Important Advice Needed

MorganPilot

New Member
Hi folks, I'm new to this forum but I've been reading them for a while. I'll start out by getting right to the point before I get involved in answering questions I can on the other forums as well as this one.

I'm currently nearing completion of my instrument rating at an aviation college/university. I feel that although the flight training is excellent, I'm not going to be very well prepared for a career change if need be (loss of medical, furlough, you name it).

I have already made the decision that I do not want to graduate with only the aviation degree.

My options are these:
- Switch programs and major in aviation management. I think the program here is decent to say the least, and at least I'd have more of an idea of the business side of things. I'd be able to finish up the rest of the flying (commercial, MEI, CFI eventually) at a flight school near where I'm from.

-Finish up the degree in aviation...and? Maybe try to someday get a master's degree in something else? But right after graduation, with the way things are now, I'm most likely going to be the proverbial starving CFI and I doubt I'll have the time or money to get a master's degree then.

-Transfer to a state school and get a degree in something like business, economics, or something else in that area. The only problem here is that although I'd save money on tuition, I'd go back a little bit in classes, and maybe need more than the two years of college that I currently have left.

To say that I would greatly appreciate any input from people in the industry is an understatement. This is a very important decision for me, and a lot is riding on it. Thank you, anyone, if you can give me your opinion. What would YOU do if you were in my situation? It's certainly a tough one for me.
 

FL270

New Member
My advice is to stay put and finish what you've started. I have worked in fields outside aviation with my Riddle Aero. Sci. degree and it hasn't been a liability. You can always get a master's degree (or another BS or JD or whatever) at some future point should you decide to do so. Law school is an idea that floats around in the back of my mind from time to time.

Ten people will probably offer you ten different pieces of advice. You have to do what you believe is right for you. My Riddle degree has served me well in aviation, and I've done well in jobs both in aviation and outside it. Perhaps my path is suitable for you, perhaps not. Ultimately, only you can decide that.

FL270
 

montanapilot

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
-Transfer to a state school and get a degree in something like business, economics, or something else in that area. The only problem here is that although I'd save money on tuition, I'd go back a little bit in classes, and maybe need more than the two years of college that I currently have left.

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I'd recommend this option. Thats what i m doing. I going to community college and then UNLV while working on my ratings.
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
If you decide to switch schools - make sure you do your homework first and find out what classes they'll want you to take beyond what you already have, what classes will you have to take over, what will it cost for the transition etc.

if your still 60-90 credits shy from your aviation degree, a transition might work.. if your less than 60 credits, they might slam you for switching in the middle of your studies and make you take even more classes which just puts you behind.

you could always finish your aviation degree and go back for another bachelors degree as long as you attend the same university (i think) cuz then you don't have to complete the first 2 years, they'll already be in your transcript (again, i think).
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I'd vote for plan C unless it will cost you more than half a year. Then I'd vote for plan B. All in all I'd look at how can you finish your flying and schooling with spending the least money but still get quality training. It could be that plan A is the best if it would take you an extra year to do plan C or if your flight training right now is good and not overly expensive.

I've been hearing more and more how guys with aviation degrees are able to apply them to jobs outside of aviation. This is a wonderful thing but doesn't sway me from recommending a non-aviation degree to those who are starting out. I have an aviation degree and wish I didn't.

Your situation is different as you aren't "just starting out", so it's more complicated for you.

Also, I wouldn't bother with a graduate degree.
 

MorganPilot

New Member
Wow, I'm surprised none of you suggested switching majors to the aviation management side of things. Would having some positions of leadership at the school also mean anything?

Thanks for your advice thus far.
 

ananoman

New Member
If you like what you are doing, then stay. There are quite a few jobs that only require college, it often does not matter what the degree is in. Unless you want something specialized like engineering or law, I don't see a reason to change. You could easily go into management without a degree in 'Aviation Management'. From my experience, most everywhere I have worked the 'management' has had no special qualifications other than staying around long enough to get promoted.
 

B767Driver

New Member
I think by the virtue that you are asking these questions, you will be successful regardless of what the future holds. Pilots are self-starters and forge their own paths, by and large, and you seem like you fit that profile.

My two cents. I've been in your shoes (about 12 years ago) with no flight time, a bunch of ratings and an airline industry in the toilet. I was pretty sure an airline career wasn't to be in the cards for me, so I began contingency planning as well. I finished my aviation degree, continued to flight instruct and fly cancelled checks in the middle of the night while attending graduate school (I completed a master of science in industrial technology). After several years of this madness, the economy changed, the airlines began hiring and I got the job I always wanted. Although I prepared for life outside of aviation, I'm glad I toughed it out during the hard times because I've really enjoyed the flying.

Some input. 1) I don't think the aviation management degree is any more desirable than the aviation flight degree, so I wouldn't make that switch. 2) Obtaining a master's degree might be a good possibility...I've been able to do consulting work on a very consistent basis outside of my flying. Be careful about obtaining an MBA or Law degree. These can be very expensive and both are becoming a dime a dozen. Graduates from lower tier law schools are having a difficult time finding suitable employment. Having said that though, they could still be good options. 3) You might consider learning a trade such as becoming a plumber or electrician. These trades are in huge demand and are commanding six figure incomes regularly. Personally, I like this option because employment can be found virtually anywhere and the return on your investment is profoundly greater than obtaining another college degree.

I think you are on the right track with your diversification strategy though. I think the most successful individuals are multi-faceted and able to make an income from various avenues.

For me, flying was my first love, and I still fabulously enjoy it. I'm glad I did not give up on it. However, I still view it as the best part-time job I could ever have....and have kept myself ready to earn my keep in other professions.

Hope that helped!
 

B767Driver

New Member
One other option that I meant to add.....the air national guard. From what I hear this is maybe the best kept secret around for a young pilot. They do a lot of flying, pays decent and there is no commitment unlike the active duty pilots. If I had to do it over again...I would be going for this option 110%.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
One other option that I meant to add.....the air national guard. From what I hear this is maybe the best kept secret around for a young pilot. They do a lot of flying, pays decent and there is no commitment unlike the active duty pilots. If I had to do it over again...I would be going for this option 110%.

[/ QUOTE ]

ANG is slimming and trimming with the upcoming BRAC 2005. Slated to lose a number of units and over 150 aircraft. Along with the active force, the reserves are having to tighten the belt these days too.
 

Mike Lewis

Shadow Administrator
Staff member
Without knowing how far along you are, I'd say finish up the degree. I've seen too many people change their degrees to stay up with market trends, and after 8 years in college, finally end up with a degree. My advice is finish the degree you are currently working on and then decide if you want to pursue a second one. Often times, you can double major for an extra year or two at the college; the pre-requesites and electives are already covered by your first degree, so you only need to take the additional core classes for the second degree. I think an aviation/aviation management double major would allow you to do that; something like engineering/psychology might be more difficult.

Good luck!
 

jonnyb

Well-Known Member
If you can transfer things ok, GO TO THE STATE SCHOOL AND GET AN "OTHER THAN AVIATION" DEGREE. Not that there is anything wrong with an aviation degree, cause there isn't. A non-aviation or non-flying degree is safer and a better back-up plan IMO.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Where do you go to school at?

[/ QUOTE ]
NEVER end a sentence with a prepostion:

Better example:

"Where do you go to school at, @sshole?"

There. Continue.

 
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