Real Answers from Real Pilots

Puzzled future Captain

Hello aviators, My name is Kenny and I am currently in college but right now I wish to start online classes in order for me to do my flight training at ATP. So my question is, is this a right step it more or less like killing two birds with one stone? Would this be a successful journey in the end?Cause I have done a lot research and flying for top airline they strongly look for those with a college degree. Your response will be very crucial to my next step thanks guys.

Kenny,

I’d say continue your education, get your 4yr degree and then start your flight training. You would not be able to complete your education online and do your flight training with ATP at the same time. The program is too intense and inevitably either your flight training or your college education would suffer. You could complete your education online after you’re hired by a Regional but the further you get into the workforce and away from school the more difficult it becomes. I have no idea where you are progress wise in college but also know ATP will not even accept you without a 2yr degree or 60 credits.

Adam

Kenny,

How far along in your college education are you? What are you majoring in? I will be able to give you better advice once I know those two things.

Chris

I major in healthcare management, and I have over 35 credits.

Kenny,

My recommendation would be to stay the course, get your four year degree and then attend a fast paced flight school. You will absolutely need a degree for the major airlines and it is simply easier to stay in school mode now, finish your degree and then begin flight training. I understand your desire to get up into the sky as quickly as possible, but this really is the best path.

Chris

I’m kind of in the same boat. I wanted to become a pilot so I looked into ATP back in '07-08 time frame. Bounced around other ideas and ended up joining the Air Force. Started working toward a degree while active duty. I was stationed in Hawaii and working on the flight line all day and seeing all those planes got me itching to fly again. Now I’m half way to a degree but really only care to begin flight training. Do the major airlines care what the degree is in? Most of my classes are Gen Ed anyways so if I were to switch majors, now would be the time. Should I be looking into anything in particular or do the airlines simply want to see a degree?

Jeremy,

The majors really do not care what your major is in, they just want to see that you have the commitment and dedication to obtain a four year degree. I would focus on whatever is the quickest pat to a four year degree.

Depending on your work situation right now, you might want to consider doing your flight training now and then completing your degree whilst you work for the regional airlines. It can be tough to fly and take college classes, but many before you have done this and it is a way to get into the airlines sooner, rather than later.

Chris

Chris,

That’s what my plan was until I read everyone’s comments on finishing the degree first. I’m currently not taking classes but I noticed Adam’s statement about ATP not accepting you until you have an Associate degree or 60 credits. I have 70 credits (I think) but some are transferred from the military and are totally unrelated. If it doesn’t matter what the degree is I might switch back to the related field of my military credits since I have 30 or so of them plus the Gen Eds I’ve gotten since. My wife recently finished school, once she gets a full-time job hopefully we will just switch spots as bread winner so I can complete flight training. Thanks for the reply.

Jeremy,

ATP will accept you with a PPL, an associate’s degree (or higher), or two years of equivalent work experience. I cannot speak directly for the admissions department, but I am pretty sure that your military experience should more than qualify you for the program. Give them a call this week and talk with them directly.

The degree subject really does not matter, just get one and move on. I have known pilots to have all sorts of degrees, from history, to piano composition.

Chris