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Old 12-29-2008, 06:31 PM   #1  
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Default Anyone have degree only in aviation?

Hi,

I wanted an opinion on pilots who only got a degree in aviation. Have you been furloughed and what types of jobs did you get with only an aviation degree? Do you regret not doing a double major in college? Do you believe having a degree in aviation has opened up more opportunity's for you in the aviation field?
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:35 PM   #2  
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I would highly recommend it. Maybe finance or something...
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:35 PM   #3  
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I have a degree in Aviation from MSCD and am fortunate to have a great job right now. I have a minor in meteorology also...So If I wasnt flying I would be a Barista
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:38 PM   #4  
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My degree was in Aviation Management.

I was furloughed 4 times and went anywhere from 1 to 4 months unemployed after each furlough. Was unable to find non-flying employment (other than unskilled labor).

Would have given my left arm for a degree in a non-aviation related field.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:08 PM   #5  
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I managed to have a great career (so far) with a degree in aviation management. I was lucky.

If I could go back, I'd get a degree in finance, computer science, or pre-law, or building science, or darn near anything. The only thing my AM degree was good for was keeping me motivated to go to class because I was enthralled with all things aviation (still am 25 years later....) However, I was blessed with good timing, a steady Air Force job, and a job at a (for now) stable airline.

The corollary to this for military guys is that every bit of additional training you can get is valuable too. Like every other fighter pilot, I wanted to work in weapons, then in weapons, then in weapons. When I got to Tyndall AFB after being an Ops IP and Flight Commander I knew I was headed for an OSS job. Instead, I took a side track into the Med Group to become an aerospace physiologist. That led to me being selected to develop the wing CRM program. That program led to me becoming the SME when we got contractors to come in take over and develop a program. Those same contractors were...guess what...FedEx pilots. The skills I learned outside my primary loves shooting, killing, and blowing stuff up really helped me make some solid airline contacts. It also gave me a lot of new skills--like classroom teaching--which later morphed into some of the work I've done since leaving active duty. I've had other friends take sideline projects in computers, sim training setups, or fighter beddown projects (F22) that all led to having great job opportunities on the outside when these guys were done.

These days, I am also doing some work helping some DOD folks find the right guys for contracting jobs. Guess what the first question I get asked is? What is that person's security clearance and is it current? In short--the higher the clearance, the higher the paycheck.

Point to all of this? The more you know--the more diverse and wide your background is--the more opportunities you are likely to have in front of you. We all aspire to be successful pilots, but having a plan B, C, and D can sure help you sleep easier at night. There aren't any "bad" qualifications to have, and the more you can offer a potential employer the more likely I think you are to have a shot at whatever is out there.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:37 AM   #6  
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I have the "aviation only" degree and was recently furloughed. I landed a GREAT job as an underwriter for an aviation insurance company...... I was very lucky though as the turnover is practically NIL.... right place at the right time I guess, but I was told that the main reason I was hired over the other candidates was my aviation knowledge.

There are jobs out there that, believe it or not, actually like the aviation degree. The problem is finding them. Networking is probably more important than what degree you get.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:44 AM   #7  
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Quote:
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I have the "aviation only" degree and was recently furloughed. I landed a GREAT job as an underwriter for an aviation insurance company...... I was very lucky though as the turnover is practically NIL.... right place at the right time I guess, but I was told that the main reason I was hired over the other candidates was my aviation knowledge.

There are jobs out there that, believe it or not, actually like the aviation degree. The problem is finding them. Networking is probably more important than what degree you get.
You're right, a bachelor's degree in most anything will open doors. It's your knowledge and experience that allows you to walk through them.

Most people get too wrapped around the axle as to what their degree is in. Yes you must have a JD to practice law and a MD to practice medicine, but beyond that the flavor of your degree doesn't hold as much weight as some believe. I recently saw a statistic that over 85% of college graduates work in a field completely unrelated to their degree.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:33 AM   #8  
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I have to agree with all that has been mentioned and I will toss in my 2 cents.

If you are currently learing to fly, I would recommend getting your flying done before you go after another major. Flying several times a week will help you greatly during your steep learning curve and will save you money. If you have your flying done, and are, or will be instructing for a flight school associated with a university, it may not be a bad idea to get a masters or second bachelors.

I think it is very important to have something to fall back on, especially if you medical out at an early age. I hope not!!! However, once you have been out of college and flying, your area of knowledge is going to become airline or corporate flying and less in what you have your second major in, especially if it is something that is changing and requires use of skills.

When things slowed after 9/11, at my regional, many people worked their way into management jobs. Great way to seperate yourself from the rest of the crowd, and certainly gives you some experience that you could use should you get furloughed, medical out or decide that you want to go down the management road later in your career.

If have flown with some guys that have gotten masters just as something to do on their off days while flying for the airlines.

Education and Experience is very important, and the rest is networking. After a while, it isn't what you know, it is who you know. I am an aviation major, management minor, and all of my flying jobs have come from people I have met from college.

Last edited by OKLATEX; 12-30-2008 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:38 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez340 View Post
You're right, a bachelor's degree in most anything will open doors. It's your knowledge and experience that allows you to walk through them.

Most people get too wrapped around the axle as to what their degree is in. Yes you must have a JD to practice law and a MD to practice medicine, but beyond that the flavor of your degree doesn't hold as much weight as some believe. I recently saw a statistic that over 85% of college graduates work in a field completely unrelated to their degree.
Not only do most work outsdie their field but even if you have other works experience how much can you except if you have some technical degree and have worked for let's say 5 years out of the industry? If it were in CAD or some sort of engineering then I would imagine that what I learned 5 years ago would be old hat and not of much use. I think that unless you go right into your degree field - your work history, experience and overall knowledge is a bigger factor for most jobs.

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Old 12-31-2008, 05:01 AM   #10  
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I think an aviation degree is fine, as long as it isn't from one of those pilot mills....from a well rounded university makes you a well rounded person. Also, 3 years minimum in the military is great on a resume.
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