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Degree, Diploma or Flight School?

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Degree, Diploma or Flight School?

Old 3rd Mar 2019, 17:10
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Vancouver
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Degree, Diploma or Flight School?

Sorry for that earlier post if some of you got pissed off due to it being a generalized question.
Anyways, my only question is does going to business school or any other programs that will eventually get you a degree, be a better option if you want to go the airline route?
OR
Does going to flight school straight give you more opportunities at the time being(I heard there is a pilot shortage but unsure of this)?
Background of myself, I am in air cadets hoping to get my PPL this summer but my main goal is to eventually get to the airlines. The reason for me asking this question is because I am currently deciding as a 17-year old GR 12 student whether I would go to get a degree first then go flight school or go straight to flight school. I have been reading through the threads in this site and found it very helpful. I am not here to be anonymous or anything but to be a learner of any information that is given. I believe there are a lot of experienced pilots here and with that, I would highly appreciate it if there are any suggestions of what pathways, schools, flights schools that you would suggest. I am residing in BC but I'm open to any suggestions. Any life stories, experiences that you had during your flight training, the journey to where you are now is also greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Mark Daniel Pua; 4th Mar 2019 at 01:07. Reason: Users prefer me to be more exact
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Old 3rd Mar 2019, 20:12
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Oil Capital of Central Scotland
Age: 54
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All of the above and none of the above.

it all depends what you've hidden in the "..." part of your question.

If you are currently unable to specify what you the future activities are expected to be, then there's a lack of key data there that you may want to address as a matter of urgency as you may be better advised to consider even a dog grooming course. If you end up working in a canine grooming parlour a business degree and a pilot's licence may not be wholly useful when trying to avoid being bitten by an uncooperative hound.

I'm not trying to be unhelpful, just trying to highlight that you are largely anonymous on this forum in front of a global audience. Advice will be forthcoming, but you have to give enough information for people to base their guidance on.
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Old 3rd Mar 2019, 20:38
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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I'd agree - you've not given us enough information to provide truely helpful advice.

What are your aspirations in aviation?

I know many pilots for whom the fourth option was all they needed as they wanted nothing more than to spend their career flying Twin Otters out of Yellowknife. A business degree doesn't really help you roll oil drums up and down the ramp, but another years' experience is worth its weight in gold; especially if you sit next to someone with a lifetimes experience flying that way.

I know other pilots who went the diploma route because that's what Air Canada wants/needs to see and that's what they want from their career. This way, they build a network of connections which helped them climb the career ladder. And while things are very positive for pilots right now where the ladder is akin to a kitchen step (school to airline), all it takes is for Osama's son or Herr Trump to ruin it for everyone. All it takes is one bad day as they say.

Or, there is someone like me who has found job satisfaction in the office equal to his job satisfaction flying the line, so working on a degree has been beneficial. This is not necessarily something you have to do right away, but I find the deeper into my degree program I get, the more I wished I had done it twenty years ago.

Ultimately, either of the four options will get you to the same place, so it does come down to what else you might want to do for upwards of a 40-year career.
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 06:42
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Canada
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I went the aviation diploma route and I almost feel like I wasted my time, money, and energy cause at the flight school next door, they have a deal with Encore to take you from a PPL to an Instructor - you instruct until reaching 1000 hours and then you go right seat on a Q400. That said, if this supposed recession that everybody's talking about happens, you'd have a slight advantage in getting a job with some post secondary. Aviation is mostly about who you know at the end of the day though.
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 16:24
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Originally Posted by Porterboy View Post
I went the aviation diploma route and I almost feel like I wasted my time, money, and energy cause at the flight school next door, they have a deal with Encore to take you from a PPL to an Instructor - you instruct until reaching 1000 hours and then you go right seat on a Q400. That said, if this supposed recession that everybody's talking about happens, you'd have a slight advantage in getting a job with some post secondary. Aviation is mostly about who you know at the end of the day though.
Thank you, which flight school did you go to? Which one was the next door one? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks Capt porterboy!
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 19:59
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Originally Posted by Porterboy View Post
I went the aviation diploma route and I almost feel like I wasted my time, money, and energy cause at the flight school next door, they have a deal with Encore to take you from a PPL to an Instructor - you instruct until reaching 1000 hours and then you go right seat on a Q400. That said, if this supposed recession that everybody's talking about happens, you'd have a slight advantage in getting a job with some post secondary. Aviation is mostly about who you know at the end of the day though.
This is my son's plan. He is currently first year at University of Waterloo, Aviation+Science ( which is paired with Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre ), started with PPL so started aviation part of program is in second year. Will have CPL, IFR, and float rating by start of year 2 this September...of 4 year program. He plans to get his CFI ( not part of program ) and instruct for years 3 and 4 of his university program. Maybe try and get a summer aviation related job , but it's tough with only 250 or so hours. Hopefully when he finishes university he'll have 750-1000 hours and should be able to get a job at least doing Medevac or something like that to build more hours. Does that seem reasonable? He wants to get into an airline job eventually.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 18:18
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Originally Posted by Interested_Layman View Post
This is my son's plan. He is currently first year at University of Waterloo, Aviation+Science ( which is paired with Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre ), started with PPL so started aviation part of program is in second year. Will have CPL, IFR, and float rating by start of year 2 this September...of 4 year program. He plans to get his CFI ( not part of program ) and instruct for years 3 and 4 of his university program. Maybe try and get a summer aviation related job , but it's tough with only 250 or so hours. Hopefully when he finishes university he'll have 750-1000 hours and should be able to get a job at least doing Medevac or something like that to build more hours. Does that seem reasonable? He wants to get into an airline job eventually.
Hello Interested_Layman,

First, your son is in a great program. I've known many graduates who've gone on to managerial positions later in their careers.

What you've outlined is reasonable, given the current employment climate for pilots. Two hundred fifty hours is not a lot of experience, but it is enough to quickly get in the door for a First Officer position at many smaller outfits and regional airlines given he has the right attitude. Indeed, regional airlines like Jazz and Porter have been hiring 250-hour pilots directly from University programs for quite some time now, and WestJet Encore is headed down that road as well.

What I would suggest your son does is once he has his CPL, Group 1 Instrument Rating, and 250 hours, he sits the IATRA Exam. The IATRA exam will permit him to work on a two-crew aircraft without the need for his Airline Transport License. Once he has completed this exam, he can then apply to companies like Encore, Jazz, or Porter in addition to any Medevac or other turboprop companies. While I find it noble that he wants to build his experience with a smaller outfit before joining the airlines, seniority is everything, and he does not want to see himself 5 or 10 years behind his classmates if he has the option to apply to the airlines now.

I do loathe myself for making this suggestion, as I am one of the guys who came through the traditional route of working in the far northern reaches of Canada before setting my ever growing bum into an airline seat. However, the difference of 5 or 10 years seniority can mean the difference between having a very comfortable life in your mid-to-late 30's onward or can mean sitting on reserve in a city far removed from family and friends.

Feel free to PM me if you or your son have any specific questions about the charter, corporate, or airline lifestyles.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 20:19
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: DFFD Ouagadougou
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My advice to anyone is to get at least a bachelor degree, in any field. Then, if you wish, go flying. If you have enough money to do both at the same time, you're very privileged.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 22:57
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Fort Frances Ontario
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Thanks much...we may be in touch
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Old 9th Mar 2019, 05:12
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Mark Daniel Pua,

You DM'd me but your message box is full and it won't let me respond. If you're comfortable, I can put the response in the main forum here, or you can delete enough messages in your inbox to let me send the answer there.

Please advise.
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Old 9th Mar 2019, 21:06
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Originally Posted by +TSRA View Post
Mark Daniel Pua,

You PM'd me but your message box is full and it won't let me respond. If you're comfortable, I can put the response in the main forum here, or you can delete enough messages in your inbox to let me send the answer there.

Please advise.
Hi +TSRA,

I believe I have room for a pm now. If it still doesn't work, feel free to respond here. Thank you so much. The school name is Mount Royal University.

- Mark
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