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Old 09-26-2011, 07:21 PM   #1  
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Default Graduate Aviation Degrees?????

Alright guys...I'm posting this question in the Corporate rather than Recruiter because Corporate is what I'm doing and where I want to stay.

I'm considering getting a Master of Science graduate degree in Aviation and Space Management. I know I know....everyone says you should get a degree in something other than aviation in the event you have to change gears and leave the industry, but I've completed my first career in something other than aviation and now I'm in my second career in aviation.

I currently have bachelors degree in Administrative Leadership and all my ratings with sufficient flight time and experience, and I'm currently managing a large and solid company's start up single pilot flight department that just purchased a King Air 300 with plans to add a jet in the next couple of years.

My question is: How important or significant is this type of degree to employers, both administrative minded employers such as HR or executives, or aviation minded employers such as Directors of aviation departments?

and...

How does this type of degree compare, or is seen, relative to the NBAA’s CAM’s (Certified Aviation Manager)?

Thanks guys....
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:06 AM   #2  
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As far as perceptions with management, Depends on the nature and scope of the company you work for. Some really value the graduate level degree, others look at it like wall paper.
With regards to the CAM, you get a few more points on the application for having a graduate degree but it doesn't give any dispensation for the area of study.

hope this helps...
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:27 AM   #3  
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The value varies....but all in all I dont think either one carries much weight. I never saw anyone get hired or promoted over another person in corporate aviation (Fortune 5 to single airplane) by having an advanced degree. It certainly does not hurt, but its just not expected or needed.

Do it for yourself, and pick something you are interested in. Education is something you always get to keep and take with you...and its especially nice if someone else is paying for it! Never pass up that opportunity.

The CAM certification is pretty much a joke. With a few years experience and a handful of 5th grade level 6 week long classes anyone qualifies to take it. All it says is that you (or someone) paid $1500 to go take an exam. Unless your employer specifically requested it and it does something for you, I would not put much effort into becoming a "CAM" Everyone knows what it takes to become a "CAM" and most get a laugh out of people who think its some kind of credential....Jane Pilot, CAM....

At the end of the day its still airplane flying. A single pilot King Air to a fleet of long range jets at a Fortune 5 company its still flying. Yes, a degree of any kind checks the box but hiring/retention/promotion is still very much hinged on your personality, skills, and experience...not a Masters degree.

Good Luck!

Last edited by NowCorporate; 09-27-2011 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:44 PM   #4  
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If you are staying corporate AND aspire to be a Chief Pilot or Aviation Director, I'd recommend getting the MBA. In the future, you will be dealing with the CEO, CFO or other upper level types, justifying the plane(s), your department's expenses or why some money is needed for something, training, equipment, whatever, having the MBA means you can speak their language; you will be able to present your ideas intelligently and in terms they will understand. I have a good friend who is an aviation director at a Fortune 100 deal and recommends it highly. He's a real pilot, but knows whereof he speaks. He managed yo turn the plane into a profit center and ensured its place in the budget.

GF
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:45 PM   #5  
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Dont waste your money on this bvll**** Master's Degree. Knowledge,experience and intelligence doesnt come from listening to some idiot professor. Just like in the cockpit you either know what your doing or you dont. If a time comes to make a presentation(like GF says) you either know what your talking about or you dont. I'll guarantee the CEO or CFO or whoever dont give a sh//t what frat house you spent your time. Believe me,, they'll be more impressed with your "know how" and "can do" experience then anything else.

WD
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:12 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whaledriver101 View Post
Dont waste your money on this bvll**** Master's Degree. Knowledge,experience and intelligence doesnt come from listening to some idiot professor. Just like in the cockpit you either know what your doing or you dont. If a time comes to make a presentation(like GF says) you either know what your talking about or you dont. I'll guarantee the CEO or CFO or whoever dont give a sh//t what frat house you spent your time. Believe me,, they'll be more impressed with your "know how" and "can do" experience then anything else.

WD

This is awesome.

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:30 PM   #7  
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The best type of education someone who manages an airplane can get, IMO, is financial and business related - financial accounting, contract law, negotiation, and taxation. Those were the areas I felt like I needed to improve upon when I was made CP, and I feel like I've benefited myself and my company because of it.

You can get that information from an MBA (what I'm doing VERY part-time), an MS in any number of fields, the Darden aviation program, CAM, your local community college (did that for MBA prerequisites) or "Idiot's Guide To" books.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:40 PM   #8  
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I have to agree with a few of the above posts. I've given presentations to CEOs and Boards of Directors for companies interested in entering corporate aviation. For the most part they don't speak aviation, they speak business. If we want to keep our jobs we must also speak bisiness. We need to be able to integrate aviation and business knowledge and present it to those paying the bills in a way that is understandable to them. I personally wouldn't waste my time on a master's degree in aviation. I'd spend the time and money on something that will make you a little more business savvy. Many corporate gigs include certain management aspects, so you may as well educate yourself accordingly.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:44 PM   #9  
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Thanks for the heads up on the Darden program - that looks like a great program. I have an undergrad degree in finance, and I am almost done with my MBA in accounting. I am hoping that with some turboprop/turbine experience will set me up nicely to get some nice corporate gig someday. I looked at a lot of aviation related master's degrees but they all seem like fluff degrees that don't really translate into results. I feel like with a good grasp on finance/accounting it may be easier to connect and work with those that pay the bills...
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