Data Scientist & CFII VS Regional FO

#1
Hello all. Been lurking around the forums for some time now and need some advice regarding yet another career question.

Background: 28, married no kids (hopefully in 5 years or so) , CFI-I with 2000 TT (fly close to 20-35 hrs a month including some coast to coast ferrying once in a while), 1300 Dual, living in NYS, 6 years of engineering design experience at a manufacturing firm, almost zero loans.

Current salary around 75k in engineering and 12-18k from CFI’ing on the side. I’ve been learning/playing with programming and data mining for some time now and have quite few students who hold key IT positions in large NYC companies. They all suggested that I submit my resume to them for data analyst/scientist position with starting salaries of 100k+ and north of 200k in 2-3 years and remote work options/lots of vacation.

Flying a jet has been always a dream however the more I read about QOL/lifestyle issues/spending holidays at hotels (especially when kids come around as family is more important to me than any job) etc., there more I second guess myself if I absolutely must give it a try and see where it takes me or should I just stay a CFI and fly on my own terms.

I have one prior failure (CFI oral) and minor incident from 6 years ago. I know the decision is mine however any input/words of wisdom will be appreciated.
 

ppragman

Direct Yeska
#3
If you’re going to be a Quant your life will be miserable compared to something in aviation.

CFI and get some time then go fly medevac and do some stuff on the side.
 
#4
Current salary around 75k in engineering and 12-18k from CFI’ing on the side. I’ve been learning/playing with programming and data mining for some time now and have quite few students who hold key IT positions in large NYC companies. They all suggested that I submit my resume to them for data analyst/scientist position with starting salaries of 100k+ and north of 200k in 2-3 years and remote work options/lots of vacation.
It isn't that hard to make 200k in the data science/IT world, even being remote. Biggest problem I have is that there isn't much time left for flying (had tons of time in my last job). I'm still happier flying on the side and working from home. Having already done full time travel for work, I'm not interested in spending the rest of my career on the road half the time. Part time CFI'ing is always there when I do have time to fly.
 
#5
One thing which keeps me wondering is that I want to be able to see my family and I think being gone all the time will kill it. Yes people say you get more "quality time" when you’re not flying on your days off etc. Well my question is if everyone you know around you works during the day, and your kids are in school then really you’re not getting all that much “time with family”. At least working "regular" jobs gets you in your own bed every night which is great.

My dad has been driving trucks coast to coast for the past 10 years. He is usually gone for 5-6 days on a regular trip and back home for 3-4 days. He is home, but no one else is. So in reality all that family/ friends time is not so much family at all. But again, everyone's situation is different.

I enjoy being an engineer & CFII and personally I have never took work home with me as an engineer. Some of you may have seen my post on PPW about a friend who has asked me to fly Citation Longitude for his company @ 150-200 hrs a year (mostly day trips to meetings/weekends & holidays off) in combo with engineering or data analyst work but that will start in around 6-12 month. He is one of the VP's at worlds largest animal pharma. company. I hope they get this jet, we have already met with Cessna sales team. Maybe that's my best option to be involved in the two fields.
 
F

Flying Saluki

Guest
#6
Hello all. Been lurking around the forums for some time now and need some advice regarding yet another career question.

Background: 28, married no kids (hopefully in 5 years or so) , CFI-I with 2000 TT (fly close to 20-35 hrs a month including some coast to coast ferrying once in a while), 1300 Dual, living in NYS, 6 years of engineering design experience at a manufacturing firm, almost zero loans.

Current salary around 75k in engineering and 12-18k from CFI’ing on the side. I’ve been learning/playing with programming and data mining for some time now and have quite few students who hold key IT positions in large NYC companies. They all suggested that I submit my resume to them for data analyst/scientist position with starting salaries of 100k+ and north of 200k in 2-3 years and remote work options/lots of vacation.

Flying a jet has been always a dream however the more I read about QOL/lifestyle issues/spending holidays at hotels (especially when kids come around as family is more important to me than any job) etc., there more I second guess myself if I absolutely must give it a try and see where it takes me or should I just stay a CFI and fly on my own terms.

I have one prior failure (CFI oral) and minor incident from 6 years ago. I know the decision is mine however any input/words of wisdom will be appreciated.
Flying a jet would be really cool...for a month or two. When the gee whiz factor wears off, you’re left with a job that keeps you in hotels the majority of the time, and probably doesn’t pay anywhere near what you could earn in your other field.

If it were me, I’d stay where you are and keep doing what you’re doing. You’re already living my dream.
 

3green

Well-Known Member
#7
I would say just apply at the regionals and do it. Then after groundschool and IOE decide if you want to stay if you get sick of the hotels. From the sounds of it you have people(students) at companies that can hire you if you decide to go back to IT. Honestly, you live once and at least you will have marked it off your bucket list. If you enjoy it you stay and build a career.

I'm a career changer and I am happy I changed careers and went ot the regionals and then left. I will never say, woulda, coulda, and shoulda. I did and can move on with my life. Flying is fun but as others have mentioned everything is fun when its not a job. Especially when your not on vacation and have to live out of hotels.
 

jynxyjoe

The Kickin' Chicken!
#9
Hello all. Been lurking around the forums for some time now and need some advice regarding yet another career question.

Background: 28, married no kids (hopefully in 5 years or so) , CFI-I with 2000 TT (fly close to 20-35 hrs a month including some coast to coast ferrying once in a while), 1300 Dual, living in NYS, 6 years of engineering design experience at a manufacturing firm, almost zero loans.

Current salary around 75k in engineering and 12-18k from CFI’ing on the side. I’ve been learning/playing with programming and data mining for some time now and have quite few students who hold key IT positions in large NYC companies. They all suggested that I submit my resume to them for data analyst/scientist position with starting salaries of 100k+ and north of 200k in 2-3 years and remote work options/lots of vacation.

Flying a jet has been always a dream however the more I read about QOL/lifestyle issues/spending holidays at hotels (especially when kids come around as family is more important to me than any job) etc., there more I second guess myself if I absolutely must give it a try and see where it takes me or should I just stay a CFI and fly on my own terms.

I have one prior failure (CFI oral) and minor incident from 6 years ago. I know the decision is mine however any input/words of wisdom will be appreciated.
I'd say stick in your field, this industry is crazy. I love my job but I also loved my old job as a tech (making what you made in 06) and owning a plane on the side.

There's no point getting into what could have been, but I'll tell you this, you're in a fortunate place i wouldn't give up if I were. However, i am most certainly not you, and if you love this stuff more than punching numbers then bail, come fly. Also idk what anyone is talking about doing medevac. Go fly for a regional and get paid with a great qol
 
#10
Thank you guys! I have recently applied to C5 and passed United's Hogan. They offered me a class date in November so I will have to make up my mind soon. Seems like I may a pretty good chance getting into CPP program if HR interview with united goes well.

One side of me tells me to go do it and see how things are after IOE and CPP interview. Worst case scenario is I get my ATP/Type/Some turbine time and go back looking for a job (should be easy living in NY along with many great connections). Working for majors will be a blast especially with some seniority. Two of my friends (one is Delta FO, the other UAL FO) fly domestic trips and get awesome QOL along with great pay and amazing open time $$$$, surely beats any other job out there.

The other side of me keeps questioning if am crazy to even think spending more than half of my time away from loved once in the cities/hotels I could care less for.

I guess the only way to find out will be to try. I am also at the point with my company where I will be looking for new opportunities in the next 1-2 month regardless so might as well give flying a try before committing to that next engineering or IT job.

I also have a friend (former student) who has asked me to fly for his company (he is one of the VP's of world's largest animal pahrma.). 150-200 hrs a year in combination with some engineering work for the company. Maybe that could be a sweet spot. Phenomenal salary for a corporate gig, practically no overnights (most flights out for meetings and back, lots of coast to coast), holidays off, new Citation Longitude.....however this will come around in about 1-1.3 years until they take delivery of the aircraft, we have already met with sales representatives.

Thank you all again, I will keep you updated on my decision in the next few weeks!
 
#13
Honestly I don't know. I've learned Python along with Pandas, Plotly, Matplotlib etc., and it's so easy! I know few guys who bill their customers enormous amounts for few lines of Pandas or Plotly code....
Crazy, eh? I used to do the hard part, the ETL of moving this stuff from Oracle or csv or wherever, and that tends to pay peanuts. I'm the "big picture, big data" person now. Same job really.

I really do like Pandas though.
 

ppragman

Direct Yeska
#14
Honestly I don't know. I've learned Python along with Pandas, Plotly, Matplotlib etc., and it's so easy! I know few guys who bill their customers enormous amounts for few lines of Pandas or Plotly code....
How can I do this - I speak python pretty well at this point and at one point was pretty sharp with MatPlotLib. How do I start billing enormous amounts for that? Not gonna lie, doin data science would be fun - I’d like to actually use my math degree...
 
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