Do I need an aeronautics degree to become a pilot?

Do I really need a 4-year degree in aeronautics from Embry riddle or another accredited school? The community college near me only offers associates with flight training and is cheaper. I have read other discussions on here, however, I have been finding conflicting answers through youtube from other pilots or other discussions. I know there are multiple answers and routes but since college is coming up soon just wanted to get the basics out of the way. Just wondering since college is coming up soon, should I peruse an online degree from Embry riddle or focus on a different field of study as a backup plan in the film making industry from the Los Angeles Film School or go all-in with an aeronautics degree. I’m not trying to ask the same questions over and over again but just wanted to know if there is any recent advice due to our current global situation in the world. I have just recently graduated high school in May and just want some pointers if possible thank you.


Even after taking current events into consideration, no airline requires a degree in the aviation field. None. The regionals do not require a degree (any) at all, most majors don’t say the require a degree but they really do due to the sheer volume of applicants that apply with one.

Pre-covid we experienced the worst pilot shortage the industry had ever seen. All the more reason for airlines to not care what pilots obtained their degrees in.

Now that airlines have begun to recover, it is believed that the shortage will be even greater than before. Even more of a reason for airlines to loosen up their eligibility requirements.


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Thank you so basically a back up plan will be good just in case I lose any qualifications that would disqualify me correct ?


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Thank you Tory you have really helped me out if anything else comes to mind please send it my way have a great day.

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Typically we recommend against getting an aviation degree. They tend to be very expensive and will do nothing to further your career as a pilot. I recommend obtaining a degree in anything else that you find interesting, then going to flight school.

Just to be clear on one point here, the majors will want to see a full, four year degree, not an Associate’s.


Yep a four year degree in something that interests you (if you like what you’re studying typically you’ll work harder and get better grades) and can give you a solid backup career if needed. Covid shows that no matter how good things are looking, a major event can shake up things nearly overnight. So many pilots were without a job and needing an income for a year and that’s where that degree can save you. You also need it for when you get to the majors so it’s a necessity for both reasons.


Hey Brendan,
I just graduated from high school last month, and I plan on going to flight school to get my ratings and get a degree in business or business management. One thing that COVID taught me was that I could potentially be furloughed or loose my medical for a reason beyond my control, and I need a backup. I’ve always loved sports and thought it would be cool to work in the sports industry if I wasn’t a pilot. I would have a bachelors in business while having all my ratings. I could even get a side gig doing some sort of business related things on the side plus being a pilot. So I would definitely get a bachelors degree in something that you find interesting or something that you would do if you couldn’t fly. It would make college more fun because you’re learning something that you love.