Real Answers from Real Pilots

Just a couple questions that I would like answered

Hello, my name is Nick and I’m a senior in highschool. I’ve decided that flying is what I want to do with my life but have a few things I really want to know before hand so I know before going to a couple of the colleges I’m interviewing with if they are who I want to give my mo hey too. Let’s start with Spartan collage… I think what they offer is too good to be true which means that it probably is that way. They say that I can have my bachelors and a Commercial license in 33 months (let’s say 4 years just to give wiggle room on my end or the schools). And let’s also say that it all goes swell and I and up getting everything needed and my bachelors as well. Will major airlines recognize that as a bachelor’s degree since it’s not a 4 year college? ( for those who don’t know Spartan, it’s a lot alike embry riddle).

Next question is after all that schooling is down (again assuming everything is true and I get all my certificates and degree) is my best option working at a airline like envoy for a couple years and then trying to move up to American airlines. And if so how do I go about doing that, or how do I even know when it’s time for me to at least try to work my way up to the majors?

I’m sorry if this gets confuesing or clusted, I’m just really excited and really nervous. It’s a $100,000 investment to go to a school like this and I just want to make sure I stay ahead of the game with the schooling and looking for a pilot job to start my career. Thank you in advance :slight_smile:

Nick,

With all due respect to you and Spartan, Spartan is NOTHING like Embry Riddle. Embry Riddle is one of the most respected universities (aviation or otherwise) in the country and has been for decades. Spartan is basically a trade school that offers some degree programs. The question on most Major airline applications is “do you have a 4yr degree?”. You either do or you don’t. And while you absolutely can complete all your flight training and build your time in 33mos, I have bigger issue with you someone earning a BA in that amount of time. Finally my biggest issue with Spartan is they’ve been around for ever but I’ve never met a single pilot who’s completed their program? Have you? Do you know any successful grads of their program? You can visit any airport in the country and you’re certain to run into an grad of ATP or Riddle but again I’ve yet to meet one from Spartan.

As for moving up the best route to a Major is definitely flying for a Regional but you need to plan on being there more than “a couple of years”. Getting to a Major is the pinnacle of this industry. It’s not a given or something that just happens. To get there you need to do well in school and in all your flight training throughout your career. Once you build the required time you’ll apply. Some get called, some don’t. If you don’t you keep trying.

As long as we’re having the conversation I have to say none of us are particularly fond of aviation degrees. If for some reason you change your mind, suffer a medical issue or have an incident etc there’s not a whole lot you can do with that degree and it won’t help you as far as your career in aviation goes. Airlines want the required licenses and ratings and the Majors like a degree but really don’t care the field of study. You might want to consider getting a degree in something other as a backup. Just some food for thought. As for Spartan I’d check their reviews and more important try and locate someone who’s attended and was successful. Flight training is expensive and you don’t want to blow your money on a nice website.

Adam

Thank you for such a fast reply, and thank you for being honest because I’ve been on the fence about Spartan. I’m having an interview with one of their recruiters this Thursday and ill let you guys know how they answer these questions because I’m interested in what they will say when I bring up that they have little to no known pilots that make it past regional. Could that be because they changed names within the last 5-8 years?

I have a lot of back up plans, even with an aviation degree. My biggest worry is will an aviation bachelor hold up as well as any other degree in the eyes of a major?

Thank you again Adam

Nicholas,

I too have never met a pilot from Spartan and eight years is plenty of time to have heard of them. Plus, they have been called Spartan since 1928 and I have also never met anybody from the smaller schools that they absorbed over the years. The reason is because they are such a small school that does not produce a lot of pilots.

Chris

Could that be a problem in the schooling or creditation or is it purely the fact that it’s small in numbers so it’s just more rare because there aren’t as many who got that path?

Nick,

It is rare because significantly less people have gone to Spartan than to other schools, which should tell you something.

Chris

Nick,

There’s an old saying “the cream always rises to the top”. Spartan’s been around a long time as has ATP, Riddle, Kent State, and a few others. ATP is far from the cheapest but there’s a reason ATP has placed over 500 pilots at Regionals in the last 12mos. Not saying Spartan is bad, just saying if they were that good they’re be more pilots going there.

Adam

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I would advice against Riddle. Their price is way too high for what they offer. Not to mention Aviation Science is a joke of a degree.