College for being a pilot?

Do you need to go to college to be a pilot? I know you don’t need it for your ATPL, but would it help get a job on the other side?
Thanks, Hugh


You don’t need to go to college but it’s a recommended route to take. A lot of airlines look for college background and degrees I think. It looks good when applying for airlines or just any aviation company.


Ah, I see, thanks, so it’s just extra money for a possible consideration over another candidate?

Well a lot of airlines actually require you to have a bachelors degree I think. I highly suggest to use your resources to make an outcome for you. :)


Well it moves you up in terms of how appealing you are, but it also may be required. If you can college is definitely a recommended, if not required step at least here in the US, but you could probably make it work without it, maybe… 🤔

The good thing is that you can pretty much get a degree in anything, helps if it’s related, Meteorology, Aerospace engineering, etc, but it can even be stuff like I think @Erj145 said at one point he had a degree in like literature or something (unless he confirms don’t quote me in that), so you really just have to tick the box.


I am thinking about Embry riddle, Purdue university or university of Delaware, but I know there are a lot of other options.

Here is a cool video on today’s pilot industry if you want to check it out


For me I would go to Purdue or Embry ridle cause it’s closer. I’m thinking more purdue just cause I will get more of the college experience then I would at embry riddle. Also yes you should go to college to be a pilot:)


AFTA in Cork for me, and thanks everyone !

Hey! I’d made a topic on flight training in the USA and various options to earn money in a topic, some time ago. Check it out here, and hope it sheds a little light on your own path.
Hope to see you in the skies soon!

I from Ireland and I hope to go to the Flight safety academy in Farnbouragh to fly the G650ER. I want to be a corporate pilot 👨‍✈️ ✈️

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Professional pilot, I have a bachelors degree in environmental science and I’m extremely happy with it. I never felt the need to get an aviation degree.


@KPIT bank on sir! Bachelors here in literature, finance and Bio and minor in Swahili (don’t laugh lol). Come this fall I will start mandarin.

All that said. I personally don’t like siting in class, pay a lot $$$ and if you go to the likes of most 141 schools it will take you a year to get your PPL. I got mine in 2.5 months(close to 3). I enjoy pressure and I feel I respond well to it. A class environment allows me to be lazy, so I enrolled myself in ATPs 90 day program and got everything in 88 days. It was brutal though.

I’ve said this a million (well close) times on here to get a degree in something you love. Maybe your second passion is what I recommend.

Also, I would take most of what Mr. Garette with a grain of salt. @Jack_Q


Regionals don’t care if you have a degree or not but major carriers prefer or even require a Bachelors’ degree. Even then airlines don’t care where you graduate from, as long as you have that bachelor’s degree. the degree is a way of showing airlines that you have strong commitment standards.

You have two options here:
You can go to a decent college and study something that you enjoy that isn’t aviation related while training at a reputable Part 61 school that is around your area


You can go to a university that specializes in aviation (e.g Embry-Riddle, North Dakota, Ohio State) and pursue an aeronautics degree while receiving Part 141 training in that university.

In my honest opinion, the first option is the much more smarter option to go with. The problem with a degree in aeronautics is that it’s completely useless outside of aviation, and even though aviation industry is (or was with the way things are going right now in the world) facing major problems with pilot shortages, it’s a super unstable industry because the main source of revenue for airlines are the passengers.
Look at how the world is right now: people aren’t travelling which means that airlines aren’t making money, which means that airlines have no choice but to temporarily or even permanently lay off their pilots.

I’m an Embry-Riddle student right now and I really wish I went with the first option, but I’ve invested too much money and time here to just transfer out…

you can pm me if you have any other questions


Couldn’t have said it better myself. Sorry about Riddle. I really wanted to go there and luckily my rents told me flat out no when my dad plugged in the numbers.

If you are not already thinking of it, I would highly suggest getting all your CFIs elsewhere (American Flyers and the like. Lots of 141 guys come in there just for their CFIs). It will save you a lot of money and time.


Get a decent four year degree majoring in a breadwinning field like accounting while doing flight training at a chill part 61 school. Taking one/two flights/lessons a week would put you just over the CPL requirement. In the end, you end up with a great back up career and you would be able to get started at the regionals early after getting ATPL. That way you’ll be much better off when mass furloughs hit (oh hello COVID). Keep an eye out on cadet programs from airlines though. Flow throughs are kinda like Santa or tooth fairy but flight benefits as a CFI or student is pretty nice.

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ERAU’s flight department is taking too many flight students, you will either not fly or get dismissed if you are not performed. My ID says something for what is going on there.


Sadly, this is the case with big 141 schools. I have heard so many horror stories about Riddle doing that (along with Oklahoma State, UGA, University of Illinois Urbana Champagne (when they had a flight prog), Ohio state used to do that , but heard it’s gotten better. Half their planes were down for MX.


can confirm riddles a bait rn dont go there

not to mention riddle graduates have somewhat a bad reputation according to several american eagle pilots that i know of

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lmaooo yeaa i fell right into their bait

i switched majors and decdied to finish my training at a part61

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