Do I need a Bachelo...
 

[Sticky] Do I need a Bachelors Degree?  

 

Lindsey
(@kannol)
Admin
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 39
28/08/2018 9:15 pm  

For the regionals: no

For the majors: The short answer is "basically yes." The longer answer is that some major airlines have dropped their degree requirement. That said, there is a huge difference between a degree not being required and a non-degree holder actually being competitive without one. Lack of a degree may allow you to hit "submit" on AirlineApps, but what are your odds of getting that phone call for interview invite when 99% of the other applicants have one? 

This question was asked previously on a locked forum - here are some of the answers (usernames anonymous):

  • "Yes. It is a massive discriminator. Apply either way but if you aren’t actively working on it, you could be setting yourself back years. If you are at a WO you can rely on flow to EVENTUALLY get you there, but it could still cost you years."
  • "From the mouth of Bill Kennedy at UA and Rocky at southwest. While it’s not required there, chances without one are almost slim. Delta requires it no matter what. I just did online classes at UVU, get credit for ratings."
  • "99.9% chance you won’t get looked at a Major carrier without a 4 yr degree. Start now and while building time at a regional (or wherever) finish it. Keep at it and soon you’ll have it done. Especially if you have the 9/11 GI Bill or TA. Someone else paying, too easy."
  • "While not required, you won’t find many, if any, guys “hired” without a degree. This may change, but in how long? I’d not count on a flow or wait however many years until they start hiring guys without degrees...it isn’t about the income you’d miss while waiting for a flow or the norm to change, rather it’ll be about the years missed at the top of the pay scale at the end of your career. If you wait 3 additional years, you’re missing 3 years of earning $300k+ at the end of your career. Is it worth $900k in income to avoid the degree?"
  • "There is no shortage of pilots at the majors. Just finished 777 school and on a day we finished early stopped by recruiting. Delta has almost 10,000 apps on file. Granted, not all are considered Tier I but all have a college degree. The regionals may have problems attracting pilots but not the majors. You have to remain ultra competitive."

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Warren Russell
(@rwr85)
Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 8
01/10/2018 10:17 am  

Something else to consider, it this may upset some of you.  

 

I don't think I would ever lobby to have this 'requirement' changed.  I believe, that as a unionized workforce, we can ever allow our professional education requirements to be eroded.  This is part of the equation when negotiating for the salaries we presently enjoy.  I sincerely do think the Army has not done an incredible job ensuring our Warrant Officers receive enough Civilian Educational Credit for their job functions.  I also think that sometimes the best Warrant Officers aren't afforded enough time to complete their degree since they are the ones that receive further duties (because they can handle it, and the organization needs them to).  It's not fair.  But it shouldn't change.  If we as Army Pilots are going to compete with the other services as a talent pool of exceptionally qualified aviators, we have to be just that, exceptionally qualified.  

-Warren

First Officer, United Airlines
B737, Washington D.C.
UC-35 / C-12 / AH-64D


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Lindsey
(@lindsey)
Admin
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 177
01/10/2018 1:28 pm  
Posted by: Warren Russell

Something else to consider, it this may upset some of you.  

 

I don't think I would ever lobby to have this 'requirement' changed.  I believe, that as a unionized workforce, we can ever allow our professional education requirements to be eroded.  This is part of the equation when negotiating for the salaries we presently enjoy.  I sincerely do think the Army has not done an incredible job ensuring our Warrant Officers receive enough Civilian Educational Credit for their job functions.  I also think that sometimes the best Warrant Officers aren't afforded enough time to complete their degree since they are the ones that receive further duties (because they can handle it, and the organization needs them to).  It's not fair.  But it shouldn't change.  If we as Army Pilots are going to compete with the other services as a talent pool of exceptionally qualified aviators, we have to be just that, exceptionally qualified.  

-Warren

I think I agree with you @rwr85. Furthermore, since we have the GI Bill there is generally even less of an excuse for vets to not get a degree while at a regional. Our civilian counterparts have found the money for all their flight training, have higher ATP hour requirements, and still need to find money to fund a degree. 


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Mark Warfield
(@mark-warfield)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 5
02/10/2018 5:25 pm  

Having a degree is definitely a necessity. I've considered getting a Masters to set me ahead of those don't have one. Overtime I believe it will pay off.


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monty82173
(@monty82173)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 10
02/10/2018 11:49 pm  

I agree the Army doesn't put an emphasis on AVN Warrants to get a degree. For that matter RLO's are only minimally encourage to pursue a masters. However, this is where qualified pilots are separated from exceptionally qualified.

I was an Army SFC with 7 years of service when I went to WOCS and Flight school. After finishing at Rucker, ERAU credited me with 81 hours college credit. I only needed 30 hours - and 24 of that was freshmen level gen-ed classes, remaining 6 were upper level electives that  I could choose. With a six year ADSO for Army flight school there is no reason any Warrant Officer cannot finish their 4 year degree with TA (the TA ADSO running concurrently with flight school ADSO), no matter how busy they are with flying and additional duties.(Obviously those married with family, etc would have more demands on their time - but I'm talking about 1 class at a time, no more)

I know RTAG focuses on those with less than 2 years left, but in the realm of mentorship - this is what we need to be advertising to those who are just now in Army Flight school and already know about RTAG - get your degree done with TA ASAP. 

Planned right, you can finish a degree one class at a time in 4 years, then your last 2 years focus on your FW PPL, Instrument, C-ASEL etc. 

This post was modified 1 year ago by monty82173

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Lindsey
(@lindsey)
Admin
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Posts: 177
03/10/2018 12:40 am  

@monty82173 I couldn't agree more! Also, I think having a TA associated with the ADSO for Warrant Officers is ridiculous. Heck, even for Officers who didn't have the Army pay for their BA/BS (such as ROTC/WP) should not incur a TA to work on their Masters. Enlisted don't incur a TA. But I suppose that is neither here nor there. It would be pretty neat to have a guide for new WOs who are looking to go to their airlines after their ADSO. Heck, the Rock incident demonstrated we apparently have a not-insignificant following in our new WOs. Obviously and clearly their focus should be on their Army duties, but as you said, there's no reason not to knock out the degree over time, and when they are close to getting out, knocking our their FW ratings. Another thing of note that they could work on early on is keeping a personal logbook and logging their flight time per the FARs so there's not a gigantic logbook conversion task at the end. This is beneficial no matter where they go after the Army.


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Zack
 Zack
(@zvo)
Admin
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 13
03/10/2018 8:14 am  

Straight from the pilot hiring departments at United, Delta, & UPS — masters degrees are very desirable.

I cannot speak for American, FedEx, or Southwest, but I cannot imagine they would not value it if, for no other reason, it’s a discriminator among thousands of other applicants. 

At MINIMUM get your bachelors degree. All the legacy carriers and cargo carriers have put out statistics stating that > 98% of their new hires have 4-year degrees. That said, if you do not have your degree, you are essentially disqualifying yourself for the job. However, if you do have a degree, what do hiring departments - now ran by HR gurus, not pilots - have to go after when your résumé is identical to 8,000+ other applicants on file? Internal letters of recommendation, volunteer experience, military service, education experience, additional pilot ratings, leadership positions, etc. all set you apart from the rest of the pack. Having a type rating with 121 TPIC is important, but that’s only part of the equation.

If you have VA benefits to apply toward a masters degree and you’re currrently not enrolled, you’re wasting valuable time and not giving yourself the opportunity to achieve the dream job and secure your seniority number. 


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monty82173
(@monty82173)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 10
03/10/2018 8:14 pm  

Spot on! Whether to get a bachelors degree or not, should not be an issue. Get it. Quickest way for a computerized HR system to scan your resume and place at the bottom on the pile. Just Do It.


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monty82173
(@monty82173)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 10
03/10/2018 8:23 pm  

@Lindsey you're right a guide should be created. I can work on that. "Everything I should have done back in flight school". On a similar thought process - a masters costs around 10K, ball park. For me to go Zero to Hero out of pocket would be 30-50K depending on several factors. This is why I prefer to use the GI Bill at Infinity. If I have to pay out of pocket - I'll pay the masters. 


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Lindsey
(@lindsey)
Admin
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 177
03/10/2018 8:26 pm  
Posted by: monty82173

@Lindsey you're right a guide should be created. I can work on that. "Everything I should have done back in flight school". On a similar thought process - a masters costs around 10K, ball park. For me to go Zero to Hero out of pocket would be 30-50K depending on several factors. This is why I prefer to use the GI Bill at Infinity. If I have to pay out of pocket - I'll pay the masters. 

@monty82173 if you could put something like that together, email it to me at lindsey@rotarytoairlinegroup.org and I will publish it as an article on the site! I think there's a huge need for it. 

Also agreed on Infinity.


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BornFighting
(@bornfighting)
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 1
23/01/2019 5:56 am  

Take this for what it's worth from an old fart who started out as a Navy helicopter pilot with 40+ years in aviation.   I have always thought the requirement to have a college degree is nothing more than "a check in the box" requirement by the airlines.   IMO it has nothing to do with how good an aviator you are or will be.  It is all in your attitude and how you approach your profession.  As a primary flight instructor in the U.S. Navy for 10 years active duty and reserve I had the pleasure back in the late 1980's to fly with the first enlisted personnel who were selected for the FLDO (Flying Limited Duty Officer) Program.  The applicants were required to have an associates degree.  I found them to be highly professional.  They came to briefings well prepared.  Knew their procedures cold(much better than some of the Naval Academy and ROTC commissioned officers).  They were a pleasure to work with.  I have kept track of several of them and they have gone on to very successful careers in the Navy and afterwards.  After the Navy I had a successful commercial aviation career with a major U.S. carrier spanning 30 years. 

As the shortage worsens I believe you will see the requirement to have bachelor's degree become a "plus" rather than compulsory.   From a historical standpoint, during WWII some of the most decorated aviation units were made up of enlisted pilots. 

In closing, for those of you with helicopter time.  Don't let anyone make you feel "second rate" because you have helicopter time.  As a matter of fact, some of the smoothest pilots I have ever flown with in commercial aviation had been helicopter pilots in the military.  The old adage, "The only thing worse than having VD in your medical record is having helicopter time in your log book" does not apply.


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