As I dabble in the AirlinePilot.Life forums, talk to current pilots, and research on the Google, one question seems to remain between me and pulling the trigger on enrollment next year: Do I remain at my stable job and use the GI Bill to finish my bachelors degree or do I get into ATP ASAP?
My background: I am 23 years old working in the government sector and have just finished my associates. I am looking to escape the clutches of Uncle Sam and believe aviation might be just what I am looking for.
With the way my life is set up at the moment, I see two viable options…
- Remain in my current job for the next two years at minimum, leveraging the high payout of the GI Bill here in Hawaii to complete my 4 year and be more competitive when looking to move up to the majors in the future (all the while saving a bit of money to live off of while in ATP)
- Close out here in Hawaii by early next year, make the move to complete ATP, get a job with a Regional and finish the bachelors as I work my way up and put in hours.
From what I have gathered, time investment is crucial in the airline pilot world. Suggesting that if I can get my foot in the door earlier and still find the time while working to finish my 4 year before I am up for the Majors, I would be better off choosing option 2. Opinions? Is studying and working at a regional viable?
My buddy who flies for Hawaiian is of the opinion that a 2 year degree is fine for now and I should get into ATP as soon as I can due to the lucrative need for pilots now and in the assumed near future versus the uncertainty for how long it will remain that way. While I am taking his advice seriously, multiple sources typically increases confidence levels.
Your feedback is much appreciated!