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6 Answers

Best degree alongside flying

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Student Pilot

What is the best degree to get along side your experience and time at flight school? Is aeronautical engineering the best ooption or will any degree be considered ok?

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6 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Paul Tocknell on Jun 04, 2011

    I would recommend any degree but would stick with a “bachelors of science” major like engineering, computer sciencies, math or even business.  If for no other reason it might be easier to get your masters degree in a follow-up field if you want to work into aviation management.

    I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and know of at least one flying job that (I think) passed me over because my education was not quite technical enough.  

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  2. Pat Flannigan on Jun 04, 2011

    Generally, all you need in aviation is a degree – the type does not matter. Think of your degree as a backup. If you get furloughed, lose your medical or a flying career just doesn’t work out for whatever reason, you need to have something to fall back on. 
    If you’re looking for something that might indirectly help, you could look at engineering, math or science paths. It won’t help you land a flying job any better, but you will probably develop better insight into the how and why of flight planning and aerodynamics. 
    There’s no need to get too technical either. Now that I write so much on my blog, I wish that I had more formal training. A journalism or mass-communications degree might have been more helpful with that. 
    Follow your interests with the degree – it’s your plan B.

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  3. NozeDive on Jun 04, 2011

    Don’t forget, many universities offer majors like Aeronautical Studies, Flight Technology, or Aviation Management (All Bachelor of Science degrees)

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  4. Micah on Jun 05, 2011

    What do you like? More importantly, find out what you enjoy and do that. Of the mistakes I regret most is not pursuing a double-major/minor in another field that I really enjoy. 
    There are several lines of thinking you can pursue:
    Track 1: Study something easy and not time-consuming, so that you can fly as much as possible and graduate with as many hours as possible.
    Track 2: Study something you enjoy and wouldn’t mind doing as a job, just in case of the likely event that you have to (or want to) do something else for a living.
    Track 3: Study something that you enjoy that will broaden your awareness, help you to think well, and make good decisions so that when your time comes you’ll be a mature, responsible Captain.
    #3 does not have to be distinct from #2, but most likely is different from #1. But plenty of good pilots have taken track #1. I recommend some combination of #2 and #3. You should go to college to learn how to think. If you’re a half-decent student then any idiot can teach you to fly (but none of them will fly with you when you solo).

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  5. James MacGregor CFI on Jun 06, 2011

     The college degree now is what a high school diploma was back in the day.
    Doesn’t matter what it is in as long as it’s accredited. If you are going to take a pick, I’d go with a 4year in business, might learn something somewhat relevant at least.

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  6. Kent Shook on Jun 07, 2011

    For the most part, what the degree is in isn’t important to the employer – So, what you should do is find something worthwhile that you can fall back on when the inevitable industry downturns occur. Get something practical like business or engineering and it’ll keep you fed when flying won’t.
    Dan, if you’re interested in a career in professional aviation, go here: http://pilotcast.com/2011/05/09/pilotcast-086-swapping-sign-offs/
    Listen to that, and model yourself after those two guys, and you’ll do well.

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