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myleshigh 22nd Feb 2011 13:40

Uni or not? (Merged 2013)
Hello, I am new to this forum and would very much appreciate some advice. Firstly, I am currently studying for my 'A' levels (geology, biology, ICT, and Politics). I am not sure whether I want to go to university or not. If I don't go I will be the only person in generations of my family not to have studied for a degree which is a little daunting. However, given the current climate in education, I wonder if the money spent on university fees etc would be better going towards my modular pilot studies. Does anyone have any advice on this? Do airlines prefer candidates to have traditional degrees? Will the fact that I am not studying Maths or Physics at 'A' level be a disadvantage?
Another concern for me has arisen from reading other threads about studying at different training schools. If I don't go to university, my plan would be to stay at home and get a job to self fund the different levels of training and examinations up to commercial pilot level which is the ultimate goal. If I were to do my training at a local flight school, would that be less desirable to future employers than if I were to attend a more well known school?
I have not mentioned that I have virtually no flying experience.

stevop21 22nd Feb 2011 13:53

Hi There,

I am also 16 and studying for A-Levels but I am doing maths and physics. From what I have read here I don't believe the maths gets any harder than GCSE level and maybe a bit of trig for working out crosswind and headwind components. I don't think it will put you at a huge disadvantage maybe just a bit slower at realising than the guys who did the maths A level? I would try to practise some mental arithmetic every day just to keep your maths sharp as I doubt you are using it now. When I go down to the petrol station near my college for lunch I always add the bill in my head and also do the same of my friends. It just helps to keep your basic maths sharp.

There is a very useful thread here about degrees

I would take a few hours to read it all

I don't believe school matters that much, ryanair takes guys from anyway. Although the only time I can think of a well known provider being an advantage was for BA SSP a while ago. Hopefully someone else can clear that up a bit better than I have :ok:

You are only 16 so not flying experience isn't a problem now, I have about 4 hours in a PA-28

Good luck!

4015 22nd Feb 2011 15:03

Guys, let me give you some advice from my perspective.

At 16, the idea of being in your early twenties without flying is horrific. However, that is more than likely going to be the case no matter what route you take.

Should you go to uni? If you ask anyone a few years older than you, and anyone in the know, the answer is most likely "if you can, then yes". Here's why:
1. You will have something to fall back on, and indeed be able to get a decent well paid job whilst you wait for the first flying job.
2. You will have fun. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you need to be flying for a job by the age of 19. Relax, get out of your parent's house, and grow up. It will take most of university to grow up and learn who you actually are.
3. You get out of your parent's house, and get the opportunity to do things you would not otherwise be able to. The level of maturity of people I know who went to university was far above that of those who didn't, until at least the mid twenties.
4. You will actually have things to talk about in interviews. (Insert aircraft operator here) want their pilots to have life experience. Most pax do not want to see a mid pubescent kid with acne and bumfluff flying their aircraft.
5. Just to reiterate, you will grow up. I can't drill this down enough.
6. If you take a look at most pilots these days, a degree is a given. The competition for jobs is high, and anything you have which puts you higher in the food chain is worth having.

As for the lack of maths and physics, if you passed GCSE and are willing to put the work in then there shouldn't be a problem at all. There are a stable of several good flying schools, with anything above PPL you will probably want to be at one of them. You will be investing upwards of 40k. Not something you really want to risk.

My conclusion - Go to university if you can. Well and truly worth it. Save up between now and uni and you can afford to do your PPL one summer whilst you're there, hour build for fun for the rest of your time there. Come out, get a half decent job and continue. You'll still be in a plane by your mid twenties and you'll have a much better grasp on life than the other route.

Just my tuppence though...:oh:

CEH 22nd Feb 2011 15:46

I support what 4015, I have degree in computer security and in my personal opinion (not that it matters) I would say I have enough years of professional experience in same area of my study (6 years), and now I'll hopefully get my ATPL CPL/IR.... =)

And I wont stop there, once I get a job in any airline, and started my duty, I might do a distance part-time Masters of Science too.

Go for the University option first then think about flying, build your foundation/grounds friend.

Wish you all the best

AJ1990 22nd Feb 2011 16:15

I wouldn't stress over your A-Level subjects much myleshigh. Geology, biology, ICT, and Politics are all solid subjects and I'm sure future employers would prefer you to have good grades in subjects you excel in rather than having poor grades in ones you don't. Are you planning on dropping a subject or sticking to all four the whole way? Four A-Levels would distinguish you to some extent.

As regards to university? It's a completely personal decision I'd say. When I was 16 I decided not to go through the whole UCAS thing - the thought of spending 3-4 years accruing vast amounts of debt and not getting into flying wasn't to my taste. Uni is a great experience and I totally agree with 4015. The only thing I disagree on is the level of maturity in students as against those who haven't gone through the experience. My friends at uni receive big lumps of money every so often covering all of their education and accomodation/maintenance expenses from the government. Those in the real world have to work for such luxuries :}. It's still a fantastic experience though so I'd always tell people to go for it :ok:.

There are other options - I study via distance learning with the Open University whilst working and flying at the same time. Just an idea - mite be worth considering ;)

lander66 22nd Feb 2011 16:16

Just like to say that I finished my A Levels in July and decided not to go to uni. Instead I got a job, albeit a low-level job in order to start my flying training. I am currently training for my PPL. I am not saying I will never go to uni but I know that a degree would not directly help me achieve my goals. I personally believe that having a full-time job gives you vital life experience as well.

My second point is that a very low percentage of uni leavers are getting that "decent job". They are either remaining unemployed or just getting a low-level job such as mine (after months of searching) which doesn't require a degree in the first place. Unemployment figures are through the roof and I am very grateful for the job I have and would much rather be in my position now on my way to gaining a PPL than have no flying experience, a degree which would not be beneficial in my first-choice career and a long wait for a semi-decent job.

I'd like to think airlines would appreciate the fact that I spend the vast majority of my wages on flying as opposed to getting pissed every night. That must show some level of maturity...

As for a back-up career, if I think of another job I can be really enthusiastic about such as being a pilot, then I might risk spending 35,000+ on a degree. I think it is just plain stupid to jump straight into uni as many do, without really knowing what they want to do afterwards.

Plus who's to say that the only way of getting a decent back up career is through uni, there are so many options and nearly all of them are much cheaper than a degree.

AJ1990 22nd Feb 2011 16:25

Totally agree Lander! When I was at Sixth Form it was like Uni was the only option - I could probably count the number of those who went straight into work on my hands (possibly toes aswell but you get the idea ;)). There is a part of me which thinks the increase in tuition fees won't be such a bad thing - there's alot of people going to uni for whom the main reason for going is the experince which seems to be lowering the value of degrees personally.

ei-flyer 22nd Feb 2011 16:41

Listen carefully, because follows some very good advice -

Forget uni, and don't go straight into work.

Go to college as soon as you've finished your AS Levels (so long as you're below the age of 19 it doesn't matter) and learn a trade, preferably something like plumbing, and then extend that to gas/heating or whatever.

Why? Here's why -

Go straight into work - guaranteed 800-1400 ish a month after tax for the next X amount of years. You think it's easy to save off that amount of money (even living at home)... It isn't.

Go to uni - lose three years and put yourself in unnecessary debt. And THEN you'll likely be earning anything from 15-30000 per annum starting salary. Ok, bit better.

Or - learn a trade for five years supported by an apprenticeship. I did it that way, and at age 21 I was taking home 40,000 a year. After tax. The amount of extra 'cold cash' you develop in that line of work is immense. Used to get an extra 100-150 a day JUST for the scrap metal I took back home to the scrapyard. That doesn't include the 140 base pay for the job. That was taxed, though.

By 23 I'd put myself through the rest of flight training and flying for a loco carrier we all know. Paid for the type rating too. No debt, was living at home.

A lot of people will tell you to go to uni as a 'fallback'. A fallback? Helloooo, there's hardly any jobs anywhere, not just in aviation. But when yer loo goes kerplunk, that needs fixing. Tradesmen are always in demand and the money is good. Also, unlike a lot of academially qualified positions, you can jump straight back into it in the future should you require, as opposed to going through a lengthy application process. It's because having a trade is a more worthy skill to most people (customers) than a degree.

I am biased - when I was 14/15 I was all for uni. Was a math-head personally, but realised that could only take me so far.

It can be difficult while still at school, but really take a good hard look at the real world of moneymaking, and it's easy to see.

Good luck :ok:

quick edit - I know a lot of people avoid college because it's where all the 'losers' go. That [email protected] who sits on the backrow at school, dim as ****, will always answer 'college' when asked what they're gonna do. The bright ones always say 'uni'. Be under no illusion, college isn't in some way 'easier', and aforementioned [email protected] will probably never become a plumber, electrician, or whatever. Will piss their EMA up the wall, not bother studying the theory, and get kicked off the course. Food for thought.

lander66 22nd Feb 2011 18:00

AJ1990 - Exactly! That's how it was for me at Sixth Form, they spoke as if they pretty much assumed everyone was going to uni. It gave me some satisfaction knowing that I would be "tainting" their records by going straight to work :8 And yes, degrees certainly seem to be slightly devalued by the fact that everyone does it just for the hell of it.

ei-flyer - Fair enough, learning a trade through college and doing an apprenticeship can probably get you earning more, faster than going to uni. I think you were one of the only ones earning 40,000 by the age of 21 through an apprenticeship but good on ya for doing it! :ok: I think it is possible to get semi-decent earnings by going straight to work as well though, working your way up the ladder. I agree with you that it is hard to save though! Although as long as I earn enough to fly every week I feel I am on target.

MightyDucks 22nd Feb 2011 18:17


I'm not sure where people are going to get an apprenticeship these days. I did an apprenticeship and never made anything like that kind of money and even fully qualified i still don't. I do agree however that getting a job is a good idea however its not going to be for some people. Its hard going straight from the easy life of school into working hard for what will prob be crappy money (To stat of with anyway

ei-flyer 22nd Feb 2011 19:32

lander66, I understand where you're coming from, and to clarify, no way am I attempting to brag about what I was earning, but I was lucky to be 'carried' through the course on the back of a local, family run company that reward their staff very well. I have friends still in the trade, and as an employee, they are earning around 700 per week typically, a lot less than I claim myself, but it's reliable money. Plus, I'm registered gas safe (whatever that means these days) and was a 'heating engineer' as opposed to a plain leaf plumber (took 5 years from starting college), which probably explains the differences in remuneration. And knowing a good scrappy!

MightyDucks, regarding getting an apprenticeship, It's been too long since I did it to give an accurate representation of the situation now, however have heard on Radio 1 that the government are trying to create 100,000 apprenticeships. No idea where, no idea when, no idea what industry, but I happened to catch it on the off chance. Might be worth looking into. Also, good point about the crappy money - I was paid 50 a week by the company I was apprentice to. Worth it in the end though!

I'm only 25, but I know that if I hadn't learnt a trade, and certainly if I'd gone to university, I wouldn't be flying professionally now, but that's more down to the recession and the way the timings would have worked out. It happened for me, and I'm just trying to pass this on to people still in school because I know it works. I genuinely believe it's the most surefire way to earn half decent money after leaving school.

Anyway, don't wanna hijack this thread too much, so I'l shut up now :ok:

p.s. added bonus - I can do me own plumbing, only cost being materials at wholesale price... The wife/girlfriend/partner will be forever grateful!!! :p

MightyDucks 23rd Feb 2011 17:51

I wouldn't be listening too closely to the government. I am glad i have something to fall back on if i do go ahead with the training.

myleshigh 23rd Feb 2011 18:42

Thanks everyone for the advice and comments - I really appreciate it. This has certainly given me some new options to think about other than university which seems to be the only option suggested by my sixth form (and family for that matter).

lander66 23rd Feb 2011 21:40

Get a degree, a well paid job...then pay off your uni debt and start paying for your initial training using your salary
I think this is what everyone assumes will happen when they go to university. They think it assures them a nice well paid job. Do you know how long it takes most people to pay off uni debt (soon to be 35,000+ lest we forget)? A lot longer than a few years. The chances are you will end up with a low-pay job to start with just like everyone who didn't go to university. The ceilings may be higher but you still need to start on the ground floor.

Also as for a low-paid job being unimpressive, its what you do with the money that counts. Someone on a low-paid job who manages to save their money effectively for pilot training may impress interviewers just as much as someone who has got a degree and a slightly higher salary.

lander66 23rd Feb 2011 22:15

Yes the potential earnings of degree holders are much higher I accept that. Its all to do with current conditions though. At the moment unemployment figures are rising and even finding an 18,000 job is going to be tough, let alone 50,000... With more people holding degrees there is more competition hence more jobless. I'd like to know what the figures are for employment of uni leavers last year, not great I'd imagine.

If I was planning on getting a degree I might hold my horses for a year or two and see how things are looking then.

Also I think that everybody should do some "menial" jobs at some point in their lives because more often than not it provides valuable experience of hard, stressful work and a good sense of perspective for when you make it to your dream job.

Anyway enough out of me, I have said my piece (probably a few times too many). Whether you do uni or not good luck to ya! :ok:

AJ1990 23rd Feb 2011 22:59

Also I think that everybody should do some "menial" jobs at some point in their lives because more often than not it provides valuable experience of hard, stressful work and a good sense of perspective for when you make it to your dream job.
I'm self-employed but also have the pleasure of working part-time in housekeeping at a certain chain of purple hotels endorsed by Lenny Henry. When I'm at 2,500ft looking at everybody bumbling along with the monotony of life, I'm very grateful that I'm not down there cleaning up the remains of a dirty weekend. I enjoy working - you get a better sense of the 'real' world and a greater appreciation of aviation and all its' priviliges. When I read about 19 year olds jumping straight in to the airlines I wonder just how much they truely appreciate it? I guess it all comes down to perspective...

Wee Weasley Welshman 24th Feb 2011 05:24

If you need a degree to 'fall back on' in the future then do the degree in the future as a mature student. Degrees are deeply unimpressive these days and for 30k represent poor value. I've got several but I shan't be encouraging my children down that route.


captainsuperstorm 24th Feb 2011 06:03

I know a guy who went for his license, 20 yo. excited to be apilot.
now he has nothing, no job, no money, and lives with dad and mom money who are upset.he lives with his girlfriend money.
i have other friends, the same, try to drive taxi ortesco,..

i got a degree, ahah,can work in many field and make good money.
just listen the poor idiots who tell you degree is useless,and you will finish yourself homeless under a bridge like www.

whatever i say, is useless,most youg brainless guys dream to be a pilot and prefer to finish in the streets just for the flying dream.

ei-flyer 24th Feb 2011 06:48


Only prob with that being, in a few years you might have a family who unfortunately are a lot more attention demanding than studying an open university degree 'on the side' so to speak!

captainsuperstorm, what a stupid response. I know people like that too. They all work though. A lot of complaints I hear about the lack of unskilled jobs - what rubbish, I have friends who scoured jobcentre for one day and were working within a week. I can't understand how people end up living off their parents or the government for so long. Unless of course, that suits them.

giggitygiggity 24th Feb 2011 07:13

The university experience can be a very valuable one. I got no grants or parental handouts. My student loan did not even cover the accommodation costs, to feed myself each semester I worked in a bar during term time, during the holidays I worked full-time at home. A/My degree is irrelevant and not relevant to the job; but the life experience isn't. My CV demonstrates that I am not workshy. Living on your own, managing your finances are all experience/skills that will have to be drawn upon during training so naturally it can be a benefit.

Of course, this experience can be gained in full-time work/apprenticeships etc. but it is worth trying to do it on you own so you have something to talk about at the eventual interviews. If you can show you have worked hard in the past pursuing your goals, a prospective employer or training organisation should hopefully be convinced you are worth taking a chance on as you have shown you are determined to succeed.

It is really up to you as to which path you go down, work hard for your A-Levels and perhaps give it a year before you sign up with a university as it is 30,000 you could seriously do without out owing!

captainsuperstorm, what a stupid response.
I don't think Mr Superstorm has written an intelligent response during his time here. Is there a way I can ignore his comments?

whatever i say, is useless
I take it back, this is the first sensible thing he has said.

Poeli 24th Feb 2011 07:27

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!

Wee Weasley Welshman 24th Feb 2011 12:13

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.

Cron 24th Feb 2011 13:02

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.

AJ1990 24th Feb 2011 16:28

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* :ok:I really should start working for the OU... :}

*Government confirms details of loans for part timers | Platform | Open University

charliegolf 24th Feb 2011 17:10

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.

fabbe92 24th Feb 2011 21:06

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.

Fraser19 12th Oct 2013 17:40

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!!

mad_jock 12th Oct 2013 18:34

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.

Daysleeper 12th Oct 2013 19:16

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. :E

mad_jock 12th Oct 2013 19:51

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.

Jawzyjawz 13th Oct 2013 07:49

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 :ok:

propilot9 15th Oct 2013 15:10

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! :)

Paxi_R6 27th Oct 2013 18:42

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.

SheepPilot 27th Oct 2013 22:30

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!


Genghis the Engineer 27th Oct 2013 22:41

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.

mad_jock 28th Oct 2013 06:26

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.

Artie Fufkin 28th Oct 2013 07:06

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.

FANS 28th Oct 2013 10:37

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!

Genghis the Engineer 28th Oct 2013 11:59

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.

Jawzyjawz 29th Oct 2013 05:02

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 abroad...travel like all us pilots love to do.

apologies for my bias reply but interesting nevertheless?

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