Where should I start Four year with ratings, or flight school and college later?

kansaspilot

New Member
Is it better to start off by going to Comair and get my ratings, or is it better to go to a four year college with a Pilot program? Most of the people I met while touring flight schools already had their degrees. Does this mean that I am already behind? I was about to make the choice between FS or Comair, but with the current waiting list at FS It would be the same amt of time to go to K State and get a degree. I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. It is getting close to crunch time and didnt need this thrown into the mix. Is it better to get the degree out of the way. I'm down to making a decision for either comair or K state four year program. I would like to have gone to FlightSafety, but the waiting list is just too long.
 

blee256

Well-Known Member
Get your degree first. That will without a doubt be the same advice from the rest of the people on this board. Also I would say get a degree in something other than aviation. A defree is there to fall back on, just in case something goes wrong with your aviation career. Besides, airlines dont care what your degree is in as long as you have one. But I think thats the way in most non-technical industries.

I say go to school and get your ratings at ayour local FBO while attending. And if by the time you graduate you dont have all your ratings, at that point you can decide whether to stay at your FBO or go to an accelerated prgram like comair, FIS, or whereever

-Brian
 

Wannabe2

New Member
Get the degree first. Fly when you can on the weekends and stuff, but that degree will make you much more attractive to a regional, and is pretty much a requirement for the majors. Good luck!
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
You guys are beautiful!


Whenever Jetcareers, LLC goes public, remind me to throw you two some stock options!
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
You guys are beautiful!


Whenever Jetcareers, LLC goes public, remind me to throw you two some stock options!


[/ QUOTE ]

Hmm… You know I have been thinking about diversifying my portfolio.. err.. I mean, creating one! I just love the work “diversify”!
 

flyboy03

New Member
You guys are gonna hate me for this and if im not the oddball im sure someone else will be, but if i were you i would think it through good before i made a decision. I am only 19 and i do not have a degree but i am attending Comair Academy. I chose this because it felt best for ME, i think your goals can be obtained both ways. My thing is that whats the use in getting a degree if your not going to use it, not to say you wouldn't use it oneday, but you spend 4 years in college to get a degree, then take out another loan, and then go to comair, you cant have a job, so i dont know how you would use a degree right away. My plans are to finish my ratings with comair and hopefully get on with a regional, or flight instruct or do something else while going to college as i plan too. If your young as I am then you have plenty of time, and your not going to go to a major airline right away anyway. Im just pointing out that there is more than one way to do it. Another way i would consider is getting a rating or two while in college, that way youll have a degree and hours too. I just couldn't grasp the idea of waiting 4 years to be in the cockpit of an airplane, and in my case that how it would have turned out. For me its easier to study for one thing at a time, so i chose to study for aviation first, then a degree next. The way I have it planned with the way im doing it i will be 25 with my ratings and a degree, the same as if you went to college first then comair, so it works out both ways, you have your main goal set though and that is getting a degree!
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
What happens if with the glut of experienced pilots on the job market if every regional from Cape Air up to Skywest said, "Four Year Degree Required"?

Then you're 60,000 in debt and Wal Mart is only paying $6.75 to start?

You've GOT to look at it that way.
 

iceman21

Well-Known Member
I am going the same route as flyboy. I will have all my ratings by June/July. Part time instruct, and go to school doing correspondence courses.

Oh yeah, I am 22, married and have a son so my situation may be a bit different to others but I don't see why not.
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
First off welcome to the JetCareers forum Kansaspilot! You will eventually get sucked into checking this fourm 50 million times a day (Blame Doug!)....but hey us struggling pilots need somewhere to hang out!

As far as Comair is concerned....I was gonna go to SFB and do the extended campus deal thru Emery Riddle. However looking at the advanced pace of the flight program I decided to go to one of the external campuses of Comair. At Jacksonville U(4 year),Broward Community(2 year),and the new place Bridgewater State they try to work you college classes and flight lessons into a workable lesson. Best of all......One Loan! I would look into the external campuses!

A real good friend of mine is a Captain at CMR. He told me that even though they don't require a college degree, if UA or US go "TU" and flood the already weak job market, CMR will start requiring the degree. My plan is to get my AS,get to a regional, once I'm off reserve start taking correspondece classes to get my BA. My goal major doesn't require a college degree,but hey.....every bit helps.
 

secretapproach

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
You guys are gonna hate me for this and if im not the oddball im sure someone else will be, but if i were you i would think it through good before i made a decision. I am only 19 and i do not have a degree but i am attending Comair Academy. I chose this because it felt best for ME, i think your goals can be obtained both ways. My thing is that whats the use in getting a degree if your not going to use it, not to say you wouldn't use it oneday, but you spend 4 years in college to get a degree, then take out another loan, and then go to comair, you cant have a job, so i dont know how you would use a degree right away.

[/ QUOTE ]

Get your college degree not to "use" it to get a job, but to improve your quality of life outside the field of aviation. For a lot of jobs, not just pilots, it doesn't matter what you major in. Warning: I'm only 29 years old and I'm going to sound like an old fart in the following paragraph!

If you know you want to fly for a living, major in something completely unrelated that interests you: literature, languages, biology, whatever. Being well-rounded will make you a more interesting person - even to yourself. There's nothing worse than someone who can only talk about one thing (aviation or otherwise). Enjoy your time in college because it'll probably be one of the best times of your life. The quality of an education isn't measured in dollars earned after graduation. I majored in econ but who the heck cares - in the process I met lots of interesting people, learned three languages (to widely varying degrees
) and was positively challenged in my religious and political beliefs. All of that made me a much more interesting person.

Ok, my sermon is over.
 

kansaspilot

New Member
Is it better to go to a university with a flight program? I have been doing the FBO thing and a times it seems like a more formal training seems better at times. Like in a classroom setting. The reason I am Looking at K-State is for year degree with ratings. I would like to try to kill to birds with one stone. That an being a Kansas Resident, Tuition is not that bad per credit hour. But here is the next thought get an associates or Bachelors degree. I walk out with the same ratings either way. Just a different degree. I'd hope that the industry is in a upturn after four years.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Primarily the reason why I harp on the degree subject is that no matter what the glossy ads, anecdotal data, gossip, rumor, etc, the profession of being an airline pilot has very little stability.

Anything can happen at any time and it's a lot more difficult than you think to transfer to another flying job and earn enough money to pay the mortgage.

Believe me, if United Airlines can go under, so can anyone -- and I mean anyone.

Don't be pressured by your peers or a flight school to eat 'dessert first'.
 

flyboy03

New Member
Hey guys Im not tying to pressure anyone to go the same way i am, i was not pressured at all in my decision, and it would be unfair to pressure someone else. I just wanted to point out the reasons im going for the degree after. If I were any older then I might do it differently but for where I am at in my life now, i feel this is the best. To be honest I see alot of you guys are somewhat like me, not waiting to get to the cockpit, Doug i think i read somewhere that you logged time at 15? And i have read about other guys flying in high school, it looks to me like all pilots are anxious to get in the cockpit, some can do it while in high school, some can do it while in college, and some like me find it best to do one thing at a time and choose flight first. I realize what might happen in the industry and i really dont want an aviation degree after hearin you guys down it so much, but i want to be flyin so it was hard for an axious guy as myself to make that decision and i chose the way i am going now, and am happy with it. I guess I should tell you guys the whole story I have conncections with people in some busisness, its hard back breaking work, but if worse came to worse i could go offshore or get on a tugboat, or something like that, so Im not doing this without a backup plan. But hopefully it wont come to that.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Well, lemme elucidate a little. I got my private license in high school because I knew I wanted to be a pilot, but I figured I'd better get a 'taste' before I jumped head first into Embry Riddle for four (err, five) years. Getting my private wasn't because I was anxious, it was because I kind of wanted to prove to myself that an aviation career was actually for me.

Believe me, connections in the business is important, but looking back over my last 10 years of being a professional pilot, I have to stand by my statement that a young man that decides to train first and hopefully complete college later is making a grand mistake.
 

kansaspilot

New Member
I also look at the option that for the past 6 years I have been a automotive transmission technician. A skill that I would not consider an easy one to just start. I moved up the ranks to Journeyman, and Senior technician. No matter what, this is something that I will always have to fall back on. The program I am looking at is a business degree, but is there a way to get a classroom experience of flight training at a local fbo. At this years current costs I would be spending about the same in 4 yrs as opposed to Comair or FSI.
 

H46Bubba

Well-Known Member
What would be cheaper, going to ERU, or another school like it, or going through the Comair program and attending one of the partner schools concurrently? Whatever's cheaper that should be the best direction to take. Either way your getting a degree.
 

flyallday

Well-Known Member
This might be something to consider. Not so sure on this but lets say you do your flight training at comair it will cost you around 60k for the school and thats not including living expenses. I take it that you would be taking out a loan to pay. I think you have to pay 6 months after completing the program at comair so you would be paying around 550 a month.

Lets say you do your training first, after your training you start college you become a part time student at a school like UVSC I think that loan can be deferred until you are finished with your BA degree. So you would not have to making any payments for a few years down the road.
 

stuckingfk

Well-Known Member
That deferring thing does sound enticing, except the interest during that period. My current instructor is $92,000 in debt. Of that amount, $22,000 is from interest over the past 4 years cause he hasn't been paying his interest, which you are allowed to do, but it piles up quickly. My advice, do what is best for you. But college is a blast. The parties, women and booze are something you will remember for the rest of your life. If you need any more advice on the women and booze, I can help!!!
 

jeffair

New Member
Lots of good advice here and elsewhere on this site. Like others I would suggest getting the degree first. I would also suggest getting a degree in something unrelated to aviation. Reason being, the economy and job market are cyclical, so it is best to have multiple skillsets and thus, multiple career options. Statistics show that the average person will have three to four career changes in their lifetime. Sounds like you have good skills as an automotive transmission technician. Consider a degree in engineering, computer science, IT, or accounting if you want a degree to improve your chances in the non-aviation job market. You'll get your flight training from the flight school or FBO so get the degree for alternative career options or anything that interests you to expand your horizons.

Also, have you considered ATP as a flight training option? I know it's probably taboo posting that on the Comair board but you did not mention it as one of the options you were considering.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not associated with any flight school. I got my private last year at a small but excellent 141 school at my local airport (CHD), love flying, and am now considering a career change. I got a degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA while working all through school so I came out without loans. I would suggest paying as you go for your education if it is possible (it's great to be debt free). Been in tech and tech mgmt for 15 years now and make Doug+ money
but seriously considering
resetting the career and taking a vow of poverty as a flight instructor and eventually working in a corporate or fractional opportunity (maybe the airlines, but with the blood running in the streets and my advanced years
, it is hard to be optimistic about that path).

Finally, Doug, thank you so much for running this site, thanks to your moderators for policing and ensuring quality, and thanks to the participates for contributing to the exchange of opinions and information.
 

727PFE

New Member
Comair has a great program with University of Jacksonville, I think, one of my friends from the Navy is in it. He is going through the ROTC portion, going from E-5 to O-1, getting his degree, and ratings! You can't beat that with a stick!, Nor can you do that at many other places. ERAU doesn't even have Naval ROTC, at least they didn't 3 years ago. Comair has a bunch of great options, you can go to college and Comair at the same time.
 
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