Looking for input from University Aviation grads

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FL280
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Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by FL280 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:37 am

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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by 172pilot » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:21 pm

Have you considered suggesting a non aviation degree, so he has something more concrete to fall back on? Business degree in economics, finance or accounting. Then he can always do a CA or CFA designation and there are solid careers in these fields. Or engineering, which is recruited by obviously engineering firms, but also financial research firms. And it's easy to tack on a good MBA for any of the above degrees should he leave flying and need even more education. I cant speak for graduates from the aviation degree programs for specific careers in a non flying role, I'd think (if he likes business) that a more general, but well respected, degree in the above fields will serve as a better back up plan (and probably more respect) and allow entry in a whole host of careers - including a corporate office airline career.

I had a conversation with one of the people who sits on the hiring panel for a global major airline, and he said they consider the type of degree a person took. If it was numbers orientated, it will receive more points on their rating scale, versus a non quant degree.
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by chipmunk » Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:58 pm

With regards to something like engineering to fall back on, this really only works if you "fall back" on it early enough.

I have colleagues with engineering degrees from 6 or 8 or 12 years ago, and if they got out of flying at this time, to do anything engineering-related they'd have to go back to school for several years. Same with colleagues that have any type of computer or tech degree - those kinds of things get out of date quickly, and companies like to hire people with current education and/or experience.

I like the idea of having a trade - something that can be done part time and/or to supplement income early on in an aviation career. For me - I was in the military reserves and had that to supplement my meagre flight instructor income for my first 2 years of flying, and although I didn't think about it at the time, it was also something to "fall back" on.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by BTyyj » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:56 pm

Just to offer a different opinion; what is your son interested in?

If you want him to have a degree to fall back on, it might as well be something he would actually enjoy and is interested in. Remember, if aviation doesn't work out, he is stuck in that job for the rest of his life, unless he goes back to school in order to get another degree, which makes the initial degree a pointless waste of money.

I wouldn't give up on colleges just yet. They are generally quite a bit less expensive, and there's always the option of transferring credits towards a university degree. I know most aviation college programs transfer quite well into Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he could get a BSc in Aeronautical Science within another couple of years through correspondance.
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by bverwegen » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:34 pm

Like Frosty said, some schools offer you a chance to finish up a degree after you have earned your diploma. At the Sault you can start taking classes at Algoma U during second semester until graduation and then only have about a year of full time studying left at Algoma.
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by loopa » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:39 pm

In my opinion your son is better off spending 2 years getting his training completed, get an instructor rating, while he's teaching he will have plenty of time to do a degree through correspondence / online. That's how I did it. I'm finding out now that when your son will enter the 704/705 world that there is a lot of down time for him to complete assignments.

As a father/parent I'm sure your utmost concern is to have your child succeed at what ever he part takes with the knowledge in mind that your kid is protected during rough times as a degree might offer. Just a perspective on this, as you are obviously much older than me - let him get really good at what he wants to do, and leave the back up plan for him to pick up when he's actually flying. The mix up of aviation degree programs is a lot of unnecessary work load on the student who's main focus should be to learn how to become a good pilot. If he spends 2 years learning nothing but flying, gets a job, and then goes and starts learning something else he will be better off in the long run whereas if he's piling on economics class and studying for his flying classes it might be over kill. It's doable but how good do you end up coming out of it?

From experience in flying with Air Cadets, University College Grads, and the Flying Club grad, I say hands down the pilot that learned his lessons at his own pace at the local flight school/club comes out with a much more humble and able attitude versus some of the dingle berries that think walking around in their ray-bans actually mean that they can fly a plane.

Another insight about the local flying school - your son will most likely pick up on what aviation is about because the old fart who is a retired xxyyzz from what ever airline / air force will hang out on the weekends and teach these kids through leading by example, versus the college programme where there's a competition to being first in the class so you can hoist an ego boost on your resume that ends up being laughed at.

Now, I have obviously biased my response towards one way of doing flight training making it seem like flight colleges are terrible. I should say that there are some good pilot's that come out of it as well - but for the most part the 4 year Aviation Degree ends up being a waste of time while his peers will be earning their first Right Seat Job on a turbine with 1500 hours and an ATPL in hand. Then after 2 years of either ramping or instructing, your son get's a right seat on a turbine at 250 hours or 1500 hours. The peers are now 2 years into a degree and hold 3000 hours and are going Captain on the turbine. 2 years later your son get's captain and his peers are now at Jazz/Ac/WestJet with their Degree's completed. That 2 year split doesn't always work out perfectly but just an example of how much of a waste it is to spend 4 years at flight training just so you can get a degree out of it. Hence why I suggest him doing his flight training first, get a job, then degree/trade.

I hope what ever your family wishes to pursue with your son's flight training ends up being the right route for him! 8)
With regards to something like engineering to fall back on, this really only works if you "fall back" on it early enough.

I have colleagues with engineering degrees from 6 or 8 or 12 years ago, and if they got out of flying at this time, to do anything engineering-related they'd have to go back to school for several years. Same with colleagues that have any type of computer or tech degree - those kinds of things get out of date quickly, and companies like to hire people with current education and/or experience.

I like the idea of having a trade - something that can be done part time and/or to supplement income early on in an aviation career. For me - I was in the military reserves and had that to supplement my meagre flight instructor income for my first 2 years of flying, and although I didn't think about it at the time, it was also something to "fall back" on.

Just my 2 cents.
Oh and a big plus 1. I have always said this. Just cause you learned how to use a TI45 calculator on your economics class 20 years ago doesn't mean you know how to fit into today's career of economics!
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by FL280 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:44 pm

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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by TheJudge » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:21 am

I must say that I disagree with parts of Loopa's assessment of flight colleges. I'll give you a brief overview of my experience going that route.

I went to Confederation College out of YQT, on the recommendation of a float pilot I met while working in the oil industry. At that time, I was trying to save up about 50k to do my CPL / ratings. When he informed me that I'd walk out of Confederation College with a business diploma, CPL, float rating, and only about 11k in academic expenses I was hooked.

The first semester at Confederation College was extremely intense. You start flying immediately, in addition to taking a full College course load. They take you to first solo in the airplane, and well beyond the required level of ground knowledge for a PPL. The pass rate tends to be between 40 and 65% in the first semester. This is not due to a curve; if you meet the requirements you pass.

2nd semester earns you your PPL, and the summer semester gets you a floating rating. Semesters 4 and 5 complete your CPL, and give you all the required knowledge to do a cat 3 IFR immediately upon graduation (INRAT and IATRA complete). Graduation is 20 months after beginning the program (5 consecutive semesters).

The college tends to hire several graduates a year to work as instructors; I was lucky enough to be selected for this. It is an excellent starting environment as there are a multitude of class 1's available to help, in addition to working with motivated career oriented students.

A benefit of Confederation's diploma is that it is easily upgradable into a degree. I chose Athabasca University, and was able to earn a Bachelor of Management (fairly versatile degree I would say - no matter where your son ends up they need managers) in an intense year and a half while working as an instructor.

Regarding flying ability, I disagree with Loopa's assessment as well. I won't get into a debate over it, but to illustrate I've had to redo ab-initio (see: attitudes and movements) training with several "mom and pop" private licensed pilots with terrible standards and habits while working on their CPL. In my opinion, the student - and the instructor - are significantly more important than where the training occurs.

In any case, I wish your son the best of luck!
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by loopa » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:51 pm

TheJudge wrote:I must say that I disagree with parts of Loopa's assessment of flight colleges. I'll give you a brief overview of my experience going that route.

I went to Confederation College out of YQT, on the recommendation of a float pilot I met while working in the oil industry. At that time, I was trying to save up about 50k to do my CPL / ratings. When he informed me that I'd walk out of Confederation College with a business diploma, CPL, float rating, and only about 11k in academic expenses I was hooked.

The first semester at Confederation College was extremely intense. You start flying immediately, in addition to taking a full College course load. They take you to first solo in the airplane, and well beyond the required level of ground knowledge for a PPL. The pass rate tends to be between 40 and 65% in the first semester. This is not due to a curve; if you meet the requirements you pass.

2nd semester earns you your PPL, and the summer semester gets you a floating rating. Semesters 4 and 5 complete your CPL, and give you all the required knowledge to do a cat 3 IFR immediately upon graduation (INRAT and IATRA complete). Graduation is 20 months after beginning the program (5 consecutive semesters).

The college tends to hire several graduates a year to work as instructors; I was lucky enough to be selected for this. It is an excellent starting environment as there are a multitude of class 1's available to help, in addition to working with motivated career oriented students.

A benefit of Confederation's diploma is that it is easily upgradable into a degree. I chose Athabasca University, and was able to earn a Bachelor of Management (fairly versatile degree I would say - no matter where your son ends up they need managers) in an intense year and a half while working as an instructor.

Regarding flying ability, I disagree with Loopa's assessment as well. I won't get into a debate over it, but to illustrate I've had to redo ab-initio (see: attitudes and movements) training with several "mom and pop" private licensed pilots with terrible standards and habits while working on their CPL. In my opinion, the student - and the instructor - are significantly more important than where the training occurs.

In any case, I wish your son the best of luck!
You bring up some valid points. I must say that confederation college does not fall into the category of colleges I was talking about.

As for advancement in the industry, we will still have to disagree. In my personal opinion I feel college graduates walk out of school feeling superior to their 250 hour peers and this yields advancement in the industry as this attitude is picked up by employers.

That being said, every person comes out of every type of environment differently. I can relate to myself, I thought I was so knowledgeable when I got my CPL and instructor rating... ROFL... you really learn quickly that no matter which environment you come out of you are pretty much scrub. I'm still a noob by most standards. That being said I feel what allows you to advance is the learning of your mistakes and applying those learning curves towards becoming a better aviator/person/ and all that fun stuff. Like they say, it's the journey that counts not the destination!

What I only was lightly touching on was that when a college graduate makes it to the top 5 or what ever of his course, it seems to take years before they step out of the aura of denial that they honestly don't know anything more than the 250 hour flight club pilot. Or the ones that didn't make the top 5 boast that they are friends with such and such in the top 5 and use them as references when they walk in for a ramp to turbine job. Not that this is always how it goes, but often!

An example of what I mean:

College Graduate's conversation with captain. Captain says "you know that xsr tag on the weather radar that depicts the delta 2 flag is such a pain in the ass" "college graduate nods, and says "yeah totally" While inside he's going WTF?

Flight Club Graduate convo with captain. Captain says "you know that xsr tag on the weather radar that depicts the delta 2 flag is such a pain in the ass" "Flight club graduate has a look of WTF on this face, and says "if you don't mind me asking, what is the xsr tag?" And ends up learning from it.

Now what I said was completely jibberish LOL, but goes to demonstrate where I feel college grads live in denial for a long period of time.

That being said, I graduated from a flight academy and I did have denial in my attitude but had to learn that it's not the way you excel in the industry. So far that realization has worked out nothing but excellent for me. I have friends in this industry who honestly are at the top of the food chain in their flying career who are more humble than some of these 250 hour grads. Have you guys seen how humble and relaxed David Pobran carries himself around these forums? Well he's just like that and if not his humble approach is even more apparent in person. For those of you that don't know who he is one of the Chief Pilot's at WestJet.

Honestly, if you cut the ego, stupidly crazy expenses, ray ban's, and course overload with irrelevant data, colleges aren't so bad. But then if you do that, you're back to a Flight Club. So... go and figure.

I hope that clarifies what my intent was (again, confed is pretty good school, I have friends who instructed there and are now onto bigger and better things) - great post otherwise!
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by Koalemos » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:15 pm

Some good feedback so far in this thread. I suppose it really depends on how long your son wants to be in school, and the type of experience he wants while he's there.

One thing to note is that the program from Seneca college is now a 4 year accredited Bachelor Degree program. Their 3 year diploma was expanded into a fourth year to include ATPL training and sim training in a (very nifty) CRJ FTD. The LOFT (line oriented flight training) done in the Baron simulator in year 4 is also a nice bonus, and I found it helpful for my first 703 job. The program, when I went through it, was rewarding but a lot of work. You end up with an integrated 5 year frozen ATPL (CPL with group 1 IFR and Samara/Saron written), good from the date that you graduate. Keep in mind, having a job on the side during the program wasn't really viable (in my experience) due to the combined work load of academics while simultaneously doing the flight training. Some people pulled it off, but either their flight training, academics, or social life/important networking, suffered as a result.

With the closure of Buttonville airport at some undecided point in the future, there would be the possibility of having to move locations partway through the program (last I heard they were considering Peterborough for their new home when Buttonville shuts down). I don't know what type of strategy they have in place for this. Seneca has had increasingly larger class sizes in the last couple of years, so I'm not sure how well they are managing the pace of flight training these days. If you do consider Seneca as an option, I strongly urge you and your son to contact the folks there directly to arrange a hanger tour to see the place and get any questions answered from the source.

I do not have personal experience with the Western program, however, my understanding is that it is a business type degree. I know some people who went through there and enjoyed it, others had some gripes about how it was run when it came to the actual flying portion. Of course, every college/university will have some glitches along the way. The business type aspect may be more beneficial if you want some cross training in another field. In the event that he wanted to change fields down the road, he will most likely have to take further training anyways, whatever the field.

I think there are a couple places that offer university degrees through their aviation programs out west, not really sure tho as I haven't been out that way. Perhaps a west coaster on these boards can shed more light there.

The airlines seem to be putting increasing importance on having either a degree (in any field), an aviation degree or an aviation diploma. Most programs seem to be pretty demanding, and a good learning experience in time management. It also gives you a couple of years to mature (varies on the person), which can make a huge difference in the cockpit. In the end tho, it's basically a checkbox for 704/705 job applications.
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by Bede » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:36 am

FL280,

I think it's great that you're looking out for your son, but something strikes me as odd in your posts: why isn't your son on this board asking for advice? From my reading between the lines, you really want him to get into flying, and maybe he does/maybe he doesn't. You also want him to get a university degree. Does he want to go the university route on his own?

I have a university degree, no regrets- I did through ERAU while building hours. That's what I would recommend- otherwise go through con college.

I used to do flight instructing. I was always leery when a parent called on behalf of the kid. I cannot think of a single time where that happened and the kid turned out to be very self motivated- it was always the parent who wanted it more than the kid did. The most motivated kids were the one's who did all the work them selves and paid for the training themselves.

I think it would be wise to step back and see how far he takes this on his own. Once you see his motivation ("Dad, I need to find a job to pay for my flight training"), you can step up and help him out.

My $0.02. Cheers,
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by FL280 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:36 pm

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Post by Beefitarian » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:44 am

Observation/stupid remarks to follow, you can decide which.
You start flying immediately, in addition to taking a full College course load.
Why not just get a full time job while you take Flight training? You will get more exercise and make money instead of spending it. Do a plumbing apprenticeship and you'll also end up with that high paying trade a bunch of the pilot's here keep saying they are jealous of. Unless you really love school.

You could do an Electrician's apprenticeship and get used to guys allways being ready to do your job in a careless manner for less money than you would. Real life pilot experience right there.
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by Bede » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:14 am

FL280 wrote:Thanks for the info so far. I need to be clear on one thing hear, and make no bones about it, he wants to do the flying route and that's never been a question. He's done more research on his own that I'd care to admit, folders on various colleges and flight schools from NL to BC, etc, but for the most part, we run in different circles so to speak.
That's awesome! He sounds quite motivated. All the best to him!
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by Oleo 4 » Tue May 01, 2012 10:56 am

For what it is worth to your Son!

You and your Son need a heart to heart to figure out if he is trade orientated or which discipline he may be interested in school. If he isn't interested in any school homework or writing countless papers then maybe he needs to go the "mom and pop route."

Your best course of action is to interview as many flight schools - mom and pop as well as colleges!!!

It has been my experience and not my opinion that both flight colleges and mom and pop schools produce both good and bad pilots. Its not the school per say but the individual who attends and decides what they want to take away from it!

I'm a University grad myself and I can tell you and your son that while some of my peers who decided to do the 2 year route or the mom and pop route got more hours earlier on, it truely doesn't mean a thing in this industry in the long run! You have to make sacrifices your entire career, whether for family or new job opportunities. To base going to college and getting an education over building your initial 1500-3000 hours in the long run is foolish! Base it on your criteria - what you want in life!

Since my time in school I have stayed in touch with those in school who didn't possess the childish "I'm better than you because I have more hours" mentality and have been happy to see those who have graduated after me go in their respective directions! I've seen some people graduate after me who have moved onto large 705 companies internationaly and others give it up all together. Myself - I made choices that allow me to live my lifestyle, own a house, some toys, play with my dog at home more than be away while flying during the day so I can be home at night. I've been an instructor, flown north of 60 in the bush, on floats, ski's, single ifr, multi crew ifr, medivacs, corporate, regional - that mentality of hours can be over consuming - tell your son to enjoy the ride - its a beauty if you leave behind small thinkers!
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by loopa » Sun May 13, 2012 11:10 pm

To base going to college and getting an education over building your initial 1500-3000 hours in the long run is foolish! Base it on your criteria - what you want in life!
One can also say it's foolish to go and waste time in school when you could be gaining the flight time and acquiring your schooling on the side in something more valuable - since we are speaking of the long term! Perhaps what somebody wants in life is to go go go and achieve their career and then take time to smell the roses. Like you said though, it's what "YOU" want in your life. There's no right or wrong way to move forward - some want to work hard and get somewhere and enjoy a life, other's want to take their time and enjoy the experience. I agree with the latter. But I'm also young and naive. :rolleyes:

I think it's foolish to be close minded on "the" way in the industry. I believe in making it your own personalized experience, not the rat race that this industry seems to portray more and more of. I sure have gotten bitten in the ass by that mentality and learned my lesson.

Enjoy! 8)
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by esp803 » Tue May 15, 2012 9:00 am

Well I went through a Flight College (Selkirk), and for what it's worth here is my opinion on the whole university thing.

Going into the industry I was sure that corporate flying was for me. Fast jets, live in the big cities, awesome layovers. Selkirk is tailored for corporate and airline type flying. With that being said, as it turns out I hate being in cruise... and I also dislike two crew. So now looking back I would have found a super cub on floats and done my entire commercial on that, then converted to wheels. I did my instructor rating at a small flight school in my home town where the CFI has been instructing for thousands of hours and found it to be on par with the college instructing. When I was an instructor (albeit briefly) at (unfortunately) a cookie cutter flight school, all instructors were low time (myself included) and the quality of instruction was non existent. So make sure you research the flight school before choosing.

Now the degree. As stated earlier I went through a flight college and many of the courses are not transferable except to places like Embry Riddle... but that is a money sink hole. Some courses fortunately do, English, Physics, Calculus. Almost enough to consider first year done in either a BA in Science or arts. I am now slowly working towards a degree as I work. When I flew Medevac I attended college one course per semester and when I was flying out of a tiny little reserve in NWO I did distance learning from Athabasca U. I have enjoyed this route as I'm working on my degree I don't have to worry about the finances of schooling. This is the slower route to getting the degree. I suspect will have my education degree sometime in the next decade. Right about when I suspect I will need a change from flying.

No matter how your son gets his pilots licence, a back up is important, whether he does it initially or in the process or just saves enough through his career to go back to school he will be fine!

E
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Re: Looking for input from University Aviation grads

Post by skearns4 » Thu May 17, 2012 12:05 pm

I am a professor in Western's program. I am happy to chat with you about the strengths and weaknesses of the university approach. Certainly, it's not for everyone (it takes longer and is more expensive than other options). However, it also opens up a world of opportunities (law school, MBA, etc.) and the business degree is a solid back-up plan incase something happens (lose you medical, etc.).

PM me and I'll send you my email/phone info.
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