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Helicopter Industry Education Opinionnaire

What is your opinion about the value of a bachelor's degree for helicopter pilot interviews and job placement?

This is part of an industry research project and we need your honest opinion!

Take 2 minute survey - click here

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Helicopter Industry Education Opinionnaire What is your opinion about the value of a bachelor's degree for helicopter pilot interviews and job placement? This is part of an industry research project

One does not form a plural by adding an apostrophe. That is basic grammar, which any middle school graduate, let alone a college graduate, should know.

I took this survey at HeliSuccess, but I agree with apiaguy. Can you be a helicopter pilot with just the minimum ratings...sure. But, why not hold yourself to a higher standard? I do believe that w

I do hate the narrow focus, painting you into a corner questions. It should be obvious to all that a college degree is an important character builder and provides a rounded educational background. I personally think that narrow focused education (aviation professional training in persuit of piloting) is looked upon as a lesser education than a traditional bachelor degree education in nearly any other focus. Furthermore, an associate degree in pilot training coursework is even more worthless. Hard to even be taken seriously in academic circles.

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I took this survey at HeliSuccess, but I agree with apiaguy. Can you be a helicopter pilot with just the minimum ratings...sure. But, why not hold yourself to a higher standard? I do believe that with a bachelors degree comes more oportunities...and even more so with a masters....and so on.

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More opportunites, defintely. With flight experience a degree can only make you more marketable after you are an experienced pilot. But i think when you start getting into a Masters level, those opportunities will probably take you out of the cockpit and into management, HR, etc. But hey..... all it takes is to lose a medical cert one day. A higher level of degree plus a career of flying behind you may move you into management and at least you could still be around aviation.

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There are only two reasons for helicopter pilots to get a college degree;

 

1. Enrolling in the degree program will allow you to get the funding needed for flight school.

 

2. The degree (preferably a non-aviation one) gives you a back-up plan in case you never find work as a pilot....or lose your medical (as stated above) :D

Edited by pilot#476398
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Educational institutions are a business that absorb the income of the attendees. I honestly think that training to sort out the hype, and see the potential of future use of your time spent learning would far better suit the learner than the classes one is forced to take in order to meet a degrees requirements.

 

Vocational training has definitely filled that gap tremendously over the last few decades and has become much more accepted in the professional fields.

For those who see themselves moving into management, or business positions, going for further education into business management or marketing is going to always help, assuming he educator has a solid program to begin with.

 

Nothing like going to a broke financial advisor for advise! Lol. If the educator has not built a business like yours....you shouldnt be learning from them. Follow those in life that are headed where you want to go.

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It should be obvious to all that a college degree is an important character builder and provides a rounded educational background.

 

 

I disagree. There is nothing inherently character building about having prostrated one's self to an institution for a period of time, nor does a degree necessarily even equate to learning, let alone an actual education. It's a great way to go into debt, however, and if that's one's goal, then the degree is the way to go. Short of buying an aircraft, in which one gets a very expensive collection of metal parts for one's trouble, one can sink equivalent values into the degree, and come away with a small piece of paper. Your choice.

 

Certainly one can take from a degree what one puts into the effort, but a degree is no guarantee of learning nor education. It's just a degree.

 

As aviators go, by and large helicopter pilots are utility operators, and degrees are for the most part not particularly useful or applicable to such operations.

 

If you're going to earn a degree, make it something useful, in a discipline on which you may one day capitalize for a return, for a job.

 

Maintenance training does make you more valuable to a lot of operators, primarily utility operators, and a degree in aircraft maintenance technology is a good place to start.

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Having a degree is yet another discriminator. It shows at least enough intelligence to get through the university, and the persistence to complete it. It won't get you a job by itself, but given two applicants who are otherwise equally qualified, the one with the degree is more likely to be hired.

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There is always value in learning things. It makes one a better person, which has a certain value in itself.

 

Does it make one a better pilot? Not really, though I think going through some academic rigor makes one better able to absorb some aeronautical concepts later.

 

I'm a Marine pilot, and we require our pilots to have degrees. The Army doesn't, and does just fine.

 

Though I'm still learning about the civilian flying world as I prepare to transition in a few months, it's my impression that sometimes flying work is hard to come by. Having a degree means better options while you're waiting for your ship (or helo) to come in.

 

As far as being expensive, it's only expensive if you pay for it. The military will, through officer programs on the front side or via GI Bill on the back, should you want it badly enough.

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It won't get you a job by itself, but given two applicants who are otherwise equally qualified, the one with the degree is more likely to be hired.

 

 

This is a myth largely promulgated by the universities that advance the degree. Who really stands the most to gain in that equation? The university that receives several hundred thousand dollars of the student's borrowed money in exchange for a piece of paper and a brand?

 

That's not really an equation, nor equitable. It's also not really true.

 

There are some professional positions where a degree may be leverage, but in the vast majority of flying positions, especially utility positions, and most helicopter positions, a degree is of little value to distinguish one employee over another.

 

Of far more interest to an employer is the certification, experience, and capability of the applicant, than whether he or she has a degree. A degree speaks to none of those things.

 

Those most impressed with degrees are…those who have the degrees. The myth is self-promoting, yet becomes no closer to being true.

Edited by avbug
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This is a myth largely promulgated by the universities that advance the degree. Who really stands the most to gain in that equation? The university that receives several hundred thousand dollars of the student's borrowed money in exchange for a piece of paper and a brand?

 

That's not really an equation, nor equitable. It's also not really true.

 

There are some professional positions where a degree may be leverage, but in the vast majority of flying positions, especially utility positions, and most helicopter positions, a degree is of little value to distinguish one employee over another.

 

Of far more interest to an employer is the certification, experience, and capability of the applicant, than whether he or she has a degree. A degree speaks to none of those things.

 

Those most impressed with degrees are…those who have the degrees. The myth is self-promoting, yet becomes no closer to being true.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment and what I’ve experience over the past years. However, it would appear the industry is migrating towards an “airline” mentality/philosophy which could change the demographic of the hiring pool. Sadly, I’ve already seen this happen. That is, an educated individual who is hired over a more qualified/experienced individual and, a huge problem for this industry in the future……..

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why would it be a "huge problem for this industry in the future"? Eventually the standard will rise to having a degree and the old schoolers who simply learned by experience will be weeded out. The huge problem to me seems to be students willing to pay for a "degree" which holds no value... ie a degree in aviation studies (not including technical maintenance degree/certification)

I am a proponent of self education and education without the academic environment... ie trade schools; apprenticship programs etc... and that may be well suited to aviation more than the "degree" nonsense. I guess either way, talent moves to the top regardless of accolades.

ps. I don't think people who have degrees simply want to self promulgate their experience in the system... I believe they feel their "degree" has made them a better person that is more well rounded and educated in a variety of topics .... maybe that makes them a jack of all trades and master of none.

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What is your opinion about the value of a bachelor's degree for helicopter pilot interviews and job placement?

 

 

I went for and obtained a degree in engineering because of the passion I had to learn more about electronics and computer technology.

 

If you have no passion, for the field you’re studying, and only seek a degree to get a so-called job, you’ll end up greatly disappointed.

 

The Great College Conspiracy

http://youtu.be/6onxeSx79xQ

Edited by iChris
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why would it be a "huge problem for this industry in the future"? Eventually the standard will rise to having a degree and the old schoolers who simply learned by experience will be weeded out.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I too am a proponent of an education, formal or otherwise…. However, the standard may rise to include a “higher” education but that, in itself should not be used as a yardstick for hiring purposes. In this business, experience matters and everything else beyond that, including an education, is secondary. In short, the qualities pilot must have to improve their judgment, increase production and enhance safety cannot be adequately learned on a theoretical level (at least, not in the real world where the rubber meets the road). IMO, ya gotta do it, and prove it, -daily…… And, if this industry is going to embrace an education over experience, expect only bad things to happen and thus a problem for the future……

Edited by Spike
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If you have no passion, for the field you’re studying, and only seek a degree to get a so-called job, you’ll end up greatly disappointed.

 

As a society, we tend to be paralyzed by precedence in an attempt to keep up with the Joneses…. Maybe an alternate mindset is required to break this cycle….

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY

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Having a degree, in anything, is an advantage in any industry, for any job. The point of an education is to teach you to think, not necessarily to learn everything about a particular subject. I don't claim that simply having a degree, in and of itself, makes you employable, but it's a common belief in the world that someone with a degree has an enhanced ability to think things through because of education, and education is widely seen as desirable in and of itself, regardless of the major subject studied. Like it or not, having a college degree is a big step above those who don't have one, and the ones who protest most loudly about this are those who don't have a degree. Protest all you like, but it's a fact that people with degrees, on average, earn far more over a lifetime than those who have none. That will not change, and in fact will most likely become more prevalent in the future. If you want to make a good living, and do work that doesn't involve manual labor, get a degree. In anything. Nothing is guaranteed, but the odds are way in favor of those with a degree.

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As a society, we tend to be paralyzed by precedence in an attempt to keep up with the Joneses…. Maybe an alternate mindset is required to break this cycle….

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY

Keeping up with the Joneses is a double edged sword. If you can keep the competitive side of the sword directed properly, then excellence can be achieved.

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Having a degree, in anything, is an advantage in any industry, for any job. The point of an education is to teach you to think, not necessarily to learn everything about a particular subject. I don't claim that simply having a degree, in and of itself, makes you employable, but it's a common belief in the world that someone with a degree has an enhanced ability to think things through because of education, and education is widely seen as desirable in and of itself, regardless of the major subject studied. Like it or not, having a college degree is a big step above those who don't have one, and the ones who protest most loudly about this are those who don't have a degree. Protest all you like, but it's a fact that people with degrees, on average, earn far more over a lifetime than those who have none. That will not change, and in fact will most likely become more prevalent in the future. If you want to make a good living, and do work that doesn't involve manual labor, get a degree. In anything. Nothing is guaranteed, but the odds are way in favor of those with a degree.

That's 100% correct. A common misperception is that a college degree is only the sum of the knowledge acquired. But the real benefit is the ability to think and reason on a higher level. PHI seemed to understand this as I saw pilots with a degree but unimpressive flight experience, go to the head of the line to transition into IFR twins. Not oddly enough, the under-educated person (and the fragile-egoed) is not likely to have a grasp on this and would probably reject it anyway. BTW, I'm a college dropout.

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In my opinion……

 

If we consider the core of the original question; is a bachelor’s degree valuable for a helicopter pilot, from my experience, the answer is no, it is not. Maybe it has been for others and, I do know people with degrees who secured jobs that required degrees (corporate gigs which funny enough they hated and subsequently moved on to jobs which do not require degrees). Nevertheless, all-in-all the majority of career pilots I know, do not have degrees. However, every single teacher, lawyer, doctor or CPA I know -does. And, when interacting with these people, I did not witness any kind of “higher level of thinking”. IMO, an education is by no means a measurement of intelligence…..

 

With respect to advancement, I’ve seen idiotic brown-nosing a**-kissers move to the head of the line, become managers or be paid a higher wage. In the end, there are multiple ways to advance. You can do it with a strong work ethic or with a formal education or by sucking up or, a combination of all three and be ripe for a management spot…..

 

The reality is: this career track does not attract folks who desire a formal education. And, deciding the merits of this is not up to me. However, if the trend is to require a degree, then it should be understood, most folks will probably opt for a more lucrative career/lifestyle as this business simply cannot provide it. It’s that simple. BTW, this opinion is coming from a dumb-as-a-brick, non-educated career pilot....

 

Lastly, to be clear, I am a stanch supporter of higher education and my kids will be going to college. No question. Then again, my kids will not be going to college to become a pro helicopter pilot…..

Edited by Spike
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I didn't go to college to become a pro helicopter pilot, either. I did it to get out of that damned cotton field. The helicopter pilot thing came about by accident, more or less, as a way to stay out of foxholes. Uncle Sam needed helicopter pilots, and I was willing, and one thing just led to another. My degree has not been really needed as a pilot, but I'm just one data point in a large data field. I still say that having one is an advantage, no matter what you do for a living.

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What is your opinion about the value of a bachelor's degree for helicopter pilot interviews and job placement?

 

Would the following Bachelor’s degrees impress you as an employer seeking pilots? Nothing wrong with any of these degrees; however, there only real marketability is at the Master’s or Doctorate level. Are they really a marker of a pilot’s ability to think and reason on a higher level? Is that really what our schools are setup to teach?

 

Social Work

Native American Studies

Afro-American Studies

Philosophy

Religious Studies

Urban planning

Graphic design

Zoology

East Asian Studies

Archeology

Aviation management

Wildlife Management

 

But the blanket recommendation that students should go to college and get a bachelor’s degree isn’t enough. It turns out that what you study and the careers for which your major prepares you matter, too. In fact, there are cases where someone with a lower level of education can earn more than someone with a higher degree, because of the course of study pursued.

It’s Not Just the Degree, but What You Study

 

It’s about the passion and the burning desire, which comes from within you. Most people look for something outside of themselves for success. Don't depend on the accreditation of a failed system. You need more than a degree. Your burning desire to be or to do will in most cases, overcome your lack of degree.

 

The Truth About College Grad 'Underemployment

 

One woman we know was a graduate of one of the finest universities in the U.S. with a very high GPA. When she graduated, she wanted to live in Los Angeles. And the only way she could live there was to get a job. It was hard to get a job, so she took a clerical position. And over the next few years, she watched, listened and got a bunch of accreditations. Eventually, she evolved in her career and is today one of the top people in her field and very comfortable.

 

A young man we know got a joint dance and business degree. What, exactly, do you do with that? No worries. He got a job selling ladies shoes on a commission-only basis; today, he is the top sales person for a leading retail chain and well on the way to success.

 

Another woman we know had a baby during her senior year at a prestigious research institution. She knew she had to get a job immediately upon graduation and that the job market was tough; her degree in Animal Science guaranteed her nothing. So she created a position supporting a research lab. Nonetheless, she distinguished herself as a go-getter with unique ideas. She became highly sought-after in her original field and, ultimately, created several new opportunities and grew them. She now makes more money and more important decisions than most people she knows with twice as much education.

 

And then there’s the man who graduated from an engineering school in his home country. But when he came to this country, the only job he could get was serving food in one of the ethnic restaurants of his upbringing. Over time, he leveraged this and became the president of a company that consults to small businesses and restaurants. Clearly, he has done quite well.

Forbes.com: The Truth About College Grad 'Underemployment

 

Then there are the following quotes about education:

 

“The point of an education is to teach you to think.”

“The real benefit is the ability to think and reason on a higher level.”

 

Yes, that should be the objective, but an agenda was set years before we were born to implement the means of controlling what we think.

 

 

Charlotte Iserbyt: The Miseducation of America

(The Secret History of Western Education)

 

https://youtu.be/NuIeWNnfe8g

 

Your Indoctrination To Education

 

http://youtu.be/4fj6Qamu0JY

 

Also: Schools are prisons

Edited by iChris
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