Real Answers from Real Pilots

Ba

Is it required to have a BA to fly for a major airline?

Yes.

Adam

1 Like

Is there any substitution for the BA requirement for a major airline; IE: military background?

No. You will need a BA to work for the major airlines. Serving in the military, while impressive, is not the same thing as having a degree.

Jhon,

Possibly. A lot of majors have dropped the degree as a requirement. It is
now “preferred,” but I don’t view all military experience as equal.
However, if someone were to bypass the 4-year degree, military experience
would be the only exception. You should contact the recruiting department
at a major and see what they say.

Tory

So an underwater basket weaving degree is more desirable than let’s say 20
years of military service? Or does the BA have to be in a specific field
related to aviation?

A degree vs military experience is not an apples to apples comparison, but
yes. A basket weaving degree will suffice. The airlines just want to see
that you are teachable and can follow through with your commitments.

Tory

1 Like

I am not aware of any colleges that offer degrees in underwater basket weaving. The majors do not discount military service, but it is not looked upon the same as having a degree, just like military experience does not qualify one to be a school teacher.

A major airline pilot job is a top paying job and as such the airlines seek applicants who have college educations.

Generally speaking, any major is acceptable.

2 Likes

Jhon,

While many Majors don’t call a BA a requirement, you’d be hard pressed to find somewhat at a Legacy carrier without. You can debate the value of a 4 year degree vs military service all you like but the Majors can set whatever requirements they want and they want a degree and it’s where they set the bar. Please don’t misunderstand, none of us are trying to take away from your years of service but the fact is the vast majority of the pilots I fly with who have military service ALSO have degrees. The question then becomes why should they make an exception for you?

Adam

The only reason I asked is because if the airlines want to see commitment
and the ability to be taught; 20 years of commitment in a career that
demands commitment, the ability to learn, and a multitude of other things
on a daily basis can compare to what the airlines are wanting to see from
some one with a degree in any field. If these two qualities are the reason
for their requirement of one.

Not looking for an exception. Just trying to understand the reason for a requirement of one; In case I ever find myself in a position to relate the two during an interview. If I am asked why I should be hired without a degree I would at least know how to answer. I do appreciate all of your feedback on this.

Jhon,

One last thing to consider. The reality is if you can’t check the box that says 4 Year Degree on the application, chances are you may never get the opportunity to answer the question.

Adam

1 Like

John,

The reality is that you will likely not be able to get an interview at a major without having a degree. The majors have thousands of applications on file and the degree requirement is an easy way to cut the pile down. If you want to work for a major, I would suggest that you plan on getting a degree. The good news is that there are many colleges that will give credit for military experience and you will have time to work on a degree while you are at a regional airline.

Chris

Thank you guys for the advice. A regional airline is not a bad place to be while finishing my degree then. I was under the impression that this was a requirement for all airlines. This helps.