Real Answers from Real Pilots

Having extra degrees

Hi All!

First of all - thank you for all the great information on this site and your quick responses. I have been lurking around but have not seen anything to answer my question.

My question is… I realize the minimum is a Bachelor’s degree for the majors. Will my masters/certifications help me out in any way when it comes to being chosen for interview or such? Trying to plan how my resume will look and what areas to emphasize from my past.

Thanks!

Christina,

Welcome to the forums and thanks for the introduction and your kind words.

The majors want to see a bachelor’s degree, anything beyond that is extra and while it certainly won’t hurt you, it won’t do much to help you either. The airlines are hiring you to fly airplanes and as such want to see quantity and quality of flight time, along with an education. The good news is that you have the college degree box checked, so now you can just focus on your flight training.

Chris

Christina,

As Chris said the Majors want to see a 4yr degree and they’re happy. When it comes to interviews they can actually be a little funny and you may be surprised at how certain things are viewed/perceived. As you said you clearly enjoy school and you also clearly wanted to be an accountant. What happened? Why did it take you so long (and so much money, time and energy) to realize you wanted to do something else? Airlines have many departments and if you were applying to work in finance at the airline I’d say sure play that up but you’re not. Airlines want competent pilots and beyond that they want people that “fit” the company culture and pass the “would I enjoy being stuck in a cockpit for 8hrs with this person?”. Don’t miss understand, earning your Masters and your CPA are great accomplishments but they do not in anyway demonstrate your ability to fly, be a good crewmember or be pleasant to fly with. I’d see if my resume wasn’t more reflective of those qualities.

Adam

Christina,

No one said this was last minute decision. Nor was I trying to offend in any way, I have been on hiring panels and I was simply trying to give you an idea of what you might encounter based on your resume.

Btw, you are correct that the airlines are a business but I think you may find that those folks in accounting are often diametrically opposed to us in the cockpit. Again (one man’s opinion) but I would stress your strengths, desires and accomplishments as a pilot during a pilot interview. If you were to stress your business/financial background and I were on your panel I’d probably ask something like “So if the folks in finance where pushing to control/limit fuel loads based solely on historical data while the pilots were not who’s side would you support?”. There’s only one correct answer :wink:

Adam

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Makes sense. Now you just have to learn to fly!

Adam

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Christina,

I will guarantee you that you will be asked very few, if any, questions about your accounting experience in an airline interview. The airlines are hiring you to fly airplanes and as such, will focus on that. Any other discussion would be awkward, at best. Keep in mind that by the time you interview with a regional, it will have been at least two years since you were inactive accountant and probably ten years by the time you interview with a major. Accounting will be a distant memory by then,

Chris

Ah - never intended to talk about accounting in an interview. Just needed some info on soft skills/what to put on your resume. Unlike pilots who only went to college/flight school I would have some work history and I mostly see resume examples of purely aviation. Wanted to see what others do when they have had prior experience or degrees.

Christina,

What we are trying to tell you is that the airlines really are not going to be interested in your soft skills, it is the flying that they care about.

Chris