I’m a first generation college student and finishing my first year of college at the University of California, Irvine. I’ve always wanted to go to one of the top UC’s and was happy to get accepted into UCI which was the second most applied to college in the country last year (right behind UCLA) and one of the hardest public universities to get into the whole country. Probably because everyone dreams to move to the Los Angeles area with all the beaches and stuff. Going to a school like this was a dream and I couldn’t pass it up so I enrolled and I’m now double majoring in Aerospace Engineering and Business Administration. Two completely different majors but why not. The reason why I’m double majoring in Aerospace Engineering and Business Administration is because both of those jobs pay six figures plus I’m really good at Calculus and Statistics. I’m also really paranoid of not finding a good paying job so I wanted to stay competitive with the market and have multiple backup careers just in case one industry is falling behind in growth. However, the job that I’ve always wanted since I was literally 6 years old was to be a pilot. I flew on planes a good amount of times including a few times to the Philippines so I was able to ride on the 747 before they all disappeared and that really inspired me to work hard and hopefully become a pilot one day. Now with all the background information out of the way, here comes the questions. I didn’t go to an aviation college and that is probably the most efficient way to become an airline pilot but I was wondering if there was a solid way for a college student to become a pilot relatively soon after I receive my B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and my M.B.A. in Business Administration. Should I start the accelerated program while attending a University or should I wait till after graduation. Keep in mind that I’m a hard worker, advanced, always had a 5.0 in high school and 3.8 at a competitive university all while taking two majors plus a minor. I also wanted to know your opinion of the career and if you think it would give me an equal or even better quality of life rather than being a financial advisor or an aerospace engineer for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or NASA. I also want to start a family soon after college, probably mid to late 20’s, and was wondering if being a pilot would make me financially stable by then for me to support a future family. I’m also from the Bay Area in Nor. Cal but currently live in the LA area in So. Cal and was wondering how long it would take to work for a company with a hub at SFO like United or Alaska Air or at OAK like Southwest Air in Nor Cal. Or working for Delta or American at LAX in So Cal. Thanks for reading all this!
Hard worker or not you would not be able to participate in an accelerated training program while still in school. ACCELERATED by definition means the program is highly compressed and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
As for your other questions I recommend you take some time and browse the forum (particularly the FAQs: https://airlinepilot.life/c/Ask-your-questions-and-get-real-answers-from-real-pilots/frequently-asked-questions ) as this is certain to answer most if not all of them. I would also recommend before you take any further steps you take an intro flight or 2 (ATP has a great program:https://atpflightschool.com/programs/intro-training-flight.html). Many people believe they want to fly but in truth flying in the back of a 747 has ZERO to do with whether you actually would enjoy or have any aptitude for aviation. You need to go up AND have the controls in your hand. Also keep in mind at an absolute minimum and in a perfect world you wouldn’t see 6 figures for 6+ years after starting training IF you train full time.
If you want to fly for the airlines, there really is no point in getting an MBA. Sure, extra education is nice, but it will not do anything to help further your career as a pilot. If someday you decide to go into management, then an MBS might be useful, but that is another discussion.
There is no way that you will be able to attend an accelerated program whilst also being enrolled in college, the program is a full time program that demands every bit of your time and attention. So obviously, I would recommend that you wait to start your flight training until after you graduate college.
I am no expert on the other careers that you mentioned, you would need to research them and compare them yourself. To work at a major airline can take many years, but being based not he west coast should not be a problem.
Not everybody dreams of moving to LAX, I am happy to visit, but very content in the midwest
Thank you so much for the replies. I mentioned in the previous post that I didn’t want to have all my eggs in one basket which is why I’m taking those courses. As for the M.B.A., I just wanted it for personal accomplishment and to stay in college for 4 years. Also helps just in case. I finished a year and a half of college classes in high school and they transferred over plus I have scholarships to stay in college all 4 years. My college schedule consists of 4 hours a day but on Tuesday and Fridays I only have 1 hour per day. I study at night usually. It’s not a 7 hour school day like high school. But if there isn’t enough time then there isn’t enough time. I’m just eager to start flying already. Just seems so exciting.
I think your timeline is a little inaccurate. An MBA is a masters degree and you wouldn’t be able to start until you have a Bachelors degree. Engineering is typically a 5 year degree. So even with 1.5 years of credits it will probably take around 4 years or more because not all of those credits have to do with your engineering credits. Then you’re looking at starting the MBA which will take another 2 years. So you’re looking at 6 years at least. You don’t need to major in business administration at all. It’s all common sense and if you really decided you wanted to work in business you can be hired with your engineering degree so easily. Most good MBA programs want you to have work experience so you can’t just go start that right after your bachelors anyways. So now that 6 years turns to 9 years.
If you really want to be a pilot, just finish your engineering degree and in the mean time take a discovery flight and see if you truly love flying or if you just like the idea of it. If you love it, graduate and immediately start a program like ATP. If you hate it go work as an aerospace engineer. After 3 years start applying to good MBA programs. STEM degrees are great. Bachelors of Business are useless if you have a STEM degree. Focus on doing super well on your engineering degree and do awesome internships. Anyone can apply for an MBA, engineers do it all the time. Don’t waste time and energy on the BBA.
I appreciate your zeal and desire to start ASAP but again we’re talking about compressing 2yrs worth of training into 9mos. If you’re doing your school work at night when would you do your aviation studies? While I’m sure you’re quite intelligent many have tried and have failed. Failed checkrides can severely and negatively impacted your aviation career. That said this is America and you can do as you please BUT should you have issues ATP won’t give you any extra time and the airlines won’t want to hear that you believed you’d be fine. Additionally there’s a physical aspect to flying in addition to the academics which can be quite fatiguing and I don’t believe you’re taking that into consideration.
When all’s said and done however this is YOUR life and you should do as what’s best for YOU. You want to get your MBA or BBA then by all means do so. Further your education or getting additional degrees is NEVER A WASTE OF TIME.
I can definitely tell you it does not take 5 years to get an engineering degree, especially at any UC. This is because UC’s are on a quarter system and students take 45 to 50 units a school year. Not to mention you can take another 16 units during summer session. To get a degree, you have to take major classes, GE’s, and elective classes. Now here’s the cool part. If you want to double major, you can use the major classes for one major as your elective classes. Makes it extremely possible to double major. Here’s the second cool part. The first two years have similar classes that overlap and you can use some of them for both majors. The third cool part is that the classes that I need for engineering and the classes I need for business both get rid of different types of GE’s that I would need to get rid of anyways. Plus like I said, I put a dent in my GE’s and some major classes since some major classes are actually very introductory. I don’t know what college you went to but that’s how we role here. I don’t know much engineers here who are graduating in 5. Must be common in a lot of schools but UC’s are not impacted. They accept as much as they can handle and have one of the most competitive students with an average 4.2 incoming GPA and 26% acceptance rate. I did mention I love being a student and I would like to stay here. You are right about an M.B.A. program being 2 years though and about getting me getting a job with that field with only an engineering degree. I actually had a friend who ended up doing that but for an aerospace company. You don’t have to wait extra years to start. Most college students get experience during college by internships and jobs. I definitely have an internship and and if a student doesn’t become active while in college here, then they are in deep trouble as they are falling below the curve. Thanks to everyone for answering my question whether I should focus on college only or do both at the same time. But glad I can clear up some confusion.
That’s good to hear, and if it doesn’t take any extra time you might as well take useful classes as your electives. I did significant research into MBA programs around the US and most of the top programs (Harvard, Stanford, etc) really want to see at least 2-3 years work experience. If your school lets you start right away then more power to you. I feel you on loving being a student. I am the same. But I think the decision you need to make is whether you want to be a pilot more or whether you want to be a business exec or business owner more. Because 2 years is a pretty good amount of time that you be earning all your licenses and building the hours for working at a regional. The Master’s degree will not make you stand out when applying at the majors. If you really want to be a pilot, I would finish those bachelors degrees and then do ATP. If after becoming a pilot you eventually change your mind you can always take the GMAT and go back for your MBA. Plus I think being a pilot would be an interesting story for your MBA admissions interview. It’s your life of course so do what floats your boat. But I would take advantage of this current shortage while it still exists if I were you.
Thank you for your advice. Yes, it’s very true that I can go and get an M.B.A. later on in life. I’m currently working for an academkc counselor at my school for some office experience and she also tried to go back to school for a masters program. Sadly she wasn’t accepted because she was seen as overqualified (which is apparently a thing) because she already had a good career with the university. My two sisters on the other case both got into a masters program and the other one in a PhD program right after getting their bachelors. Apparently there’s a sweet spot between under qualified and over qualified. Hopefully if I decide to apply to any of these programs I would be right in the middle. I do hope to take advantage of the on-going shortage though. Thank you everyone for all the replies and the time donated for them. Means a lot.
While we’re on the topic of MBA, make sure you look into University of Michigan (Ross). Look up the Tauber Institute there. That was my plan before I decided that I would rather be a pilot. Its an MBA but you do a lot of stuff with the school of engineering and they have a guaranteed internship. Some of the past internships have been with Boeing, Amazon, etc.