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Long thread..

Okay folks.. Maybe now I can get some advice of my own since this group seems to be very good at give very varying advice

I'm am at a point in my life where I am trying to make a decision about what I want to do for the next two to six years, and would appreciate some input. I have changed my "plans" a million times, so I won't be insulted if you outright question or disagree with them. It doesn't mean I'll agree, but I would like any advice anyone is willing to offer, whether it be from someone currently in a similar position or not.

First off, I'm am contemplating college and flight training. I know the smart advice of earning a degree before starting your 'deep' flight training is important, as it the advice to get a non-aviation degree, to say safe in an uncertain industry. These are both pieces of advice I have even given to others, despite my lack of practicing either.

I had originally (and still do), wanted to start training at ATP this fall or late winter. Regardless of how much I wanted to (and still do) I can't bring my self to do it; I just feel I will be safer getting my degree first. I know the ATP training program is only five months with the private program, but I think I would feel more comfortable not worrying about school and just trying to build my hours as an instructor.

Now, stuck in the muck, unable to make any decision on what I want to major in, I have been thinking of my options. I suppose when you plan your whole life to be a pilot; plan for 7 years through school to someday get an aviation degree, you haven't thought of what else might be around to do. As the advice to get an unrelated degree is sound, my current plan doesn't include getting one: sort of.

Thanks to New York and Federal grant monies, I will be lucky enough to go to state college mostly tuition free. I had planned for awhile, regardless of my major, to start at a state or community college for two years and transfer (if I did choose to stick around for two more years, or take online classes), saving a good deal of money in the process.

Anyways, moving on. Interestingly enough, a few years ago one of the semi-nearby schools I had been looking at adopted a flight program. I had considered this program a few times, but eventually opted out of it. Still considering the possibility of putting my two years in at the same school, I was put to the situation I am in now of choosing what to major in. After some consideration of advice I recieved for more than one person, I have thought out a possibility which could suite me for now. This would also, hopefully, allow me to get my private license during college using financial aid/subsidized loans.

Attend said school, majoring in the aviation science degree (two years). Do not take the schools aviation courses, except taking private pilot as a "course". Go to ATP after both years, or during summer break between year one and two. I would leave the two year college with an associates (competetive for regionals), and have time to decide what I want to do from that point. After my two years are up, I can either finish with a bachelors somewhere else, or at a later time with online classes; either way, I would not get my bachelors in aviation- but definately get one. I haven't an idea WHAT it WOULD be in, but I would have plenty of time to test the waters. This way I would have an associates in aviation sciences, but a bachelors, as a safety, in something completely different. There lies the possibility I will have to take an extra semester of school for the bachelors for required courses, but many of the classes from the AS are transferable.

Somehow I think this takes many paths and smashes them into one package. I would be able to start could this spring (hopefully), with an actual declared major and not general studies (yuck!). While I would be getting an aviation associates, it would not be my 4 year degree. Attending ATP is still my ambition, and I wouldn't want to abandon that.

My brain kind of fell apart near the end there.. I may re-edit this in a bit! Please excuse grammatical/spelling errors: that was a monster!

Thank you for reading that, I'll all ears for advice or comments.
Well how old are you first of all? As "father time" will determine what you can and can't do since the industry has a retirement age.
I don't think there's anything wrong with a general studies degree. Something that allows you to explore many areas of interest if you can't figure out what you want to major in. It doesn't do much for employment opportunities if you get furloughed...but neither does an aviation degree. It's not unusual for young people to change their minds a lot or be unsure about what to major in. I was the all focused one and got a degree is aviation...what a waste in the end.
Thanks so far guys.. Kinda sad of lack of replies by how long it took me to write that!

I've seen hunter in the ATP forum, I know he's only 18 (or maybe 19 now?) and was at ATP.. Instructing now I think? Maybe I'll shoot him a PM later.

I suppose I shoulda phased my thread in the form of a question.

Will getting an associates in aviation, but a bachelors in *whatever*, still work out?
Not sure how much advice I can offer, but I recently graduated with my undergrad in Advertising. And now I can't wait to get started on my training, either with ATP, Mesa Pilot Development, or through the Military. So I did go to college first and I did get an unrelated degree. But what am I going to do with that degree? Hopefully nothing since all I want to do is fly. Sure college was a blast and i learned a whole lot, but if you really want to fly do it and work on your degree on the side. My too sense.
Supplimental income - especially in advertising, work 3-4 hours a day and make some good $$, then fly it off.
Supplimental income - especially in advertising, work 3-4 hours a day and make some good $$, then fly it off.

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Hey, now wait a minute. That's my current field, and it's taken me eight months to find a new gig.

You work pretty hard in advertising. Okay, it's not breaking rocks by the side of the road, but it's not that easy, either.