Does It Matter Where You Go To School?

Hello, everyone,

I’m currently a junior in high school, and am planning my path to becoming a pilot for one of the Majors. I would like to attend Embry-Riddle to obtain my degree in Aeronautical Science, as well as receive my ratings and build some hours before heading off to the regionals. As we all know, this route isn’t cheap, so I was thinking about getting a non-aviation-related four-year degree at another school (that way I have a back-up career) while doing my flight training at a separate F.B.O. or at ATP to mitigate the costs. My questions are as follows:

Do the airlines care what degree you have, and/or where/how you built flight time? How do the airlines look at an applicant from E.R.A.U. who has a degree in aviation and has built flight time there, compared to an applicant that went to XYZ University, has a degree in a different field, and built hours at a separate flight school? In other words, which candidate would be more likely to get the position, or who is favored (if one is at all)?

All input is greatly appreciated!

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I know it seems hard to believe, but it really does not matter which school you go to. I like the idea of having a major that is not related to aviation as it gives you something to fall back on should flying not work out, for whatever reason.

The airlines are really not going to be concerned with where you got your degree, as long as it is from a decent school.


Interesting how the field you study isn’t of great significance. So really, all it comes down to is how many hours of P.I.C. time you have? If so, does it matter what aircraft you fly (i.e. turboprops compared to R.J.s)?


The requirements to get an ATP rating is a little more complicated than
just PIC time. You can read more about the requirements by doing a quick
Google search if you’d like.

I was hired by a Regional with only piston time in my logbook. Airlines
just want their pilot’s to have sharp knowledge, a clean record, be
teachable and likable. Time in bigger and faster aircraft does look good,
but it’s not required.


I see. Many thanks to the both of you for your help.

Anytime, let us know how else we can help you.


You’re welcone, Ryan.