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Academic degree, is it ultimately important?

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Academic degree, is it ultimately important?

Old 22nd Sep 2009, 00:07
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Academic degree, is it ultimately important?

Hi there,

I have one question and I would like to hear your opinions. I have 23 years old, I am currently taking the CHP/IR course (about 1/3 done) and I have 1/3 of my aeronautical engineer academic degree done. For the job of commercial helicopter pilot, is it important to have an academic degree? And if so, in what scale and areas?

Thank you a lot for your help discussing this issue.

Best regards.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 01:30
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Finish your degree, it will help you in the long run.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 01:45
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It's good to have a back up - you don't know what you will be doing in 5, 10, or 20 years time.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 03:12
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Agree

It's good backup. I don't see that it will help much for getting a break into the industry. When you aren't flying though, it may be useful.

Also, with the down economy, now is a good time to position yourself for the recovery by getting your degree. Why rush into a poor job market when you can stay in school and prepare yourself for advancement during the next boom/bubble?
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 03:59
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Couldn't agree more with the other posters. Get your eduction then **** up !!
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 06:06
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Go for the degree!

Not least, many aviation managers (really just superannuated pilots or engineers, not really people who know how to manage people per se) have a superstitious awe of someone with a degree, thinking them some sort of higher being.

The degree means to them that you are hyper-intelligent and should be treated with some degree of respect. They will still crap on you, just not from such a great height!

Also, as pointed out here, once the gloss goes off flying for living (hard to believe but you can have enough of it after a while) having a degree makes it so much easier to find other work.

You might want to keep quiet about the degree, assuming you have one, for certain bottom-feeder jobs, though. There the manager's looking for a certain degree of desperation, what he's comfortable with, people lower on the evolutionary scale than he is. (Think: the sort of green scum you see on the glass of your aquarium.)

It's so much easier to do the degree now, before you get involved in that frantic quest to build hours and climb the greasy pole. You will never have this sort of free time again so that the time to do the degree is now.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 08:28
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To answer Focha's question;- No you do not need a degree, it is not important. A CPL(H)/IR and some ability at flying should get you a job, if there are jobs to be had.

That said, and as others are saying, a degree (any degree) is a good idea for when you get fed up of flying or lose your licence for whatever reason, and want to do something else.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 08:56
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I find my Philosphy degree incredibly relevant in these turbulent and often confusing times.

A degree isn't at all vital to a flying career. I fly with lots of thickies who manage with basic maths and English and they are quite capable pilots.

However, you would be mad to throw away the opportunity of finishing a good quality degree. Enjoy your student days, flying will still be there at the end. There's no rush to getting started building hours if you're only in your early twenties.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 12:01
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As a thickie who has managed to fly reasonably capably for 27 years getting by on basic maths and English I agree that a degree isn't a requirement but it does, as others have said, give you something to fall back on if you can't get a flying job/lose your med cat/get bored etc. Good luck
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 22:28
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Get your degree, make lots of money, buy your own helicopter to fly around.
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Old 23rd Sep 2009, 02:18
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I did my Science degree 39 years ago. It hasn't directly helped my flying career, but it made a lot of the study a lot easier, and the deeper understanding of met and aerody may have given me the edge over some others.

Do it.
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Old 23rd Sep 2009, 02:42
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Focha - not to mention that particular degree could also open doors in the aviation world, such as flight test engineering and test pilot.

Also, if you gave up your degree now, it wouldn't look good on your resume.
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Old 23rd Sep 2009, 09:16
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In the USA, before the recession hit, you couldn't get a job flying for a regional airline, let alone a major airline without a degree. It opens many doors on the technical side.
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Old 23rd Sep 2009, 22:25
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Hi Shawn

I've hired, oh, probably about 30 people in my time. In general, the content of the degree is easily substituted for relevant experience. What a degree does for me is provide good evidence that someone has the drive and intellect to apply themselves to multiple tasks, for a sustained period, to achieve a goal. That's priceless.

Stick with it, you really won't regret it.

Cheers
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Old 24th Sep 2009, 09:34
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What a degree does for me is provide good evidence that someone has the drive and intellect to apply themselves to multiple tasks, for a sustained period, to achieve a goal. That's priceless.
Thats an important point too....

GO FOR IT

skadi
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Old 24th Sep 2009, 10:22
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Degrees are handed out like confetti nowadays. Valueless, mostly. Many graduates I've encountered (and employed) have no intellectual breadth whatsoever; few can even spell or punctuate. Why saddle yourself with an undergraduate degree loan and then compound it with the cost of flight training?
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Old 24th Sep 2009, 10:55
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That may be so Choppertop, but with respect, the degree this guy is doing is aeronautical engineering, and I don't think it's fair to lump that together with media studies and golf course management.

And in answer to your question Focha, an academic degree is irrelevant to the pursuit of a job as a commercial helicopter pilot, but as others have pointed out, given the vagaries of that profession it might be wise to have another string to your bow.
 
Old 24th Sep 2009, 12:05
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Cattletruck, are you saying it's only the mediocre pilots you know who don't have degrees?

Personally, I'm starting to think degrees are devalued these days and I suspect three or four years working as an apprentice in an engineering workshop would stand you in better stead (if you can get such a position of course).

Cheers

Whirls
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Old 24th Sep 2009, 12:10
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Originally Posted by puntosaurus View Post
And in answer to your question Focha, an academic degree is irrelevant to the pursuit of a job as a commercial helicopter pilot..
Not necessarily. Plenty of flying positions in the USA (especially VIP operations) insist on the applicant holding a bachelor's degree.
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Old 16th Dec 2009, 02:09
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Well said #15.
An employer would see a graduate as someone who has displayed responsibility, determination and "a stayer". The degrees I know are hard-earned and in aviation we all need other "hats" to wear, for health and employment are such variables.

From age 27 I did my flying career (fixed/rotary CPLs, Charter Operator) then at age 70 did a Bachelor of Aviation in 18mths (was a 15yr old high school drop-out). A week after graduating I was invited to be a Uni lecturer and taught 5 aviation subjects for BAv, to hundreds of students.

If you don't have "education" you wish you had it; my Uni years have been the most valuable period of my life. If you find the chance, take it.

An employer would see a graduate as someone who has already displayed responsibility, determination - "a stayer". The degrees I know are hard-earned and in aviation we all need other "hats" to wear, for health and employment are such variables.

Astronaut Andy Thomas is the perfect role model; determined from age 10 to reach his goal he read the CVs of successful astronauts and educated himself to match and even better them, and was finally accepted by NASA. I believe that is the way to go.

Good luck, from an "old and bold".
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