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Thread: How important is a university degree for aspiring pilot?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    How important is a university degree for aspiring pilot?

    Hi there,

    I was wondering, how much does it matter whether one has a bachelor's degree or not when applying for a job at airlines? I'm currently studying travel & tourism (B.Sc) with a minor in psychology, does it really matter?


  2. #2
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Philadelphia(south Jersey, actually)
    Maybe some of the pilots here can answer better, but I was under the impression it was pretty important to have a degree. When I was at Purdue my roomate busted his ass to get into the aviation technology program(and he was smart as a whip). He is now an A320 driver for B6.

  3. #3
    Administrator Landing Lights's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Wappingers Falls, New York, United States
    One thing that I've always heard about job requirements for airline pilots is that a Batchelors degree is required. They don't tend t care what the degree is in, just that you have one.
    Ben Granucci, Wappingers Falls, NY
    NYCAviation Senior Editor & Director
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  4. #4
    Moderator USAF Pilot 07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    From what a bunch of friends working at major airlines (i.e. Delta, United, FedEx, SWA etc...) have said, just about any major airline pretty much requires at a minimum a bachelors degree; whether it's a formal requirement or "unspoken" requirement. That being said, I don't think they really care what your degree is in, just as long as you have one.
    Some advice I've heard from pilots is not to put all your eggs in one basket - i.e. get a degree in something other than aviation if you can so that you have something to fall back on should the airline thing not work out/furlough etc...

  5. #5
    You can fairly easily get a job at a regional without one, but it certainly helps.

    But if you want to move on to a major airline (trust do) you'll almost certainly need a bachelors degree. It doesn't have to be in an aviation related subject though.

  6. #6
    I have my bachelor's in decision I ever made. Having the business background to at least have an understanding of how the industry works, and how the business is run will give you a HUGE leg up. If it's any indication of how big a difference it can make, I came from pumping gas into pistons and the occasional turbine to being PIC typed on a Citation 650 flying contract for three different companies. I also fly SIC on a Citation 550 Bravo, and PIC on C414, 441, and occasionally dabble in the single piston realm with a 206, Columbia/Corvalis, Cirrus, and a Saratoga. It's your choice...but if you were management, would you rather hire someone who's educated who has a thirst for knowledge and the desire to grow? Or someone who'd rather (at least on paper) be stagnant and be happy with the incredibly limited knowledge that they have? Also consider that you'll have to be trained to fly the airplanes you'll be working with...they'll want to know if the incumbent is even trainable on the aircraft. Food for thought!
    Have you ever seen a grown man naked?

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Thanks for the replies guys, much appreciated!


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