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COLLEGE DEGREE'S - Valuable for helicopter pilots?

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Recently, while traveling to my annual night EP training I, once again was reminded of the gift this career can bring….

 

The trip consists of an hour-and-twenty minute airline flight mostly full with commuter business folks. That is, more-than-likely, “educated” business folks, if you get my drift…. Oddly enough, it was obvious a few of these biz types traveled in the same circles. I couldn’t help but listen to their conversations about deadlines, meetings, clients, on/off-targets, calendars, lunches and such while dressed by the newest of the Men’s Warehouse (I guarantee it) attire. I thought to myself, these folks are the lucky ones who get to break away from their cubicles and travel, albeit to eventually end up in someone else’s office. Even then, at that moment, I thought to myself, this is what you get from an education? A few were OG’s who’ve probably been doing their thing for years. The grunts of middle management, or sales rep or tech rep….. Hopefully, they're happy with career decisions…….

 

When deplaning, they collect their laptops and carryon rollers and like cattle, they head to the arrival curb where they meet their significant other or zombie-like coworker. I stand there and watch as they scurry on with painfully similar lives…….

 

Me, in a couple hours when it’s dark, I’ll be attempting to zero-out a full-down in an AS350B3.... F’n bitchin…..

Edited by Spike
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Ah, stereotypes...

 

Of course a college degree isnt important for a career as a helicopter pilot. Of all my friends who went to college, only two are actually working in rhe field they studied - one is a lawyer and one is in banking. All the rest (including me) are working in completely different fields.

 

So, in my opinion, unless you want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc. college is strictly a piece of paper that can open some doors and/or a personally fulfilling experience. The latter though cannot be underestimated.

 

If someone has the means and the desire, post-secondary study of the arts, soft sciences, history, etc. can be a very enriching and rewarding pursuit. Its not for making money or learning a skill, its about personal growth and expanding your horizons. I think the world would be a much better place if all young people got some post-secondary liberal arts education and also traveled/lived overseas for a period of time. These things have a way of broadening narrow minds and putting our place in the world into better perspective - which, coincidently, will make one a better pilot as well as a better human being.

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One of the biggest regrets of my life was wasting college on a Liberal Arts degree! If you go to college study something useful! If you want to expand your horizons and work on personal growth, go to the library and pick up a book! It won't cost a thing!

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One of the biggest regrets of my life was wasting college on a Liberal Arts degree! If you go to college study something useful! If you want to expand your horizons and work on personal growth, go to the library and pick up a book! It won't cost a thing!

Unless it's overdue, which reminds me...

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Nobody goes to the library anymore. You can download library books directly to your Kindle for free. Just stay home in your pajamas :)

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Are any of you wanting to be military helicopter pilots? Seems to be the best route to getting flight training paid for? Curious to know your thoughts.

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I've put at least 100 helicopter pilots into a helicopter job flying for me in my aircraft in a 141 school based in Hollywood (Miami/Ft Lauderdale), Florida. I never asked any if they had a college degree. I don't think that any employers have asked, either. Further, I've put all of those into jobs without a care as to whether they have an IR or a CFII as we fly R22's and R44's on sunny vfr days. None of our helicopters have a three axis autopilot and we don't fly IFR or in the clouds. Many have gotten jobs without a college degree or an IR or a CFII. I think they should get a first job and then get additional ratings like IR and CFII, then ATP. Perhaps they want to get a college degree and that is fine. I have a college degree in Mechanical Engineering. Took me like five years and I graduated with twice the credits than the Pre Law guys did. That was quite a multiyear load when I've trained pilots from zero to cfi in four months and given them jobs. Many have gone on to making six figures in a relaxed environment and have privately thanked me. I'm an advertiser here, an employer, a twirlybird (means I soloed 20 years ago), a helicopter owner and have flown since 1986. Nothing has changed in this industry as it's about hours and ratings. Mostly hours. The colleges and degree seekers will tell you all sorts of other things but they don't own helicopter or answer to insurance companies. I've seen a lot of high time helicopter pilots without a degree start to seek a degree and then try to rewrite history and encourage those after them to seek a college degree or start some sort of survey that I could have quickly answered with my knowledge. I've heard a lot of college recruiters wax on about how at some time in the past that airlines started requiring college degrees but I'm surrounded by airline pilots that don't have degrees. I've had students that had doctorates and sought to be astronauts. They need a degree, yes, and are likely to loose out to some minorities for those coveted astronaut positions. To fly a helicopter the person doing the hiring looks at the hours, ratings, accident history and a bunch of intangibles that they can't really quantify easily either. A college degree is a coincidence and not required. Do remember that there are well qualified pilots that are called upon to go 100 miles out to sea, at night, and do hoist work and some can do it and some can't. A college degree isn't going to help. My two cents, but I've owned helicopters for over 25 years so maybe you should weigh my comments more heavily than those that have an agenda.

 

Also, if you are in Miami for the Miami Boat Show this weekend you will find me and one of my helicopters on a 160 foot boat near the Eden Roc hotel as an old friend asked me to put a heli on a boat he has for sale. He offered me $10k to put my Raven 2 on the boat for ten days but it was booked at $425/hour so I have him an R22 Mariner for the show. If you watched the popular current movie "Wolf of Wallstreet" and remember the scene where the helicopter was washed off by the rogue wave that is not exactly accurate. The helicopter was pushed off so the Italian rescue Chinook could get the 11 passengers off the boat. The captain was the last to get hoisted and is my "old friend" and student. The boat in the movie was named Naomi but the actual boat was named "Nadine". Google "Nadine Sinking" and it will tie together some unanswered questions from this very popular move. Perhaps the funniest 13 minutes on youtube I've ever seen. We are all drug/alcohol tested but this will give you a perspective of boating and helicopters.

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I don't like it when loose is used when lose is grammatically correct.

Example...

They need a degree, yes, and are likely to loose out to some minorities for those coveted astronaut positions.

 

But that's just me.

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I've put at least 100 helicopter pilots into a helicopter job flying for me in my aircraft in a 141 school based in Hollywood (Miami/Ft Lauderdale), Florida. I never asked any if they had a college degree. I don't think that any employers have asked, either.

 

 

You're also a bottom of the barrel feeder that charges people for a job, lowers the bar across the industry, and has far more complaints and compliments about you, your operation, and your work, and your business dealings, across the board. One needn't look far to see that for one's self.

 

One hardly needs a degree to lower the bar, or to invite others to do so.

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Any education is good but the "college degree" assumption is not valuable if you examine the truth of current facts. I recently examined the cost and value of my college degree and came to the conclusion that it is not worth the monetary value I traded to get that shiny piece of paper. Now many would argue that sit in a tenor-ship in a university and lecture a class, a whopping 3 times a week from pre-structured PowerPoints. Albeit some professors are better than others but to me it seems like a sweet "gig."

 

Job Placement in General (of the recent educated)

 

I fall into the category of recent young graduates within the last 4 years. Currently 50% of college graduates fail to find a job that pays 35k+ within a significant amount of time, and many work multiple jobs until they discover networking and nestle themselves into an organization.

 

College Debt Soars

 

With our national trend of accumulating debts that cannot be paid back in a timely manner or even at all. Now the avg. student loan debt is around 30K but this is including associates degrees as well which skews the number significantly for 4 year degrees, most 4 year degrees = 60-80K of debt. In my case, including my flight costs, I left a certain University with over 100K in hard earned debt. Now consider the prime-rate on federal loans has nearly been doubled (thank you Mr. Obama). If a student makes the minimum payment over a 20 year term that investment of education seems to have some rather large financial consequences.

 

Higher Education Reality

 

You are required to take 125 credits. Some classes are good but some include some crap you will never use or even recite again. Sure there is a good time in college and you get to "find yourself," create a path, etc etc... Well why do you have to pay for that?

 

Real Education

 

When you graduate or enter the real world, like any other job you need experience. Well how do you get experience? I think anyone would always hire someone with experience over a degree, if they value common sense.

 

Real value and education comes from a person's will to learn and apply what they have learned for the future. This is what forms an adult that can make informed decisions, not a piece of paper.

 

Future Generation

 

Instead of pampering our children with a false guarantee to get a job because they have a degree, why don’t we instill a hard work ethic in them and the will to explore and learn? Rather than scare them into thinking they need an erroneous piece of paper that is feeding the green monster in the USA's financial sectors.

 

Personal Biased Conclusion

 

I have had a recent experience of traveling around the world through some of the richest parts of the world and some of the poorest parts of the world. When you strip away all of the Bull$%&t and actually look at things for what they are; then you can solve problems, see the real issues, and make organizations better or grow them.

 

Any employers on here want someone that can solve problems? Do emploers prefer a person that has a self-entitled Master’s Degree?

 

Instead of going to grad school, I traveled. How many masters degrees out there teach you to get into "local only airports," sit with the CEOs of companies for coffee, or sit in on a meeting with an Oil Company considering contracts for an off-shore oil contract (most people do not even know that they drill in that part of the world)?

 

If I would take out a loan again; I would travel, get a helicopter rating, and educate myself on things that pertain to my path.

I must apologize to rant about this topic but I really wish I did not have a college degree. It sickens me to see people feel they have to have one. The assumption or notion that a helicopter pilot should have a degree is absurd. Look at the airlines!

 

"Hi, I have been a regional pilot for 2 years, I have 100K in debt, and I just got a raise to 27K! I can now purchase the larger packs of roman noodles!"

 

See cultures, see the world, realize you live in a bubble, and learn to adapt because the US might change in the next 20 years significantly. More importantly, if you’re in a specific skilled trade, kind of like a helicopter pilot,..then learn that trade and be grateful for people that give you opportunities rather than try to impress them with a shiny piece of paper.

 

Safe Flying Friends.

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I've taught guys to fly hairplanes and heli-whoppers who had not, or barely, finished high school. They made excellent pilots. Needed extra help with exams sometimes, but they did fine. And some went on to become commercial jockeys. Some of the best pilots? Former truck drivers.

 

Now, does a college degree benefit a pilot?

 

Yes.

 

Main reason?

 

Because the world is full of academic morons and intellectual twits. They tend to sit haughtily and supremely on interview panels, and THEY are impressed with college degrees.

 

My college background of Mathematics, Economics, History, German & French literature, never helped me squat avoiding the wires, or flying that perfect vertical roll.

 

I'm all for the small man, no degrees, no airs and graces, whose eyes light up when somebody mentions going flying.

 

Just me.

 

:ph34r:

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Some of the best pilots? Former truck drivers.

 

 

...and some of the best truck drivers? Unemployed pilots.

 

Go to college!

 

10/4 good buddies.

Big Rig Butters

:)

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See cultures, see the world, realize you live in a bubble, and learn to adapt because the US might change in the next 20 years significantly. More importantly, if you’re in a specific skilled trade, kind of like a helicopter pilot,..then learn that trade and be grateful for people that give you opportunities rather than try to impress them with a shiny piece of paper.

that resonates with me. Especially:

 

See cultures, see the world, realize you live in a bubble,

Realize you live in a privileged bubble. I have learned that, slowly. Maybe.

 

:rolleyes:

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There's no place like home -Dorothy Gale- (As told by L. Frank Baum)

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I go to the library.

It's where the local writers group meets.

 

@ avbug

 

what on earth did the local writers do to deserve that...?

 

 

:blink:

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On the rare occasion that I get a call back from a resume I have sent out they usually ask what my plans are with my B.S. degree that I am working on.

 

"Are you looking to go into management?" is the usual question.

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By enrolling in our schools college program you will qualify for the funding nessessary to pay for flight training and thus keep our cfis flying so they can eventually build enough time to finally get a "semi liveable" wage job. So please go to college!

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I still haven't heard a company ask me if a pilot had a college degree. How many hours is what I hear. "Can he fly" is what i hear. Recruiters and speakers at seminars will ask about college degrees and promote them when they don't have one themselves I have the same degree as Frank Robinson, my wife has a Master's degree in Business (MBA) and my chief pilot has a Doctorate also known as a PhD. The last 100 people that have been hired haven't even been asked that question. The chief pilot was hired ten years ago because he reported he weighed 130 pounds and he was a flight instructor for 40 years (I figured he knew more than me as I only started in 1986). I have formerly been involved in college flight programs but the money goes to the college and this dilutes the payment of your money for the hours that you need to the overhead of the college and not your logbook. At every seminar there is a college employee, student or person writing a college paper telling you that the college stuff gives you what it takes to get the job that requires thousands without those thousands of hours. The people doing the hiring completely disagree. You need the hours. Not a degree. If you think I am wrong be the named sponsor of HAI job fairs etc.like I have and talk to the college proponents and then talk to those doing the hiring like I have with my access. You need hours. Same as it was in 1986 when I started flying.

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There's always the fact that the aviation business is fickle. Having a degree makes for better back-up options.

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In my opinion, I think that good training and networking will get you the results you need. The reason why 4-year degrees work is you get to know so many people and start a good, solid network. I took a training course from FlyHAA and got to know some good people that lead me to a great job. (http://www.flyhaa.com/en/page/helicopter_flight_training_courses)

 

 

It's what you know but also who you know. My training gave me the skills needed, my connections got me a great job.

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Here is my perspective from an employers point of view.

Your degree will not impress me at all...with the possible exception of speaking several languages. Why? Simple, you can be an asset talking to people who speak little or no English that come wanting to go sight seeing etc.

Otherwise get a degree in something you can fall back on if your career as a pilot never takes off.

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I knew pilots both with and without a degree, and IMO they fly about the same.

 

Well, in my case, the EE degree kept me away from flying for 25 years.

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