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Uni or not? (Merged 2013)

Old 24th Feb 2011, 07:27
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The problem in the UK is that uni and college are that expensive. 30k pounds for a degree is ridicilous. I was in the same situation as you, wondering what to do, get an extra master degree or go to work with my bachelor degree.
I can study for around 1000 a year, which is 2000 in total for the master degree giving the higher pay I would get with a job, it's well worth it...
But investing 30k pounds is a lot of money... Never thought about doing a apprenticeship? I know virgin atlantic did one for technical staff.
This is really a though one for me, I wouldn't know what to do. Try to find a decent job and see how it fits you. If you don't like it you still can go to uni....
Good luck!
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Old 24th Feb 2011, 12:13
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just listen the poor idiots who tell you degree is useless,and you will finish yourself homeless under a bridge like www.
Evidently your degree was not in English.

Seriously chaps. The three years you spend in University can be equally life enhancing, character building or CV impressing doing something other than the default option of going to some average Uni to do some average degree. Go be a snowboarding instructor, charted yacht crew, buy an ice cream van, work in a bar in Lima, take Thailand tourists on elephant rides - whatever.

Much more likely to tweak my interest at interview.

Much more fun.

Much less debt.

I've flown with FO's which range from guys who left school at 15 to shear sheep in the outback to guys with double firsts from Cambridge. It matters not.
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Old 24th Feb 2011, 13:02
  #23 (permalink)  
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Degrees are deeply unimpressive these days
A lot of truth in that. Part-time degrees (such as a Foundation Degree)however have a number of things going for them.

They differentiate you from the crowd because you are working and studying at the same time - no propping up the bar in the Uni most nights.

They are much, much cheaper then full-time degrees.

Recent funding moves now make it possible to pay fees after completion and when you are earning over xxx.

Most offer a top up route to BSc/BA etc also on a part time basis.
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Old 24th Feb 2011, 16:28
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At the Open University, if your household income is below the threshold (28,065) you get a significant amount of financial support and grants. I can see Distance Learning and part-time education really picking up in the next couple of years. Total cost of an OU degree is approx 3,600 and you can take just about as long as you like depending on the subject. Many of the degrees are recognised by proffesional bodies and by the looks of it you'll even have access to student loans* I really should start working for the OU...

*Government confirms details of loans for part timers | Platform | Open University
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Old 24th Feb 2011, 17:10
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Lots of good advice here (and some not so good).

I would only add: consider a deferrment- you can request one. It's more than a gap year decision, it's a place at uni guaranteed. In that year you can work, fly, and get a sense of perspective.

You're young enough to 'waste' all your dosh on flying- you have no other responsibilities. That might all be different in 5 years, family, house etc.
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Old 24th Feb 2011, 21:06
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I am in the same position. Finishing Upper Secondary in June and after doing some research, Ive decided that 3 years at uni before flight training is the best option in many aspects. However, I am worried about one thing. The industry hit rock bottom a year ago and it seems things are slowly starting to pick up again. Very slowly, that is! Anyway, I am affraid that by heading off to uni now instead of training, considering I have my PPL and 70 hours, I will be a qualified pilot in 2016. What if during this time, the industry has been shining a bit again with job opportunities and by the time Im qualified, we enter a new depresion?

If uni was not an option for me, I would certanily consider starting training now because it seems to be good timing for it.
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Old 12th Oct 2013, 17:40
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Age and University??

Hi there

I'm a scottish student in my last year of high school, who wouldn't pay for university and could possibly do something like mechanical engineering at Heriot Watt University.

I'm not sure if I should do this before staring an ATPL course at somewhere like CTC or OAA. Integrated is what I've been to told do by a BA pilot. So when I leave school I'll be just nearly 18. Is it too young to bother doing my ATPL and would be better to come back after I do something like a degree or do you think I should just go for it straight out of high school?

(not wanting to start a debate why I should do modular, doesn't appeal to me and been advised to do integrated. So no point wasting your time debating whats better and so on)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 12th Oct 2013, 18:34
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If you can get onto a tagged scheme/cadetship or wings course go straight to flying.

If you can't, go to Uni get some life experience and continue to apply for the schemes.

The biggest issue your going to have is getting the capital to finance it all.

And don't be surprised if you do engineering that your attitude towards the direction of training changes as well.

Mech eng is a good mathematical problem solving degree and is good for many different careers. It will set you up if thing don't go the way you plan. But its one of these subjects that you really have to do an apprenticeship working before its of any use. And you have to stay current to be employable.

When I was looking for my degree I did have a look at Brewing Engineering at Heriot Watt which got missed off the UCAS form basically because of parental pressure. In second year I discovered that brewing Engineers are like Hens teeth. And its not just beer that they deal with. It was one of the higher earners of engineering graduates.

I like the fact your planning to move away from Glasgow. All to many stay at home and miss half of the learning you do at university.

Everyone has the same skills when chosen to go to interview out of which ever method the company prefers. Its you life skills and your personality which get you the job. Which ever method of training you do you have to start doing things which set you apart from all the other people of the same age and experience. Then your not just another CV with total time 170-220 hours, interests: reading and football.

But before you spend to much time and energy planning your life ahead go and do a trial flight to see if you like flying and a class 1 medical. If you don't like the first and can't pass the second there is no point investigating any further.
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Old 12th Oct 2013, 19:16
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Right now university (tuition) is free for you in Scotland and isn't free for pretty much anyone else in the world.

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Just remember...(as various people have said), Don't let your degree get in the way of your education.
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Old 12th Oct 2013, 19:51
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Right enough daysleeper I hadn't thought about that.

If you can go like I did at 17 your out the door by 21. Which is still on the young side to be honest for most cadet schemes etc.

And from personal experience being rat arsed in Tiviot getting tampered with by a gorgeous future female Surgeon is one of life's experiences which is fondly remembered.
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Old 13th Oct 2013, 07:49
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I personaly chose to do an Engineering degree first. The life experience will certainly help you out in interviews, especially if you do things like join clubs, exchange programmes, free flying with the air squadron etc. I've met teens who got turned away from jobs cause they can't answer leadership questions, teamwork questions (no examples to give) and so forth. Can't emphasise it enough to do a trial lesson and class 1 medical first.

Just my personal opinion as I had so much fun in Glasgow (and Edinburgh) but then again university isn't for everyone. Some people may have great teenage years where they can have a million experiences to talk about in a job interview!

The day I got my PPL was a dream come true, that can happen at any age. Going to university for free is a great oppertunity for us Scottish kids so why not do it now while the goings good!

Also if you get your frozen ATPL first, after 4 years of uni with no hours to qualify for an ATPL licence, do the theory exams still count or would you have to resit them once you accumulate the required hours? I duno, someone with a greater knowledge could explain.

All I can say is, best of luck with whatever you decide
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Old 15th Oct 2013, 15:10
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I took part last year in the final phase of selection at Waterside for BA's FPP. Let me tell you something which stood out to me. Everybody there had a degree, or was in his/her final year of studies in a University degree. There were even candidates a little older with some employment experience. In addition there were a few employees within BA who were there too as part of the whole selection. There were absolutely no guys/girls who were there straight out of high school.

If an airline has to choose between somebody who's just finished high school and somebody who has a degree plus a lot of qualities and experiences gained from having done a higher education... I think it's pretty obvious a recruiter would pick the latter.

A minimum requirement at some airlines is to have at least a bachelor's degree to be eligible for their cadet program. My advice would be that there's no rush, get a degree first, you'll still be young at the end of it to apply to do flight training! It will look amazing in your CV and will help you stand out from the crowd when applying and it's also a good backup plan!

Good luck!
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Old 27th Oct 2013, 18:42
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On the topic of university I'm thinking of studying either an Arts degree (Maths, German & History) , Physics & astronomy or Civil/Mech Engineering?

Most pilots I've met have either done Engineering or Science & has really pushed me into choosing one of these area's in University.

On personal meetings of pilots, being a pilot? what would you recommend to study.
Like one person said on the leadership & teamwork questions, I at the moment can only relate them answers to sports (Football,Basketball) & school projects I participated in.

Uni seems like a CV builder and gives you Life experience if you take part in things obviously inside & outside of the University.

Some useful advise for a guy looking to make his way to the skies one day.

Feel free to DM too.

Last edited by Paxi_R6; 27th Oct 2013 at 18:43.
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Old 27th Oct 2013, 22:30
  #34 (permalink)  
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Post University Degree Course?


I'm currently doing my A-Levels and training to get my PPL, I hope to do onto become a Professional Commercial Pilot. Just a quick question, i'm planning to go to uni and do Aviation Management or Aviation Engineering with pilot studies at the moment I'm swaying to Aviation management.

Will this degree make me unattractive to airlines or help me more?

Im passionate about aviation and it seems perfect for me!

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Old 27th Oct 2013, 22:41
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Ultimately it is Engineering and Science that make aeroplanes fly.

But it is languages that allow us all to talk about it - so that's not a bad option if you are set on a degree.

But (and I say this as somebody with a CPL and two engineering degrees) I continue not to believe that a degree is really of that much use to an airline pilot. (The other way around, I use my flying knowledge daily as a Chartered Aeronautical Engineer.)

A flying instructor making their career that way might well use business management qualifications, military pilots - being also usually commissioned officers are preferred to be graduates, and test pilots usually have engineering degrees. A proportion of airline pilots will go into management, and business management type qualifications then become of value to some.

But if your ambitions are no higher than airline pilot, then I continue to believe that you're better of knuckling down with the flying training and maybe thinking about a part time degree later when you have an income and standby time.

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 27th Oct 2013 at 22:43.
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Old 28th Oct 2013, 06:26
  #36 (permalink)  
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I don't know Genghis but engineering training does help.

You have more of a feel what the plane is doing and the forces you are playing with.

The technical lingo is more defined.

Problem solving is more logical.

Talking to the spanners you tend to give the required data on the first chat. You give them more info than they require not less and they have to scratch there heads and send the plane out for another flight.

But then again there would an argument that in modern aircraft soft people skills are actually more useful.
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Old 28th Oct 2013, 07:06
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I think Paxi_R6 has hit the nail on the head re uni being about CV building and life skills.

I don't know what the exact statistics are, but most people go into jobs unrelated to their degree subject (I know someone with a history of art degree who went into finance!). What most employers look for would be a reasonably good result, in a robust degree, from a good university.

I would choose whichever subject interests you the most; you'll enjoy yourself better and in all likelihood, achieve a better result.

I would whole heartedly recommend uni if you can afford both uni and flight training. It'll be the 3 most fun years of your life and the benefits, both professional and personal, will stay with you for the rest of your life.
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Old 28th Oct 2013, 10:37
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Uni is excellent, but if you want to be a pilot then it is exceedingly expensive to do uni and flying (except for the Scots!).

In reality, most can only afford to do one given the TR requirement and hence it's a tough decision to make at 18! Better get a class 1 medical first!
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Old 28th Oct 2013, 11:59
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Absolutely - nobody disputes that having a degree is a Good Thing.

The question is, if you don't actually need that degree, is it 50-60k worth of a Good Thing ? At 9kpa tuition, plus living costs for 3 or 4 years, that's the reality. That degree costs something similar to the fATPL. Yes, for a Scot "only" 4 years living costs, so "only" 30k or so.

My argument, in most cases, is that it's not a Good Enough Thing to be worth that sort of investment, for somebody whose sole interest is being a civil transport pilot.

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 28th Oct 2013 at 12:18.
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Old 29th Oct 2013, 05:02
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Tuition in Scotland

Actually, you can graduate with zero debt. Tuition fee is paid for and a lot of people qualify for a bursary to help towards living costs and accommodation. If you work at the same time (or full time during holidays plus overtime), you pop out the other side wining!

It is an option to take out the loan with SAAS and save it for flight training, up to roughly 10,000 over four years. This will then be paid back when you earn over...15,000 ish? per year and is automatic. Yes there are interest on that loan but it is small compared to other options plus you have time to pay it back without losing a house over it.

Is it worth it? Up to the person I guess, 25% of the modular route paid for equivalent to obtaining a PPL, Class 1, hour building. Also a (HONS) degree, four years of life experience, loads of fun and the option to study like all us pilots love to do.

apologies for my bias reply but interesting nevertheless?
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