I’m at a university getting an arts and sciences degree in air transportation. Essentially going to school to become an airline pilot. What if one day I wake up and don’t want to be a pilot. What others jobs can someone find with an aviation degree from an accredited university? Possibly a minor in business with that as well.
You might find that a degree in aviation (piloting) is rather limiting, that is why we often recommend that pilots pursue degrees in other fields of study. With that being said, you could probably apply to the FAA or perhaps to the various FBO companies that operate around the country.
Have you started the actual flight training portion of your education yet?
Airfield Operations, Airfield Manager, Air Traffic Control, Aircraft Maintenance, Safety, just to name a few off the top of my head.
I have yet to start flight training. So I actually misspoke in my last post. I’m currently a business major looking to switch my major to air transportation. I really dislike my business classe, but I know everyone says you just have to get through it. Do you see guys that have business degrees and find time to take the career pilot route?
Also, if I major in aviation, would a minor in business do me any good?
I have seen business majors switch to air transportation, but there really is no need to do so. The major airlines want to see a four year degree, they don’t really care what it is in and it certainly does not need to be an aviation degree. I got a business degree, then went to flight school for my ratings. This is a very common approach, in fact I would say that most airline pilots do not have aviation degrees. I personally am glad that I have a non-aviation degree as it gives me something to fall back on should I leave flying for some reason.
Before you commit to a career of flying I would strongly recommend that you take an introductory flight. You can do this with ATP or just about any flight school. An introductory flight is designed to introduce the student to flying small airplanes and give you a sense as to what professional flying is all about. This really should be your first stop on your journey to becoming a pilot.
As Chris said, before you go crazy you need to go fly. You can speculate forever but until you actually go up, it’s all academic. If for whatever reason you decide you don’t want to fly BUT you want to remain in aviation there are dozens of jobs for people with aviation and business degrees. ATC and dispatcher are obvious but airlines are corporations like any other. They have HR, corp communications, accounting, IT, advertising, legal, operations, safety not to mention all the jobs at airport.
I suggest you visit some of the airline websites, go to careers (employment, jobs, whatever they call it) and just go down the lists. If you see anything that sounds intriguing click on it and look at the requirements. While many will require a degree, I think you’ll find most don’t list a specific field of study.
I have flown before, so it is definitely the career I want to pursue. I guess I just want some assurance that if I don’t want to fly one day, I’m not stuck in the mud with a pointless degree that won’t get me any other job out there. I know business degree’s lead to a whole bunch of different industries and careers, however, I am slowly losing my motivation to continue on with my business classes.
Your concern about not wanting a degree that does not offer any further career options is why I recommend getting a degree in something other than aviation. As to your business degree, how close are you to completing it?
Thanks again for all your insight! It is very helpful. Currently I’m a sophomore standing, so if everything goes as planned, I’m two years away from being done. I do not enjoy the classes, but I think the right thing for me to do is to stick it out. I just need to start flying soon. I am going to get my privates license this summer. Is there any flight schools out there that are better than the other for simply getting a private pilots license?
There are literally thousands of flight schools out there that can handle getting a private certificate, unfortunately without first hand knowledge it is hard to tell who is good and who isn’t. I would recommend looking at a thread called “Questions For Any Prospective Flight School” in my “Flying The Line” section, it will help point you in the direction of the right questions to ask.