I Just read an article from the New York Times saying airlines industry’s post-pandemic hiring surge may be coming to an end. Does this means the shortage is finally coming to an end and Degrees are going to be an inportant factor when selecting candidates?.
This article was focus on Delta, they plan to hire just half as many pilots hire in 2023, but with Spirit and FedEx not hiring I predict the airlines are meeting their demands and there is not shortage after all, more of a business strategy some have Argued.
It doesn’t surprise me that most airlines will slow hiring for 2024. Does that mean that the shortage is over? Absolutely not. The fact that Delta still plan to hire over 1000+ pilots next year, compared to 2000+ this year, just means that they have potentially filled a shortage that may have grown because of COVID. 2000 hires a year is insane for a legacy considering that they hired 100 pilots a year 10 years ago (if they even hired any at all!). Delta have always been conservative in aircraft purchases and hiring, so 1000 new hires is still A LOT. Is a degree going to be important in the future? I’d argue it’s still pretty much required now. Sure some people may get hired without one right now, but they will be at the bottom of the pile. Once airlines become more selective again, which will happen, it will become a requirement again. Another reason why a degree is always recommended before flight training. I think people underestimate the privilege and the difficulty of being hired at a legacy carrier. It is the pinnacle of our profession and not everyone can and will make it there.
While the shortage is forecast to continue for many years, there is a saturation point and limitations on how much training an airline can do within a period of time. I agree with Roscoe. The fact is most of the Majors never required a degree but they ALL desire one and those who have one will always get hired first.
The other point is far too many people have decided to become pilots simply because they’ve all heard about the shortage and somehow believe getting to a legacy is a given. It’s not nor has it ever been. It requires hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Frankly I hope some of the slowing scares off the faint of heart.
I do think there’s some easing of the pilot shortage ahead. The shortage was created by the major airlines when they drove pilot salaries to record lows in the 1990s. People simply stopped going to flight school because the word was out that it was not a good job. That all started to turn around with the advent of the 1,500 hour rule. The airlines needed people and wages started to climb again. This coupled with he airlines leaving the bankruptcy era behind, have greatly improved the wages in the industry, which led to more people attending flight school again.
I think we are starting to see the return to more normal levels of hiring, where yes, one might need to be a little competitive to get the job. Quite frankly, I think this is a good thing.
I’m with the others here. 2023 hiring was unprecedented. Going from 2000 a year to 1000 a year seems like a big headline. But in reality, Delta is still planning on hiring 1,000 pilots next year. That is still a huge number in the scheme of decades of aviation history.
Of course hiring means increase in seniority so I’m all for that. However, there comes a point where the training department reaches max capacity and the threat exists that the quality of training diminishes. That means the quality of pilot heading out to the line also diminishes. That is what scares me. Just because there was a boom in quantity shouldn’t mean a reduction in quality.
What degree/field would be a good suggestion?
The Majors ALL desire a 4yr Bachelors degree but they don’t care what you study. We suggest you choose something you like as a backup should flying not work out.
Any degree or field of study that you could foresee yourself doing if something in aviation fell through would is fine. I, like many others here on the forum, have a business degree, from an accredited university.
I apologize for not responding sooner, I appreciate both of your replies and am looking into different degree programs now. Did you finish your degree before going to ATP? I’m thinking that I may want to go to flight school 1st and work on my degree while building hours and/or instructing.
No need to apologize!
I received my bachelors degree before attending ATP, and I recommend you do as well. You should check out the Mentors’ biographies for a more in-depth look on the paths we took to get to where we are presently.
I also finished my degree before going to ATP. You’re going to have a lot on your plate as an instructor and even during your first year at a regional. It would be incredibly difficult to balance both. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Most people end up putting it on the back burner and never actually completing it.
If possible, get it done first then jump full in to aviation.