Real Answers from Real Pilots

Best option for airline placement and degrees

I am planning on starting the ATP program in the coming months but I am still wondering if it would be a better option to go to a college offering a pilot program such as Spartan college. I currently have no college done, I am 19 and already have my PPL, but I do want to do at least some college which is why I’m not sure which is the best option for me. I want to attend ATP because its fast and I would be able to start flying for an airline sooner. While I do my ATP training I would like to do some online college so I could get at least a 2 year degree but I saw that major airlines require a bachelor. So maybe I could do a bachelor online which could be another option. I also saw that its possible to transfer credits to other aviation schools like Embry Riddle but I have no idea how that works and how that could help me. I don’t know how I should go with getting some college done but I want to start ATP this year for sure because I know that the ATP training is really good and it prepares you well for the airlines according to my research.

What I would like to know and what I need help deciding on is first of all, how the chances of getting the airline interview are and if everyone gets the chance while doing ATP training? If I don’t have a degree at the time, or still working on it, will that affect my chances? …The other thing is what is the better and smarter option. Doing a 2 year degree while I do ATP or just doing a bachelor right away so I don’t have to worry about it later on? Or if I did get a 2 year degree and I complete my ATP training then what can I do in regards to transferring credits to Embry Riddle or other colleges?

Thank you very much in advance. I hope its understandable, but this is the only thing that is holding me back right now and I really want to start off my career as soon as possible.

Thanks,

Luke

Luke,

Let’s talk a little about the degree requirements of the airlines. For the regionals you will not need a degree of any sort. For the major airlines you will need a bachelor’s degree.

I am not a fan of colleges that offer flight training. I find them to be very expensive and incredibly time consuming.

At your age I would recommend that you go complete a four year degree, then attend a school that offers accelerated flight training.
You will not be able to attend college, even an online college, while you are also an ATP student. ATP’s program is just too intensive for this, both your flight training and your college would suffer.

Chris

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Luke,

I’m with Chris, for the most part. As Chris said, it would be impossible for you to do fulltime flight training at ATP AND college courses. If you biggest concern is time I would entertain getting a 2yr degree, THEN going to ATP, get hired at a Regional and then get your BA online. Between you 2yr degree and all the credits you could get for your licenses and rating you could scrub some serious time off remaining credits you’d need.

Adam

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I see, that’s what I thought so thank you for clearing things up. I thought to get to the major airlines it was all about experience more than degrees.

I am going to review my options for 4 year degrees that I could try to finish before ATP, or at least finish 2 years and complete the other 2 after I would find a job at a regional but I’m sure you cant rely on actually getting a job.

Thanks for the advice

The reason I was thinking about doing online courses while I instruct at ATP is because I thought it would help save time and also I was even told by ATP that its what many people do. As far as time, I would like to be able to get into the industry sooner so I could begin getting experience so by my mid 20’s I would have plenty of hours done by then especially since its a good time to be in the aviation industry. Of course, I want to take the route that offers me the biggest chances of being hired so that is what makes it hard to choose. I don’t want to sacrifice the quality of my flight training for the degree or for time or anything like that. I’m assuming you would have an even chance at getting hired out of most well known flight schools. I think the less complicated route is going to Spartan, ASU or UND finishing everything there and done. But I would still really like to attend ATP especially since it should supposedly be easier to get airline interviews.

Luke,

There are many routes and only you can decide what’s best for you? You keep saying time is of the greatest importance? If that’s the case I encourage to look at the Universities you refer to and get a time frame TO the point where you have 1500 hrs and are eligible for hire. With ATP that’s basically around 2 years (not counting any education. Again getting your degree while you’re training would be tough but after, while you’re instructing or at a Regional? Sure. See what the others have to say.

Adam

Adam,

I know what your saying, of course. I like the way ATP is structured and it seems like a very good choice. I would really enjoy ATP I think and the special feature of it is that its only 2 years and your done. I want to get a bachelor of course though, so that’s why I would just work on it online after just so I could go to ATP and hopefully be at the airline right after. My other option which would be Spartan College or some aviation school where I could get both at the same time and be done in 4 years or less than 3 years with Spartan, would also obviously be a great option and I know why you would recommend that more. Most importantly I just want a good route to have the best chance for a job at the regional and a good school where I can get good training and learn what I need. I think I am just saying the same things over again but its a hard choice and I am still unsure. I found Spartan to be one of my top choices and then possibly ASU or UND and I found Parks College in St. Louis to be a good option and you could do the course online even.

Do you know which schools might be able to give me credits for ATP if I did the bachelor with them online?

Thank you very much for the help and time you are putting in. I appreciate it

Luke

Riddle offers up to 34 credits (for ATP Multi), I believe that’s what Yarden said he received in a recent post, the amounts for different ratings are listed on their website under the transfer credit section. Other recent posts have called into question for me the viability of some of the schools with combined aviation programs, a current UND student said that they were admitting too many students for the number of aircraft and he was having a very difficult time getting any flight time. Also the accreditation of Spartan (not regionally accredited), AND the realism of getting a BA + all your ratings in under 3 years seems sketchy to me… if you think about it, ATP is full-time and takes 6-9 months now to get your FAA ratings, then they’re going to offer you a 4 year degree in basically 2 years? Somehow I seriously doubt that.

Food for thought,
James

Edit: I haven’t heard anything bad about ASU’s program, and personally know a couple people who went to Riddle, one who now works for Boeing in Everett.

Luke,

I’ve heard good things about ASU and they were in fact partners with ATP for a while. Pretty much any school with an aviation program should be able to offer you credits for your ratings. You’ll have to contact them for the specific numbers?

Again you need to do what’s right for you and I’m not trying to beat you over the head with ATP but my question was not how long are Spartan etc programs, it was how long will it take you to complete the program AND build the 1500hrs to get hired by a Regional (or 1250 if they’re R-ATP approved)?

Adam

Adam,

I saw something about that, but they are no longer working together with ATP are they? And I see, that’s great information thank you.

Well there isn’t really a short cut or easy route. I’m just going for the route that has the best possibilities of bringing job opportunities and so on. Its nice to have the hours and school done fast which lets you start your career sooner but a better school and slower paced program is probably a better idea rather than rushing it all

Thanks
Luke

James,

Thank you for the help. Ill take a deeper look into Embry again. And your right, it does seem to good to be true. But they have the chart on their website which shows that youll be done in 33 months total with your BA. When I called them they told me its 16 months to finish all your ratings and get an associate and then the remaining 17 months your instructing for them while also obtaining your BA with that. It makes sense, but it is a too compressed maybe to be realistic. If its true, I think its a really good choice because your ready for the airlines in only 33 months where other places it takes 4 years.

ASU seems great. From what I found, even Parks College offers a good program. I recently found plenty of schools and they all seem good but you never know once you actually get in the program. Dubuque in Iowa and Henderson in Arkansas, UVU in Utah for example.

Thanks for the help,
Luke

Luke,

Of all the schools you have mentioned, ASU has the best reputation and best established flight program. ASU is a state school, is fully accredited on every level and is non profit. I would give them a serious look.

Chris

Luke,

Slower paced may “feel” better and is obviously preferred by many students. Just remember when you get to the airlines that all goes out the window.

Adam