Need help with where to start

I have a passion of flying and I want to make flying as my career. I just completed my 2year degree at Community College and got admitted for fall 2019 at four year University. The University that I got admitted has BS in Professional Pilot Degree. But they do not have space for this year and they told me to wait until fall 2020. What should I do? While waiting for 1 year should get my PPL at local flying school? Should I get four year degree in another field and then join ATP? What sould I do?
Thank you guys.

Gutama,

These are decisions only you can make. That said here’s my take. If you’ve spent anytime on this forum you know EVERYTHING at the airlines is based on seniority. One year can make a huge difference in a career and I wouldn’t loose a year because a school doesn’t have space. If you want to get your PPL because you’re simply not certain if flying is right for you then sure but if you think it’s going to give you a leg up it really won’t make a difference. I don’t recommend aviation degrees UNLESS you’re already working as a pilot and therefore don’t need a strong a backup.

As a rule I generally recommend young people complete their educations (4 year degree) and then begin their flight training. It’s just easier to bang it out. If you’re committed and are certain this is what you want to do (incl taking an intro flight or a lesson or 2) then I’d take my 2yr degree, complete all my training and time building in 2yrs with ATP, get hired and then get an aviation degree online while working for a Regional. You’d be building airline experience and getting paid while the others seeking a degree have just started instructing to build time. The only caveat is getting an online degree can be challenging and you need to honestly assess you’re level of discipline in doing so.

Adam

Gutama,

Welcome to the forums!

I would not wait a year, that seems like an absolutely ridiculous suggestion from that college. A missing year could later mean missing out on an entire year of being a wide body captain, and significant income with that.

I would recommend getting your four year degree in something OTHER than aviations then attending a fast track aviation training program. This gives you something to fall back on should you need to leave aviation for any reason and could very well cost less than doing your flight training through a university.

I went to college, then to ATP and it worked out pretty darn well for me, but you need to make your own decision. What I absolutely would not do is wait.

Chris

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Chris and Adam both of your input were very very helpful. It really helped me to make decision. Thank you so much.

Jeremiah,

We recommend completing the four year degree first, then flight school for a variety of reasons. To begin with, you will most likely need a degree for the majors, it is just easier to stay in school mode and finish the degree than it is to start and stop. Also, ATP requires two years of work or college experience, so that is half way to finishing a degree.

The college experience is not so easy as stopping halfway and then re-starting again. Sometimes credits transfer, sometimes they do not. Also, it is simply hard to re-start classes while flying for an airline.

Yes, a two year degree, starting to fly, then finishing the degree is more efficient in a perfect world, but the perfect world rarely exists.

I also find that a college degree, a real one, not an online one, makes people more educated and well rounded; all of which will help when applying to the majors. It isn’t always just about the flight time.

Chris

Exactly what Chris said.

Adam

Jeremiah,

As ATP requires two years of work or education experience prior to entering the program, it would only be two years more of seniority. No, I do not think that it is worth doing that at the regionals for the reasons I listed in my above post. But that is just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

Chris

Jerimiah,

Yes seniority is everything and yes 4 years in seniority can be huge. Problem is not every 18yo out of HS is ready for ATP or airline training in general. Many have not developed the work ethic, maturity or dedication to commit to a highly accelerated program. ATP did not always have the degree or work requirement. They’re a business and if you were 18 and had the money they would take it. Problem was as I described and they found far too many of these young pilots washed out miserably. While it would be easy for ATP to not care and just keep taking the cash they actually have ethics and want their students to be successful (something I have great respect for). They then implemented the rule simply because it makes sense. It gives young pilots the opportunity to mature and develop better habits before enrolling and the results have been better for all.

So while yes seniority is everything, if someone enrolls, has multiple checkride busts and simply can’t keep up they’ll never have the opportunity to build any. Now maybe they just didn’t have what it takes but more likely they just weren’t ready and a few more years of schooling would’ve made them so. That’s why we recommend college first.

Adam

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I’ll put this question here. I have a couple of friends who are pilots and I recently have become intrigued by the thought of becoming a pilot. I have spent my entire profressional career in the automotive industry and I have reached a point where I am ready to move on. That being said, I am 41 years old and I am aware that the mandatory retirement age of a commercial pilot is 65, which would give me many years of being a happy pilot. My question is, am I too old to even entertain this idea? I do not have a college degree, which I also wonder, if this too would be a knock on any chance of me becoming a pilot? Thanks in advance for any information you could provide. I am not really interested in investing the money if it is frowned upon for someone my age to pursue this. Have a great afternoon!

Christopher,

Please visit our FAQ section as this is a common subject and you’ll also find much more helpful info. Short answer is no you’re not too old and you may or may not need a degree depending on your goals.

Adam

Christopher,

Welcome to the forums! Your age should not be an issue, although it could potentially be one in making it to the majors, but maybe not if you get moving on this soon. On the college degree front, one is not needed for the regionals, but it is for the majors.

Check out the FAQ section as many, if not all, of your questions are addressed there.

Chris