I am graduating high school this May, I got accepted into Embry-Riddles and ASU flight program. I am seeing mixed opinions on what the best route is to become a pilot. I currently have 2 options,
Go to Embry-Riddle or ASU and pursue an aviation degree and get it in 4 years. My issue here is aviation is my do or die because I don’t have a backup plan.
Go to community college and major in something other than aviation, go to a part 61 school and get my PPL and maybe get a part-time job. After getting my associates, go to ATP, Aeroguard, etc. If I got a job at a regional, I would complete my bachelor’s online during that working.
From what I have been reading, regionals are desperate, so an aviation degree is not necessary, but i’m guessing it looks better. I’m very young so I am not in a rush to complete training. Would it make a difference to majors if I went to community college first? Please let me know your thoughts on my options and let me know what is best for me.
Thanks for reading,
I am essentially doing your option 2. The things that I have heard so far lead me to believe that the majors only care if you have a 4 year degree or not, but that is in today’s market. You also mention not having other options if you attend embry or something similar, and that is partially true, about 70 percent of your credits would transfer to most other degrees, meaning you could turn that into another 4 year degree in around a year. I hope this helps enlighten you, and I must admit, I am no expert. Good luck
Obviously your call but I can tell you 2 things for certain. First, as someone who’s participated in hiring an aviation degree will do nothing for you. Second you’re going to spend a considerable amount more money and time going to an aviation degree program.
I am not a fan of aviation programs. The airlines do not care one bit whether you have an aviation degree or not and aviation degrees are very expensive. My vote is for option #2.
I’m in your position right now, but it seems like it all depends. I’ll say this much, I am choosing to do option one for the sole purpose that once I get my PPL all my desired schools have stated that they will accept credit for my PPL after a remedial checkride. They also confirmed that this would allow me to complete my 4 year degree early, which will save me money up to a year for college and allow me to begin instructing early, and could allow me to get to a regional earlier.
But, that’s my unique situation. I’m getting my PPL for free, I have very high grades and decent extracurriculars, so I may be able to get some substantial financial aid packages. And, honestly, based on discussing with college students, it’s a great thing to do if you have a passion for aviation. I also flew with UAL a few months back, and I had a chance to visit the flight deck. They told me that it’s a good thing to learn for pilots, and that the airlines don’t really care about which degree you have. But they told me to absolutely do it because of my unique situation, so it seems like the hours and time spent getting the hours are what really matters .
It seems to me like you should ask yourself (this is what I’m asking myself) will you benefit from an aviation degree. For me, I will absolutely benefit from getting this degree because I will be able to save even more time and money by cutting a year off school. But that’s my unique situation. If it doesn’t have an advantage like that than you should seriously consider other options in college and think long and hard about it. The pilot here are way more knowledgeable than I am and are advising against it. I’m a student who will do it, but I have very specific reasons to do so. That may tell you a lot on it’s own.
That all sounds great but a year off of your degree simply for having your PPL is a tremendous amount of credit for the one license. I’d make certain those are the facts.
I concur with Adam, I only got 6 credits for my PPL.
That’s what they told me. My Aviation teacher in school also got a full 4 year degree and got a years credit for the PPL as well at one of my desired colleges about 2 years ago. It’s all conditional on whether I can pass their evaluation. He did tell me that he only got a 250hr reduction for an ATPL-R, but that was the only caveat. Ofc, let’s see how it actually goes, but that was my understanding from my tours. I’m from NY, if it helps.
If you’re only getting a 250hr reduction then you’re only getting an Associate degree. Aviation Bachelor’s degree programs get a 500hr reduction.
I’d do some more research.
I think you really need to dig deeper into this. A whole year’s with of credit for a PPL sounds very fishy to me. Even if that is the case, it would cause me to really take a look at that college and their accreditation.