author
Posts: 276
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:16 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
If you want to do route planning or any kind of forecasting (financial, labor, etc...) you'd want to get a degree in Economics, finance, or marketing.I got my BBA on econ and intl biz last August and learned a ton about forecasting. For 99% of jobs, most employers don't care what your degree is in, as long as you're competent and know what you're taking about.

And hit the internship applications hard in the fall semester of your sophomore year. I had 2 internships, 1 before my senior year and one immediately after I graduated. The second one was for a major US airline. I'm now just a CSA. That goes to show you how hyper competitive the labor market is today. You're better off going to school to be a pilot if you want to take the easy(er) road.


That's awesome! I'm actually attempting to get an internship at Willow Run airport for this Summer and Beyond. I have a friend who has a family member who works there. Nothing official yet but I hope for the best! What do you think about me getting an undergrad in Finances and a minor in IT before transferring to a transportation related MBA? It is still possible that I will do aviation management as an undergrad however. Time will tell...
Oh and what do you mean by taking the easier route to become a pilot? I have no interest in becoming in a pilot...
 
BenflysDTW
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:20 pm

Alphazone wrote:
To be competitive in finance, you have to find internships already in undergrad years, and this is a lot of work.
If you like, I will send you relevant info via email, feel free to PM me for that.

With regard to IT, you can familiarize yourself with SAP Business Objects product suite, Tableau, OBIEE, MS Power BI. Maybe your dad can help you. I am in the Ann Arbor area and I can also try to help you, vis-à-vis avgeek-stuff I'll be out of town for the May 5 collectibles show at YIP airport but you will be able to meet my friend who is a similar age as you and also wants to work in the industry.

Edit– I see that you are in Livingston County, so my friend lives even closer to you than I do, you could even carpool to the collectibles show.

I would love to do this. Meeting your friend will defiantly help! Could we talk via Linkedin? Just search up Benjamin Claar. I opened my account up a few days ago.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:44 pm

BenflysDTW wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
If you want to do route planning or any kind of forecasting (financial, labor, etc...) you'd want to get a degree in Economics, finance, or marketing.I got my BBA on econ and intl biz last August and learned a ton about forecasting. For 99% of jobs, most employers don't care what your degree is in, as long as you're competent and know what you're taking about.

And hit the internship applications hard in the fall semester of your sophomore year. I had 2 internships, 1 before my senior year and one immediately after I graduated. The second one was for a major US airline. I'm now just a CSA. That goes to show you how hyper competitive the labor market is today. You're better off going to school to be a pilot if you want to take the easy(er) road.


That's awesome! I'm actually attempting to get an internship at Willow Run airport for this Summer and Beyond. I have a friend who has a family member who works there. Nothing official yet but I hope for the best! What do you think about me getting an undergrad in Finances and a minor in IT before transferring to a transportation related MBA? It is still possible that I will do aviation management as an undergrad however. Time will tell...
Oh and what do you mean by taking the easier route to become a pilot? I have no interest in becoming in a pilot...

You can't go really go wrong with any business degree. If you really want to run an airport/airline operation at an airport, I'd get the degree in finance with the minor in av. mgmt. and tailor the minor to exactly what aspect of the job you want to do, in fact I'd recommend double majoring, that's what I did.

And on the pilot thing, if you want to make big bucks really quick and have a boatload set aside for retirement, it's not a bad idea. Becoming a pilot means learning a trade which is in very high demand for the foreseeable future which means high pay as well as job security. I only make it sound like the better option because I want to be a pilot so I guess I'm biased.

Feel free to send me a pm.
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
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Alphazone
Posts: 218
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:57 am

BenflysDTW wrote:
via Linkedin? Just search up Benjamin Claar.


I added you, tomorrow when you accept the invite you can PM me your number and I will make a group message with my friend.
Spirit of the Northwest People
 
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Alphazone
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:34 pm

BenflysDTW wrote:
via Linkedin? Just search up Benjamin Claar.


https://imgur.com/a/d5zDe

^unfortunately, my friend is being a lame, But I still recommend the YIP show, besides the possibility of a treasure trove of safety cards for sale or exchange you may encounter the airport managers there and discuss your plan for doing work at YIP airport.
Spirit of the Northwest People
 
BenflysDTW
Topic Author
Posts: 276
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:46 pm

[twoid][/twoid]
Alphazone wrote:
BenflysDTW wrote:
via Linkedin? Just search up Benjamin Claar.


https://imgur.com/a/d5zDe

^unfortunately, my friend is being a lame, But I still recommend the YIP show, besides the possibility of a treasure trove of safety cards for sale or exchange you may encounter the airport managers there and discuss your plan for doing work at YIP airport.


I understand. But how about you show him my YouTube channel where I used to make aviation videos. Search up Detroit Plane Spotting on YT and he can here me talk in some of the videos. Please note that these are from about 3-4 years ago, but that should not matter.
 
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Alphazone
Posts: 218
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Re: Aviation Management Degree?

Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:45 pm

BenflysDTW wrote:
[twoid][/twoid]
Alphazone wrote:
BenflysDTW wrote:
via Linkedin? Just search up Benjamin Claar.


https://imgur.com/a/d5zDe

^unfortunately, my friend is being a lame, But I still recommend the YIP show, besides the possibility of a treasure trove of safety cards for sale or exchange you may encounter the airport managers there and discuss your plan for doing work at YIP airport.


I understand. But how about you show him my YouTube channel where I used to make aviation videos. Search up Detroit Plane Spotting on YT and he can here me talk in some of the videos. Please note that these are from about 3-4 years ago, but that should not matter.


I see that you went to Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg. Do you know about Madurodam in Den Haag? They have an awesome mini airport.

Here is my old YouTube channel from 5th grade, there might be some nice aviation content.

https://www.youtube.com/user/djrradon
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