So you want to work within the aviation industry but you are unsure as to whether or not you should complete an aviation degree. The aviation industry is one of the key industries in the world, providing millions of jobs and an essential role. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to go on holiday, travel for important work trips or travel back from a year abroad. But do you necessarily need an aviation degree in order to work within the industry? Below are some of the main pros and cons that compare an aviation degree with full-time flight training.
Firstly, an aviation degree. Available in universities worldwide, there are loads of aeronautics courses to choose from. For those who want to be a pilot, you can study flight technology, aviation engineering and more.
Pros of an aviation degree
Experienced Tutors: universities that specialise in aviation have an array of qualified and experienced instructors who will guide you throughout your studies. Usually, they are retired airline pilots who have spent many years flying either commercially or privately and therefore have extensive knowledge on the subject.
Having a degree can improve your employability: it’s undeniable that after school the world can seem daunting and that getting a job is impossible. With an aviation degree, it can help to open up an array of job roles. Boosting your employability, you can either add on a flight training course or go straight to completing your FAA qualification.
You will study alongside others who want to work within the industry: a great benefit of completing aviation degree is that you will be studying along like-minded people that also want to work in aviation. This way you can learn from each other and help each other when you need it. An enriching way of learning, you can build connections with people that could last a lifetime.
You will be able to network: as it is such a specialised industry, you know that when it comes time to attend aviation events within your university, you could meet people and make connections that could benefit you in the future. You could also learn from them, discovering what qualifications they did and what you need to do in order to progress within the field.
Will open the doors for internships: as with any degree but in particular within the aviation field, attending university and completing a degree has the benefit of making you stand out from the crowd. This opens the doors for internships; in aviation, the coveted internship is difficult to achieve, but if you have a degree, there is a higher chance of you achieving one.
Cons of an aviation degree
It’s incredibly expensive: unfortunately, the price of completing an aviation degree is extensive. Depending on the university you attend, it can cost you anywhere from £20-30,000 for the tuition, plus living costs. For universities that specialise specifically in aviation, it can even cost you up to £102,000 per year. This is something to consider if you are thinking about completing a degree as it means that it is not necessarily achievable for everyone.
There are strict flying rules to consider: when you are completing an aviation degree, the university will obviously decide when and where you fly. As it can be a dangerous job, they will also ensure that every rule is followed and that every standard is set. This might make the role seem a little dull to you and take the fun out it.
There is a strict schedule to stick to: following on from the above point, when attending university you will have to attend all of the classes, stick to their schedule and play by their rules. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to do this at flight school, but the degree tends to allow for less flexibility.
Not everyone now is attending university in order to become a pilot. Instead, many are completing their A-Levels and then going straight to flight school for flight training. This is due to many reasons, including the fact that it carries fewer costs than attending university does.
Pros of flight school
Direct focus on training and practice: although some degrees include a pilot training program, not all do. With flight school, you can head out to the tarmac and learn as you go. This takes away any of the distractions that might come with obtaining a degree and will allow total focus on the training objectives set by your tutors. This intensive and high-quality training will give you an advantage over those who have simply completed an aviation degree.
It saves you time and money: following on from the above point, it’s clear that a degree can cost a lot of money to obtain. Depending on what flight school you attend, it can cost you less in the long run. It also takes you less time to complete than a degree (usually between 14-18 months).
There is a recommendation system: many flight schools around the world have connections with a variety of airlines. This means that when it comes time to find roles after you have completed your studies, there is a recommendation system that you can be placed on, which will make you appealing to future employers.
Cons of flight school
It will only be helpful if you want to be a pilot: if you are still unsure as to whether or not you want to be a pilot or if you want to follow another path in the aviation industry, flight school might not be right for you. As it specialises in training pilots, it won’t be applicable if you want to work within aerospace engineering, for example.
Less structure: this might not always be the case and may just be a generalisation, but many flight schools have in-depth training, but this doesn’t necessarily follow the same strict structure as a university degree does. This could be off-putting to many that require this in order to be motivated in their studies.