Real Answers from Real Pilots

ATP and college

I’m going to be 21 when I leave from the military. From the Military I have roughly 25 college credits and an addition 20 credits from a technician certification. I was wondering if it would be better to finish college before going to ATP in Daytona or go to ATP and then finish college? I’m currently not sure what would be more advantageous to do because I do have an advantage of having the GI bill.


Definitely your call but I for one think it’s much easier to finish your education and then move on. There are many pilots who don’t. They get trained, build time, get hired at a Regional and then finish their degree online. Problem is some people find that difficult to do after they’ve been out in the world a while. Of course if you wait and finish online you’ll get hired faster and build seniority at the airlines. Really up to you to decide what would work best for you and your lifestyle.



You really have two very good routes that you could take.

The first is to go to college first (using your GI benefits) and then flight school.

The other is to go to flight school now, then work on a degree while flying for the regionals.

While I generally prefer college first, going to flight school first will get you to the regionals sooner, and that is certainly a good thing as you will be earning money sooner and can work on your degree while you are flying.


Chris and Adam,

Thank you both for you insight and information; I do have a follow up question.
If I do decided to go to college should I get a associates or a bachelors degree? Is there a big difference in earn and associates or bachelors in the airline industry?


You should absolutely plan on getting a bachelor’s degree as that is what the majors will want to see, they will not extend any consideration at all to an Associate’s Degree. Think of an associate’s degree as a half way there certificate.