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Reasons not to get a degree in Aviation

Discussion in 'Collegiate Aviation' started by Blackhawk21, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. clayfenderstrat

    clayfenderstrat Well-Known Member

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    I tripped up on this post a few minutes ago, and can't help but comment. I am a freshman at Purdue as well, and switched out of the Pro Flight Program during my first week here. I had many of the same sentiments as Blackhawk. I am now in Aviation Management. The Kool Aid is poured on thick here. I will come out with a degree as well as CTI endorsement and a couple of minors. This will really open up the options when it comes time to graduate. I am extremely confident in my decision to switch; to those who think that he got out of the program prematurely, I defend his position. It doesn't take long to find out what you are really getting into here at Purdue. Granted I am in state, and I cannot fathom the fees--I can't imagine being from out of state. Blackhawk, if you don't mind me asking, are you staying on campus?
  2. mikecweb

    mikecweb They think I'm Mexican...

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    I graduated in '05 with 110k in debt. Which hasn't hindered me too much because I've never been on first year regional pay.
  3. wrxpilot

    wrxpilot New Member

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    I'm glad it's worked out for you then. :)
  4. MFT1Air

    MFT1Air Well-Known Member

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    I'm jumping on your bandwagon. Why is it that most people on this thread immediately equate a degree in aviation/aviation management with utilizing the piece of paper solely for being a pilot? The bachelor's degree is not a BS in pilot/flying. . .it's aviation. That piece of paper would help should you decide to pursue a career in ATC, it would help if you're trying to work for an airline, if you're trying to work at many of the peripheral support functions related to aviation, all OTHER things being equal, it would help with a promotion decision if one had a degree and someone else didn't . . .all OTHER things being equal. . .the function of attaining a degree is not solely related to flying/piloting an airplane. . .to fly an airplane, you receive a "certificate" for that. The degree opens up other options.

    My only gripe about the process the lead poster mentioned was the money. There are less expensive alternatives to get your certificates and your education.
  5. clayfenderstrat

    clayfenderstrat Well-Known Member

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    Here at Purdue, a BS in professional flight is useful ONLY for getting a job as a pilot. Without a CTI endorsement, you are no more valuable to the FAA than an OTS applicant. Without a management background, why would an airline hire you? I agree that there are more cost effective ways to earn an education and get certificates/ratings. Just for giggles, Purdue does offer two different degrees: Aviation Management and Professional Flight Technology. PFT is good only for pilots, where AM will prepare you for other jobs in aviation. This is precisely why I switched programs to get a good look at the management side. It opens so many more doors.
  6. GUNIT

    GUNIT Well-Known Member

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    Hate to piss in your cheerios clayfender, but chances are a degree in PFT won't close any more of the proverbial doors than an AvMgmt already has. When you start the job hunt process and interviewing you'll realize that it's not so much about what it says on your degree so long as it says B.A. or B.S., but more dependent on who you know, how your present yourself, drive, and if you come across as intelligent.

    Outside of the aviation sector you will be employable as an entry level employee in any non-super-specialized field (i.e. nurse, accountant, etc.).

    Work hard, get involved, and don't be afraid to question your professors and the administration (especially the admins at Purdue, sorry had to get one jab in there) and you will be a marketable job candidate in whichever field you desire to pursue.

    I agree CTI is a smart move, however, if memory serves me correctly you do not have to be in AvMgmt to do CTI. The CTI add on at Purdue is either 2 or 4 classes and Pro Pilot majors can do it.
  7. MFT1Air

    MFT1Air Well-Known Member

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    Gonna have to agree with you again, GUNIT. First, my quote:
    speaks for itself. Your chance of getting a job with the piece of paper is better than someone not having it at all. Secondly, from my military days, having that piece of paper as an Army aviator affords you all the rank, privileges, and responsibilities as someone with an engineer degree or physical education. More importantly, those aforementioned factors provide you with a better chance of becoming a military aviator than a layperson.

    Lastly, with that piece of paper, once you're "in the door," like the GPA thread, nothing else matters. It's performance that matters then.
  8. clayfenderstrat

    clayfenderstrat Well-Known Member

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    You are correct, it is only 2 more classes for AvMgmt and flight, or 8 additional classes for other majors outside of aviation. I didn't mean that you would not be marketable.....it just seems silly to pay $100,000 to get a degree in the same thing as your certificates are good for. Might as well do something else, and then flight train on the side. I am just trying to broaden my horizons and get as many opportunities as I can get. I would also appreciate if you would refrain from urinating in my breakfast cereals. :D
  9. GUNIT

    GUNIT Well-Known Member

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    With the exception of beereal, a little piss might make the cereal taste better, and it's sterile. Anyways, I completely see where you're coming from and agree with your viewpoint; in fact it's exactly what I did! I left Purdue after my first year and went to a state university and trained on the side. I just wanted to throw the idea of if you're going to get a back up degree might as well knock aviation out of the equation and just get a straight management or business degree.

    Just another perspective/thought!
  10. david2000

    david2000 Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more with this comment...:clap:
  11. sog

    sog New Member

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    I wonder how all the college grads who studied history or african art are feeling about that one right now. Hell, my girlfriend studied history. Smart as hell, wanted to be pre-law, 3.85 GPA honors graduate, yadda yadda yadda. Didn't get into law school and now she works in a bank at $7/hr with a bunch of people who didn't even go to college.

    You have to study something you care about, but don't let yourself believe that things are going to magically work out just because it's a field that you love. It will either lead to a job or it won't.
  12. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO Gooby pls!

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    I told everyone I know the same stuff I've been reading in this thread. But then I started taking college classes and realized I'm failing every class I take because the stuff I'm learning sucks and I don't have any motivation to learn it. Now I'm actually leaning TOWARDS an aviation degree because if I couldn't fly for whatever reason, I'm sure there are a million other ways to make a career in the airline/aviation industry without having to pay thousands of dollars to secure a back up career that I would shoot myself if I had to do.

    People say get a degree outside of aviation. Why not get a degree outside of flying but stay in aviation? Unless the whole sky falls down its not like the industry is going to disappear.
  13. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Well-Known Member

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    Sorry that you feel I offended people by saying don't studying something you don't have an interest in. But, honestly, why waste 4 years of your life, and a significant amount of money on something you have no interest in? Its bad enough at times in college, studying what you want to study. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if people had told me to go major in art history. People work better, try harder, and enjoy things more when they are doing something they enjoy.
  14. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO Gooby pls!

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    :beer:
  15. Maurus

    Maurus The Great Gazoo

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    Not really. If you go many years in aviation you would be so far behind the curve in either of those fields it would still be better to grab someone right out of college. At that point it would be the same as an aviation degree. Check the 4 year box and move on.

    Also an aviation degree could allow for flight training and the aviation degree to be done cheaper as a result of the 33 or so credits you can obtain as a result of your flight training.
  16. killbilly

    killbilly Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens

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    Y'know, I'm going to come at this from a different angle. Maybe you think I'm wrong, and if you do, that's cool. No worries. We're in different places.

    I've been in my career field for about...oh...17 years now. I make a pretty good living, and have a skillset which I could put to use in several different jobs within this field that would ensure me a reasonable standard of living until the day I die. It's been good to me.

    And lately, I've been strongly considering enrolling in college and obtaining a degree - in aviation.

    See, I've got the job thing worked out. But aviation interests me. The many facets of it interest me. The achievement interests me, and the fact that an undergraduate degree in aviation gives me a baseline to move on to grad school in something else if I want.

    The point being this: I measure my QoL in the sense of how happy I am with my day-to-day life and what I'm doing. 17 years in telecom has taught me that it's just a job, but doesn't feed my brain (or my soul) in a way that is meaningful anymore.

    I'm sure that I might feel strange as a 35-year-old freshman, no matter what the course of study. But what I find really appealing right now is that I can take a step in a completely new direction, learn something new about a subject I really love, and fall back on the world of dialtone if I need to.

    Options equal happiness for me. And an aviation education is yet another option. :)

    If you want a degree in aviation, get a degree in aviation. Or basketweaving. Or whatever you want. Just enjoy what you do.
  17. sog

    sog New Member

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    What I am saying is, a bunch of the people in my class at school studied like african art or music theory because it's what they love. But just because it's what they love or they're good at it doesn't mean it's a good investment. I agree wholeheartedly that it's important to study/work in a field that interests you, but you have to be realistic at the same time, and find a field that is the right combination of interesting and sustainable.

    I have good friends, smart, intelligent, hardworking people, who paid $200K for their education at a top-20 university, and now they can't get a decent job because, for all their effort and fancy education, it was just in a field that does not have jobs. All I'm saying is, be realistic. And don't expect that things will magically work out just because you love your field.
  18. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Well-Known Member

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    All good points, and all good things that should be considered. Anymore, I think the only sure-fire jobs are in healthcare, and perhaps accounting/tax type businesses. Just not for me, no way, no how, could I do those things.
  19. jdlilfan

    jdlilfan Well-Known Member

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    If you are looking for in-state tuition with Indiana, I would recommend ISU. Courses are much cheaper, flying is much cheaper, and ISU has pretty nice facility and nice campus. Get an Aviation management degree. Most of the people I know that went that route and were sucessful are now in decent management and aviation admin gigs. On top of that, get a private and instrument so that you will understand the pilots side of things when it comes to airport admin duties.
  20. gulfstreampiper

    gulfstreampiper Well-Known Member

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    My best friend went to Purdue to take Actuarial Science just like you. He wants to be an airline pilot. He decided to get a degree in something else so he would have something to fall back on besides aviation. He ended up being on academic probation his first semester and now goes to IUPUI(a satellite school of Purdue and Indiana University) to get his grades back up. All because he had absolutely no interest in the subject matter(and it was rediculously hard). This kid had roughly a 3.8 GPA in high school. If he would have been in a degree he wanted(Pro Pilot), he would easily be onn the Dean's List.

    Reasons I chose to get an Aviation Management degree:

    1) I enjoy, and am engaged in all my aviation classes.
    2)Almost all my friends are in the aviation department. (Networking at its finest)
    3) I can get my pilot ratings on the side, and at my own pace.
    4) I get to fly with alot of the guys/girls in the department...FREE.
    5) I'm eligible for alot of aviation internships which require an aviation degree. Almost all of these internships are not known to people outside of the aviation department.
    6) Eligible for a ton of aviation scholarships.
    7) I am still getting a degree in a specific type of Management. I still take a boat load of business courses which I believe have helped me tremendously.

    Oh and I go to Indiana State, not Purdue.

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