College and Aviation


Well-Known Member
I want to preferably go to college and get a degree in business rather than major in aviation as a safeguard in case that I would ever get laid off. What do you recommend I do while in college (in terms of getting inst, commercial licsences)? What do you think is attainable when I finish college considering I get at least a private rating while in High School? Also, should I work for a company like Airnet until I earn enough hours to go to a regional or should I CFI instead?
All Help Appreciated and PM's too :grin:,
Well...If you can get your Private while in High School. I remember being much less busy studying in high school as compared to college. If I were you I would study something other than aviation science, economics, chemistry..whatever....
While in college you'll be able to get your instrument rating and maybe your commercial...You have alot of options...

BUT...Should you become a CFI or work for a company like Airnet? Well, the way things are right now you won't be able to get into Airnet without a significant amount of hours.. (I'd imagine over 1000 hrs), so CFI would be the more logical choice. But one never knows, by the time you're ready to look for an aviation job the regionals may be back hiring 500hr pilots!!
Some colleges have Aviation Business/Aviation Managment Degrees. This way you can study something that may interest you, also giving you a degree in something other than "flying planes." I know at FIT for example, you can get a Degree in Aviation Managment with a Flight Training option. It prepares you for the business side of aviation while getting all your ratings.
I was pretty much in your shoes last year and now I have most of it figured out. I'm going to a 2 year college to save $$$ and afford flight training. I got my private senior year of HS, plan on getting my Instrument Rating this year (freshman), then on to Comm next year, then I'll transfer to a four year university. Junior year I'll work on my CFI and senior year I'll hopefully be empolyed in some kind of aviation job (instruction, banners, etc.)

Anyways, this is just one example of how to do it... It is a good idea to major in something other than aviation; mine's Psychology. Business will be a bit harder than Psych, and both are pretty general. Good luck; and the most important thing for now is to find a job (or get ready to beg your parents) and a good instructor.
i'm also a psych major at JMU in Virginia. Here they don't even have an aviation program but i've gone from private through CFI/MEI in less than 3 years here.... so now i'm teaching to build time while learning other things while in school for (just in case). honestly....i feel like you have more time in collegeto fly than in highschool. Probably becasue flying is more important than class on the nice days
, but for real. If you can get your private while still in high-school, do it. That will be one step down towards your future goals. I could be totally wrong on this point...but I've heard that some NOT ALL aviation programed schools are more of a waste of time and money than anything. sure you get a degree...but with an industry like it is today... how good is your "airport management" degree when the gov't has shut down so many airports in the last 2 years anyway.

ps. i go to school in VA but from Chicago... Go ILLINI!!!!

email me with any other questions.... my dad is a pilot for Northwest airlines and he majored in Music (performance violin, to be exact)
I just received my degree in Aviation Administration from WMU a couple weeks ago. The majority of my classes were of the business nature, and the aviation classes I did have dealt with the business side of aviation - corporate aviation mangamenet, airport design and operation, airport administration. I am just saying that if you really want to major in something you enjoy, like aviation, the aviation management route is not a bad way to go. It will qualify you for more than just aviation related jobs, if need be, since it is more or less a management/administration degree. I wouldn't be worried that airports being shut down (most are so small they dont even have administrators) or airlines going bankrupt means that an aviation management degree is useless. Once the airlines start booming again they will be hiring many pilots (hopefully you) and they will also need plenty of administration people as well.

For as long as I can remember I had wanted to be an airline pilot....up until recently. I worked on my ratings all through college and will soon have the commercial and CFI. My career ideas have changed slightly since entering college though. I have gotten away from the lifestyle of an airline pilot, being gone the majority of the month and getting little pay (in the early days) with fear of being furloughed. I was as gung-ho as they get when it comes to flying for a living and now I find myself desiring the more 9 to 5 job and someday having a family that I'll be able to spend time with. I now have aspirations of being a part time CFI while working a nice paying job. I also have dreams of opening my own FBO/flight school and having some cargo or charter ops. My moral is - major in something that you could enjoy if all of a sudden you couldn't be an airline pilot. You never know when a medical issue, or in my case, just a change of desire will send you down a different path. Enjoy your college years - they were without a doubt the best years of my life, and get good grades while you're'll all pay off in the end. Good luck!

Happy Flying!