Real Answers from Real Pilots

Finish my bachelor's degree on engineering?

Hello Chris, thanks for having me.

My name is Jose Ottenwalder, currently enrolled in a school working towards my PPL and then will finish with the rest of my licenses in ATP. Recently, not long ago I graduated from Valencia college, Orlando Florida, with an “Associate degree of arts engineering”. My question is, Do I need to have a bachelor’s degree to be a “successful pilot” in the aviation industry? The reason why I ask is because I just want to start flying as soon as possible since it is my ultimate interest overall, not school. Please let me know what are your thoughts on finishing my bachelor’s.

Thank you Chris for your time.

Best regards,
Jose Ottenwalder.

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Jose,

To work at the regionals you will not need a degree of any sort. To work at the majors you will need a four year, bachelor’s degree. The major really does not matter, but having a degree does. The airlines want to see that you can stick with something for four years and be successful at it.

Chris

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Sounds good to me sir, thank you so much.

Good evening sir,

Had another inquiry about the same topic. Do you think that related degree or certifications can count towards the eligibility of a pilot to work for a company, besides the bachelor’s degree?

The reason I say it is, because I will be enrolling in some technical courses to develop skills to code (computer science) and would like to know if all that counts towards my eligibility, especially for major airlines purposes.

Thank you.

Jose,

As Chris stated, the Majors require a BA degree but they’re not overly concerned in the course of study. As for other courses, while they may help to “dress up” or fill out your resume, unless you’re applying for a degree in the IT dept. it really won’t have an effect on your hiring status nor improve your chances of hire. If you’re applying for a pilot position it’s skills and experience that the airline is looking for.

Adam