College and flight school vs just flight school

If I apply for a major airline with a college degree in aviation and completed flight school and have 4K total flight hours, and there is another person applying the same job but doesn’t have a college degree, just completed flight school and also has 4K hours. Who are the majors most likely to hire? A
Candidate with a college degree, or does a college degree make no difference whatsoever in whether you have a better chance of getting hired?


Major airlines desire 4yr degrees. In many cases without one you wouldn’t even get an interview. All things being equal, since the person with the degree possesses the qualifications that are “preferred” or “competition”, the answer is a very clear yes the person with the degree will get hired.

I believe we’ve recommended you read the FAQ section before. That recommendation still stands.


The 4yr degree has to be done in US or foreign 4yr degree is also excepted ??

Mehdi ,

As long as the degree can be authenticated (ie, it’s a legitimate school and not "well I received my degree from the University of Europe but they’re closed now and…) foreign is fine.


Thank you sir appreciate

Pretty old thread, but I had a question regarding college to become a pilot at the majors; As a regional pilot, would there typically be time in your schedule to attend university, either in-person or online?

I’m still about 4-5 years away from saving the tuition for ATP, attending, getting my 1500 hours, and then applying for the regionals.

In that time, I’m returing to school and doing online classes at my community college (Only a few away from my associates). Only quarter/part-time (Since I’ll be working overtime), but If I can slowly finish the 4-year degree before I start regionals, great! If not, then im curious as to how I might fit university into my schedule at the regionals.

I may end up finishing college before ATP (Like I said, im almost done with my associates), but I’m confident that since I have 7-8 years before I’ll need the 4-year degree to apply at a major airline, slowly-but-surely I should be able to complete it before then.

On that note, does the degree requirement still exist for airlines in other countries? (China, Japan, Europe, etc). I don’t plan to settle down in the U.S, so I’m actually wanting to work out of various countries. I’m assuming the credentials/experience I would receive from ATP/regionals is valid/honored around the world (in contrast to foreigners bringing their qualifications to the states).


I know many pilots who finished their degrees online while at Regionals. It’s a matter of budgeting your time and having the work ethic to do it.

As for other countries their degree requirements vary by airline just as they do in the US. You should know while Asia will let you convert your licenses fairly easily, Europe has a completely different and rigorous licensing system, plus they’re very restrictive as far as work permits go. Having a degree would be the least of your concerns in Europe. Further many Asian carriers require experience beyond the Regional level.



I have known quite a few pilots to finish degrees while working at the regionals. While it is tough and will take dedication, it is certainly doable. Most people of course pursue online based degrees.

You will likely find that it is much harder to work overseas than you might think. Europe has a completely different training process thane have in the US and many of the Asian countries are looking for pilots with very high qualifications. I would focus on getting some experience in the US first, then branching out if you decide to do so.