This week I received an email from Xavier...
Hi Karlene ! I wanted to ask you advice:
Xavier: I'm currently political science major. However, I am having second thoughts on this major. And as you may know, my true passion lies in aviation. I am considering transferring to Auburn University to participate in their Professional Flight Management program. In case you aren't familiar with the degree program, it is a combination of business oriented curriculum and flying. I wanted to ask if it would be worth it to major in such a thing, considering this is what I would like to go into.
Karlene: YES! Go for it. That sounds like a fantastic major.
Xavier: Do you think its worthwhile for someone to obtain an aviation related college degree? I've heard so many things, along the lines of "don't major in aviation-have a fall back blah blah blah".
Karlene: A Management degree is a great degree... and that fall back too. I say, "do what you love." Follow your passion. If the pilot thing doesn't workout for whatever reason, you'll have a great education under your belt and could do anything. My advice on what you should take in school... take what you love.
Xavier: Also, I wanted to ask you what do you think about the future of the American airline industry, say in the next 10 to 20 years?
Karlene: Hard to believe where we'll be in the next 20 years. I wish I had that crystal ball. But we'll need brilliant people doing brilliant things and the planes... they'll be the more advanced than we can imagine. Can you imagine yourself being part of that? I can.
Xavier: What do you think job security will be like, and what do you think about your retirement pension being at the mercy at the airline (say, in the even that it were to be wiped out because the airline went bankrupt and/or out of business), and what do you think should and will be done about it(if anything)?
Karlene: Job security? Pensions? What's that? ;) I think it's up to the pilots, the public and our unions to take a stand and make sure that our pilots are paid a good wage, with security, and a pension. The responsibility we have daily is like none other. We want our pilots stable, so they can think about what they're doing in the air, and not worrying about how to pay their bills on the ground. Job security is the only way to make the industry safe. Do I see that happening in the future? Yes. It has to.
Xavier: Also, do you think that due to the supposed pilot shortage in the coming years, the airline will value them/us more (ie: better pay, benefits, etc?) I read about so much doom and gloom about the US airline industries future.
Karlene: There will be a pilot shortage. At that time will the airlines value the pilots more and pay more? I hope some. Hopefully that happens before the pilot shortage. Pay increase with supply and demand sounds great in theory. But it's all up to the negotiations. Pay, benefits and respect need to come back to this industry. People forget that their lives are in the hands of their pilots.
Also...Don't listen to the doom and gloom. We can find that anywhere. If people spent a fraction as much time trying to make things better, as they do complaining about what's wrong... the world be a better place.
Thanks and Blue Skys,
You are welcome! I hoped I helped answer your questions. If anyone has some advice for Xavier, we would love for you to share it too. Thanks.
Enjoy the Journey~