How much does a Bachelor's degree matter for large airlines?

I am currently thinking about pursuing aviation for my career. My goal is to get into one of the large airlines like Delta, United, etc. I am trying to figure out whether I should go to college or a flight school (currently looking at ATP). I would choose college, except I don’t want to do all those useless courses like music appreciation and all that. Looking on the requirements for those companies a lot of them mention that a Bachelor’s is preferred. How necessary is it though? I don’t want to take classes I’ll never use. And I don’t like art, music, and history. Any answers are appreciated.


Even though most of the majors list the degree as preferred, that can change and most pilots have 4 year degrees. So, let’s say you’re applying to the majors and the interview panel is deciding between you and everyone else that have the same qualifications and degrees, you’re application will be sent to the bottom of the pile. For this reason we strongly recommend getting your degree in any field of study you’d like, preferably something you can fall back on just in case.

There are going to be classes that you don’t enjoy. There are going to be aviation subjects you don’t enjoy. It’s inevitable.


Wait, so it doesn’t matter if my bachelor’s degree is in aviation or some other field? I never considered that. Thanks for the information.

It doesn’t matter to the airlines. They just want to see that you have a degree in something. It shows that you’re teachable and can follow through with commitments.


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For reference I majored in English and never plan on using it. I only majored in it because I was good at writing :joy:


This question gets asked daily and frankly you answered it yourself. As YOU said the requirements state a degree is “prefered”. You’re hungry and “prefer” to eat steak. The are 3 restaurants all within the same distance from your house. One serves steak, the others are vegan, all else being equal which one will you choose?


Never underestimate the value of an English degree. Effective oral and/or written communication will be useful to you absolutely everywhere.

(Says she with an English degree) :wink:

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Well this is true, except I like to think I already had those skills prior to the degree :joy:

I’m sure you did! And now it’s official. :wink:

To be exact I majored in English with an emphasis on creative writing!

Oh my! Writing minor here as well, though of the Rhetoric and Composition variety. :slight_smile:



College is about more than a piece of paper. It helps to make people well rounded and teach them skills that help them to be better representatives of the companies they work for. Having a college degree also shows that an individual understands the value of working towards something and being dedicated to it. Quite frankly, your attitude of “I don’t want to do all those useless courses” is exactly why the airlines want to see a college degree.