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Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pilot Needs Advice...

The greatest thing about new pilots is they have the best questions! And the greatest thing about the old pilots... we have all the answers... just ask us.


Julia Bury is preparing to launch into a fantastic aviation career and is planning her career, she asks:

As you know, I'm going to ERAU, and had planned to study Aerospace Engineering and minor in Flight. Lately though, I have been contemplating majoring in Aeronautical Science (Flight) and minoring in something like Math and Physics, or dual majoring with ATC. Do you think majoring in Aeronautical Science as opposed to engineering would be not the smartest move? I know I need a backup, but hoped I might be able to get that through minors instead. Especially since my true ultimate goal is to work as an airline pilot, not an engineer. Any advice or thoughts you might have on this would be great! Thanks


Julia, this is a great question. And from a person of long term planning, I'm going to vote for the Aerospace Engineering degree and minor in flight.

But the most important question is... while your goal is to be a pilot, what feeds your soul when you look at the classes offered under each degree? College will be so much more fun embedded in classes you love. The flying will be the icing on the cake. Do you find interest in the engineering classes?

Remember... first goal of a life, love what you do and everything else will fall into place. This goes for college too. While there will always be a couple prerequisite classes that the inside of your eyelids are more inspirational than the books on your desk, you need to love and have a passion for your classes to get the most out of them.

With all that said, I'm guessing you're saying, "But if I do that, then I should major in Aeronautical Science not engineering!" Perhaps.


Long term planning ... Engineering is a strong degree, and with all things equal, when you go for that interview and there is one job, and the only difference is the type of degree...yours will prevail.

Second, not knowing what the world will hold when you emerge on the other end of your education, with an Aeronautical Engineering degree, you will open a door to Boeing. And Boeing is a fantastic company! An engineering degree will enable you to walk into multiple departments, and the flexibility to move within the company... test flight, training, etc. and back into a plane.


Either way, you have a incredible opportunity at ERAU, and whatever you do... learn and build those flight hours along the way and you'll set yourself up for an incredible future. Either degree will be impressive!

This first year is going to be filling the prerequisite squares, I'm thinking to leave your options open on the major and take your first classes that could go either way. You could get into school and shift mid-stream.

I hope this helps. And if any other pilots have any advice to cloud the skies... please let Julia know what you think.


~ Karlene

1 comment:

  1. Karlene,

    I think you gave Julia some great advice. I wish I could have had the opportunity to ask you the same question when I was in my first years at ERAU. Right now I'm a senior in the Aeronautical Science (AS) program and love it! Not to say that I wouldn't have chosen AS if given the chance again, but as you have noted, you need to have a back up. I choose a Business Administration with aviation concentration as a minor because that's the only other degree that interested me. There are plenty of opportunities in the business world to get a job if being a pilot doesn't work out.

    Julia- either way, you're going to love going to ERAU and as Karlene said, these first two semesters you'll be able to feel your way around which degree you want to pursue. You'll have the chance to take the Private Pilot Operations ground school along with an intro engineering class. Another interesting thing that ERAU does is if you become a full-time flight instructor for the university, they will pay for your Masters degree in whatever area you choose. You can have quite the diverse resumé by the time you leave the university.

    That's just my two cents from a current student perspective.

    Tyler

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