Career Paths

Hi my name is Anthony… I am 21 years old and currently still active duty Navy. I have two more years left till I get out and I am looking to become a airline pilot. I currently have 20 college credits. I was wondering which would be a better path for me to take between going to a school like ATP and earning a college degree later down the line or to go to an aviation college and earn a bachelors degree. My goal is to become a pilot for one of the major airline companies one day. Just looking to see what advise y’all would be able to give me. Thank You in advance.


I recommend you take a look at the FAQ section as we answer this and many other relevant questions. This is ATPs forum which means we’re all partial to the program. Not because we’re salesmen, but because all the mentors on this forum after doing our own research settled on ATP as the best most efficient route to the airlines. Degree programs are expensive and more important take much longer to complete. Airline pilots have a finite amount of time they can fly and every year you delay equates to lost wages at the top end down the line.

Again I suggest you do some reading and feel free to ask more specific questions.


If you still have time on your Navy contract max out TA and get an Associates at a minimum before you leave the service. You’ll need that as a baseline to fly commercial airliners (in conjunction with getting your flight training via ATP or elsewhere). Getting your Bachelors after being hired to fly seems to be tough reading comments in the forums. If I was you I’d us TA and GI Bill to kill off all of your college through a B.S. or B.A. and then do ATP or other flight training. As you’ll read elsewhere, ATP doesn’t accept GI Bill so you should use up that money doing the things that ATP cannot do for you (i.e. get your college done). Good luck and I wish I’d identified that I wanted to be a pilot at your age - you have plenty of time and resources to make your dream a reality.


No I am of course partial to ATP, but an aviation degree will take much longer to get and will likely be rather pricey. I would recommend completing your flight training, getting hired at a regional and then going to an online college to finish your degree.