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Old 02-22-2017, 12:00 PM   #1  
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Default Next Step? Graduation in May..

Hey there,

So here is my story, I'm graduating with my bachelor's degree in Computer Science this upcoming May. I have this outstanding ambition to become a Pilot. I realized that this is what I wanted to do about a year ago, but by that time it was too late to change colleges in order to get a degree in Aviation or another closely related field. I realize that it's not necessary to get a degree in Aviation, but I'm sure it would've sped up the process.

I've seen all of these cadet and pilot gateway programs like the one JetBlue is offering. Although, at this point I'm 22, and therefore do not meet the age requirements. I scoured the web looking for a Master's degree program like that, but sadly I do not think they exist.

From what I understand, I've got only 1 option. Get a Software Engineering job straight out of college, in order to fund my PPL. Then, slowly work my way to a CFI to get a weekend job as an instructor to raise my in-flight hours. Lastly, get a CPL or ATPL in order to start my career.

Is there any other options out there? I imagine that this will take quite a while to do with a full-time job. I'd like something where I could possibly get trained to be a pilot by the same company who employs me, although this seems pretty unlikely. I've thought about going the military route; but that seems like it could even take longer to get to the point where I want to be in life.

I'm not in this for the money, or else Software Engineering might be a better route. I'm in it because this is what I'm truly passionate about. I understand that pay is going to be bad starting off, I do not care, I just want to get to that starting position as soon as possible.

Any advice would be wonderful, I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

Last edited by CompSciAndFly; 02-22-2017 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Added Content
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:21 PM   #2  
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Military, either AD (not so good) or Reserve component pilot training
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:53 PM   #3  
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If you're going to go the civilian route, I recommend saving enough to fund getting your PPL in a month or two of intense training rather than spreading it out over a long period of time. This is, of course, if that pace of learning matches your learning style. You will save a lot of money by doing it that way as your retention and motor skills learning will be better. There are some places that even offer 1-week courses, though that is a REALLY fast and intense program that requires you be a sharp student.

Once you have your PPL, you can more easily build hours towards your future ratings on evenings and weekends. Have a plan when you go flying that builds skill, not just pokes holes in the sky. Working with an instructor will help you figure that out.

There aren't, unfortunately, any opportunities that I'm aware of to get your employer to pay for your training unless you go the military route. If finances are a problem, definitely consider becoming debt-free before you dive into flight training. It's an expensive career change to carry out just after you finished going into student debt for a different line of work.
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:38 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CompSciAndFly View Post
Hey there,

So here is my story, I'm graduating with my bachelor's degree in Computer Science this upcoming May. I have this outstanding ambition to become a Pilot. I realized that this is what I wanted to do about a year ago, but by that time it was too late to change colleges in order to get a degree in Aviation or another closely related field. I realize that it's not necessary to get a degree in Aviation, but I'm sure it would've sped up the process.

Ultimately, you're better off, and it really wouldn't speed up the entire process that much.

I've seen all of these cadet and pilot gateway programs like the one JetBlue is offering. Although, at this point I'm 22, and therefore do not meet the age requirements. I scoured the web looking for a Master's degree program like that, but sadly I do not think they exist.

Plenty of aviation masters degrees exist, I am enrolled in one right now. Delta State. I think most would argue that you are also much better off NOT in the JetBlue cadet program.

From what I understand, I've got only 1 option. Get a Software Engineering job straight out of college, in order to fund my PPL. Then, slowly work my way to a CFI to get a weekend job as an instructor to raise my in-flight hours. Lastly, get a CPL or ATPL in order to start my career.

It's never only one option. Who told you that? You have tons of options. You can enroll right now in AllATPs and go from no flight time to CFI in something like 18 months. There are other schools that offer similar timelines. Yes, you would have pay a lot of money.

You could also save money and buy an airplane like a C152 for $30,000 and use it exclusively for your flight training, save tons of money, build even more hours in it, and then sell it.

You could get your SE job and get get your Private, Instrument, Commercial and CFI over the next three years or so, paying cash as you go. Once your get your CFI, if you've saved some coin, you can quit the SE job and be a full-time instructor. Why only do it on the weekends?


Is there any other options out there? I imagine that this will take quite a while to do with a full-time job. I'd like something where I could possibly get trained to be a pilot by the same company who employs me, although this seems pretty unlikely. I've thought about going the military route; but that seems like it could even take longer to get to the point where I want to be in life.

It is very unlikely and not how the airlines operate in the US. You definitely could try the military route, and many would recommend it, myself included. What is this point you want to be at in life?? Joining the reserves or a guard unit, learning to fly on taxpayer dollars, making great friends, and keeping your SE job in the meantime sounds like a really good option.

I'm not in this for the money, or else Software Engineering might be a better route. I'm in it because this is what I'm truly passionate about. I understand that pay is going to be bad starting off, I do not care, I just want to get to that starting position as soon as possible.

Have you flown an airplane? How do you know this is what your passionate about? What changed during college? Do you not think you might be happy as a SE who makes good coin and owns his own airplane? That's a cool option. Flying for fun is a lot nicer than flying for a CEO who doesn't care about you.

Any advice would be wonderful, I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

Answers about in red .
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:54 PM   #5  
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Man that looks horrible on a monitor/tv/display...
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:44 AM   #6  
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Plenty of aviation masters degrees exist, I am enrolled in one right now. Delta State. I think most would argue that you are also much better off NOT in the JetBlue cadet program. .
Thank you for pointing this out, I'm looking into applying. This would be a great option for me!
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:39 AM   #7  
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Guard/reserves. Get paid good money to learn to fly. Then be at the head of the line for the majors once you get your time.
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