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Question about bachelor's degree

Supreeth

Member
Hi everyone, sorry my question is too long.
I'm a senior at high school and I'm graduating in 2022. After high school I want to go to flight school to become an commercial airline pilot, when I started doing my research I was planning on going to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University(@Daytona, FL) but now I changed my mind because I fell like ERAU is too expensive so I'm planning on going to phoenix East Aviation(@Daytona, FL) but the catch at PEA is they do not offer any bachelor's degree but when I called the flight school and talked with them they said they are partnered with Liberty University and Embry Riddle World wide and they also said that if I finish my pilots program they will offer some bachelor's credits. I don't know if I should get my bachelor's degree first and then go to flight school or finish my flight school and then get my bachelor's degree, can anyone please help me thanks.
 

Zeede

Active member
I hear nothing but good things about Embry Riddle, so if you can afford it, I would go there. Having an actual bachelor's degree is an important thing, given that the airlines require one.

That being said, if you do go there, get a degree in something besides aviation, so that way you have something else to fall back on when the airlines go into yet another inevitable slump.
 

MsHighAltitude

Active member
Hello and welcome to the forum.

You don't have to go to an aviation college to become an airline pilot. Of course, schools like ERAU and UND have their perks and you get a good alumni network. But there are other schools, like Mt. San Antonio College in Southern California, that offer in-house flight training program for less.

Another alternative is to go to a decent college where tuition doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and find a flight school nearby to do your training. Definitely get your bachelor's degree. If you can't do college and flight training at the same time, I would go for a bachelor's degree first because it opens up so many doors. You can also consider the military route after getting a bachelor's degree. Flying a Blackhawk or C130 is pretty cool, plus you come out with a pension.
 

Plague

Active member
I would go for a bachelor's degree first because it opens up so many doors.
It's also a back-up if it turns out you can't be a pilot for some reason.
If you want possible reasons just read any injury/death insurance policy :)

Seriously, apart from accidents and illness as you go from young to in your twenties things change physically , like your eyes, which can change your abilities. Also, you may just change your mind* for any number of reasons and that qualification could be key to a decent life outside aviation.

( * I flew navy anti-submarine helicopters in my early 20s. It was somewhat like being a taxi-driver to me, so I didn't continue flying and became an engineer, which suited me far better. No regrets.)
 

MsHighAltitude

Active member
It was somewhat like being a taxi-driver to me
That's hilarious. I have a feeling you probably have quite a few interesting stories to tell. Taxi-drivers usually do.

TBH the idea of having one's whole livelihood depend on a annual or semi-annual medical freaks me out a little, but ah the things we do for the love of flying. :)
 

Plague

Active member
but ah the things we do for the love of flying.
That's exactly the thing - you really need to have that bug.
When I was 18 it seemed like a great idea and all the training was huge fun. But the 'daily grind' of ferrying sonar operators from one bit of ocean to another to another for four hours at a time was less engaging.
Turned out I was a bit more of a creator/fixer than a user and that has held true to beyond retirement.

So, if asked, I always tell young people not to rush their career choices - Like flying you can plot a route but then find weather gets in the way or the plane is duff and you end up on a train* (in Europe anyway, maybe a Greyhound in the USA :) )

* Edit: By way of example there were 16 people on my intake of flight training. By the end, a couple of years later, there were 8 left. 2 or 3 didn't even get to first solo at 12 hours, usually because they couldn't do the 3-point landing required (Chipmunk trainer).
 
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Supreeth

Member
I hear nothing but good things about Embry Riddle, so if you can afford it, I would go there. Having an actual bachelor's degree is an important thing, given that the airlines require one.

That being said, if you do go there, get a degree in something besides aviation, so that way you have something else to fall back on when the airlines go into yet another inevitable slump.
Thanks for your help, I was also thinking to get my bachelor's degree something not related to aviation.
 

Supreeth

Member
Hello and welcome to the forum.

You don't have to go to an aviation college to become an airline pilot. Of course, schools like ERAU and UND have their perks and you get a good alumni network. But there are other schools, like Mt. San Antonio College in Southern California, that offer in-house flight training program for less.

Another alternative is to go to a decent college where tuition doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and find a flight school nearby to do your training. Definitely get your bachelor's degree. If you can't do college and flight training at the same time, I would go for a bachelor's degree first because it opens up so many doors. You can also consider the military route after getting a bachelor's degree. Flying a Blackhawk or C130 is pretty cool, plus you come out with a pension.
Thanks for your help, I live in Tampa FL but here we only have ATP and I many people said it's not worth going there so I was looking for flight schools in Daytona FL because they good schools for relatively cheap.
 

Supreeth

Member
It's also a back-up if it turns out you can't be a pilot for some reason.
If you want possible reasons just read any injury/death insurance policy :)

Seriously, apart from accidents and illness as you go from young to in your twenties things change physically , like your eyes, which can change your abilities. Also, you may just change your mind* for any number of reasons and that qualification could be key to a decent life outside aviation.

( * I flew navy anti-submarine helicopters in my early 20s. It was somewhat like being a taxi-driver to me, so I didn't continue flying and became an engineer, which suited me far better. No regrets.)
Thanks for your help, I was planning my bachelor's degree in real estate because if pilot program don't work out I can get into real estate.
 

MyersAvionics

New member
There are some solid options out there outside of paying a small fortune.
  1. Military Opt.1 - A number of the pilots i served with had their flight school paid for by going officers in the military. This also got their flight hours way up and prepared them for if/when they got out. This option is harder as it's not as simple as walking into your local recruitment office and signing up.
  2. Military Opt 2 - If you don't have the option to going officer, you can put in your 4-5yrs in any of the branches with a focus in aviation. I would recommend avionics (I'm likely biased!). After you get out you can use your GI Bill benefits to pay for much, if not all, of your flight school.
  3. A&P - A lot of the people I went to school with paid a ton for their pilot's license (100k+) and they couldn't get a job flying that would pay well enough to pay off their student loans. So they opted to get their A&P and associated BS so they could start making good money right away. Many MROs actually like having a skilled A&P that also has their pilot's license. If qualified, you can sometimes fly the planes you repair to check them. Obviously, this does not include B&RA or ATS aircraft. This would be limited to smaller aircraft you more often see at an FBO.
  4. Working at a supplier - Many larger aviation suppliers and OEMs will pay for your continued education. This takes time as you need X number of years at that company before they will invest that kind of money in you. Some places are more strict than others and limit what you can do, but it's a solid start. You'll also get a lot of networking in the industry as well.
For myself - I went military opt.2, then used my GI bill to get my BS, went to a major supplier, they paid for my MBA, and so on from there. Zero debt, but it does take time.
 
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