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I have a question, is it really worth it to go to a big academy down south like ERAU for the same rating I can get a my local FBO. Do the airlines really look where you earned your ratings?
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The answers to this question could incite a religious war here on JC, and it is a question I have tried to answer many times for my own benefit. My personal views: Where you earned your degree does not matter. I think where you earned your ratings matters more in the beginning of your career, when you have less experience and the name of a prominent school might "prop" up your credentials to get that first CFI job. However, by the time I have 1000 hours and have held a few flying jobs, I don't think where I went to flight school will matter much-what will matter is the experience I have gained since then. Having been to the local FBO and the large academy, I can tell you that one thing is constant: the choice to have a professional attitude about flying is up to you, and no one can give it to you. The larger schools give you a framework to build upon, but in the end, it's up to you. Now I am not pro FBO or anti academy-the instruction and your fellow students at an academy are among the highest caliber. The networking connections you make are valuable, and being immersed in aviation is fantastic.