Thoughts on Delta's recent

Thoughts on Delta’s recent announcement that 4 year college degrees will no longer be “required”, but rather “preferred” for pilots with relation to ATP and their flow through program?

As a follow up, is being 32 years old with no college education too late to start down this career path? I’ve always dreamed of becoming a pilot, but that was shattered at a young age when I had to start wearing glasses. I understand regulations have eased up a bit in that respect, and I’ve also had Lasik eye surgery.

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Elijah,

There was actually a pretty lengthy post on the subject recently and the consensus is while this is reflective of the pilot shortage and will allow Delta to cast a “wider net” when it comes to hiring, in reality not much has changed. Delta still lists a 4yr degree as “preferred” and they also say they’ll consider comparable work or life experience which translates to something like military or similar.

As for your eyesight pilots have been wearing glasses for decades and you’re no where near too old at 32. However if your goal is Delta, you should be thinking about earning a degree.

Adam

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Elijah,

I didn’t start college until I was 33, didn’t achieve my bachelors until 38/39 and am now looking to start pilot training at 43. So I wouldn’t say you are too old either.

Russ.

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Elijah,

I’m sorry to say, but your eyesight never held you back from becoming an airline pilot. Only the military requires uncorrected 20/20 vision. Airline pilots can absolutely fly with corrective lenses.

As for Delta’s recent announcement about their degree requirement, I wouldn’t rely on this single change to be your guaranteed pathway to Delta. It’s still preferred, which means preference will be given to those that have a degree. As expensive and time consuming as this career is, it would be too risky to head down this path without a degree. Most pilots have a degree and the airlines can always change their requirements.

Getting a formal education is always a good idea. It’s also a good idea to have a degree that you can potentially rely on as a backup plan if something happens that prevents you from flying.

Tory

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Thank you for the feedback! I think I was reading a response of yours in another thread, However, I could be wrong :slight_smile: But will the time spent at ATP translate to roughly half a BA? Enabling me to finish that in any subject online while flying for a regional airline?

Ahhh, that’s reassuring! Thank you! :smiley:

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Elijah,

Not really and it has nothing to do with ATP. There are colleges that will give you credit for your FAA licenses and ratings towards an aviation degree. The average is about 30-35 credits which is equal to possibly 1/4 of a degree.

Adam

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Same boat, degree at 39 and now 42

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Elijah,

  1. Definitely not too old. Retirement age is 65. You could still have a nice 30 year career.
  2. First make an appointment with an AME to obtain a first class medical. With that in hand you are medically fit to be an airline pilot. The eye exam is really not that difficult since you are allowed corrected lenses
  3. We still recommend having a degree so your employment options aren’t limited when you get to the point of applying for the majors. The university degree programs are four years plus the time building after you graduate so at least 5-6 until reaching ATP mins. A fast track program like atp is your most efficient path. Then start working on your degree online when at the regionals
  4. Here’s the detailed thread from the Delta Degree announcement:

-Hannah

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Elijah,

Check out this link: College Credit for Airline Career Pilot Students / ATP Flight School

Chris

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