Questioning choices and Timing

Question for current pilots who went to college for non-professional pilot degree. When in college did you question yourself on if you really wanted to be a pilot? As well, how quickly after graduation did you go into ATP?
Thank you, Hunter

Hunter,

I actually went to college long before I ever considered flying but I do know quite a few people who reconsidered their desire to fly after college and inevitably never became pilots.

This is one of the reasons we recommend college first. The person you are at 18 might be very different than the person you are at 22.

Adam

Hunter,

I always wanted to be a pilot growing up, but due to financial restrictions, I was not able to get my license (certificates) prior to college. Once I was working full-time during my last semester of college and completing my degree, I reached to the skies (pun intended) to get my private pilot. We recommend college prior to ATP for many reasons other than just a backup plan if something aviation fell through.

Brady

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Hunter,

I worked in the news industry for 4 years before reconsidering my career path and setting my sights on flying. I wish I knew sooner, but don’t regret my college degree one bit. It was an invaluable experience, I have a great back-up career plan and previous work experience makes me appreciate every day I get to be an airline pilot. If you’re not sure, don’t rush the decision. Complete your degree, fly for fun when you can and keep your options open.

Hannah

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Hunter,

I have a degree in business administration. I was about halfway through college when I decided that business was just not for me. My entire family is airline pilots, it was then that I decided that I wanted to follow the family path and join the profession. I am very glad I did.

I started ATP two weeks after I graduated college.

Chris

Hunter,

I left high school with the thought that being a pilot would be a great career, but as it had no definitive immediate pathway, I never pursued it. I went to college for a degree that I was also passionate about with the intent that it would be my future career. By the time I was finishing my junior year, and after having completed a couple summer internships in my field, I realized that it wasn’t going to be something that I wanted to do for the rest of my career. By my senior year, I still hadn’t fully decided, but when COVID hit it was my opportunity to start a new journey (since most companies weren’t hiring). I started ATP the summer after I graduated. I’m extremely thankful that I earned my degree before starting flight training, it is something that I still enjoy and will always have as a backup in case something goes wrong. As Adam mentioned, 4-years gives a lot of time to mature and perhaps your perspective or aspirations will have changed. If you still aspire to be a pilot, you’ll be extremely thankful that you don’t have to earn your degree while you are at a regional to be eligible for a legacy carrier. Something that isn’t always mentioned is the discipline required for pilot training. The material is not incredibly difficult, but it requires time, commitment, and maturity to teach yourself all of this new material. I think most people coming straight from high school would struggle without having at least some college experience to help them learn how to study.

Thanks,

Roscoe

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Thank all of you guys for the answers. Very helpful and very much useful.