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Thread: Aviation Colleges

  1. #1

    Goggles Aviation Colleges

    I am currently in High School and have a passion for aviation. I am a student pilot currently and know I want to go into aviation in my future. Right now I am looking at either aerospace engineering or a pilot. What are some reccomendations for colleges out there? Some I have looked at are Embry Ridde (The Daytona Beach Campus) and North Dakota University, what are some opinions on these? I live in Kentucky and would like to not go to far away for college so around there would be great!

    Thanks, can't wait to hear what everyone has to say!

  2. #2
    Matt Gonitzke's Avatar
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    I got both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Aerospace Engineering at ERAU Daytona, so I'd highly recommend that if you decide to pursue the engineering route. The low student/professor ratio makes all of the professors very available for questions, help, etc. You will not get that at larger schools. You would also be around many other people who are passionate about aviation. If you have any more specific questions about ERAU, feel free to send me a PM and I'll do my best to answer them.

  3. #3
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    For piloting, Southern Illinois University has an aviation program, so does Purdue.

    For engineering, (at least when I went there) Rose Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute) had a BSME program in which you could concentrate in aerospace. (I just did the regular ME track as the advanced Aero courses take a lot of higher math that I wasn't so good at)

    (Purdue has an Aerospace engineering program also, but who wants to go to the second best engineering school in Indiana?? )

  4. #4
    University of Central Missouri.

    http://www.ucmo.edu/aviation/

  5. #5
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Call me the rain on the parade, but if you want to fly for a living (I'm a furloughed airline guy) get a degree in something other than aviation. I would say do the engineering degree and fly "on the side" to get your ratings. That way you have something to fall back on if you are grounded medically or are furloughed. I am a UND alumni, and my aviation degree and a buck will get me a cup of coffee ($.90 in the terminal with airline ID :-D). I was sort of warned but I didn't listen, so I try to spread that word.

    Flying is a great career, much better than sitting in a cubicle! That said, try to be realistic and think about how you will support yourself if you all of a sudden can't fly or get laid off or furloughed from an airline. Good luck!

    Jim
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  6. #6

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    I am an aerospace engineering graduate of Auburn University. Did all my flying on the side.

    Aero Eng is a good degree to have - but I agree with Jim that some diversity is nice too.
    Last edited by Antique Tower; 10-13-2011 at 07:08 PM.

  7. #7
    Anymouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hann View Post
    Call me the rain on the parade, but if you want to fly for a living (I'm a furloughed airline guy) get a degree in something other than aviation. I would say do the engineering degree and fly "on the side" to get your ratings. That way you have something to fall back on if you are grounded medically or are furloughed. I am a UND alumni, and my aviation degree and a buck will get me a cup of coffee ($.90 in the terminal with airline ID :-D). I was sort of warned but I didn't listen, so I try to spread that word.

    Flying is a great career, much better than sitting in a cubicle! That said, try to be realistic and think about how you will support yourself if you all of a sudden can't fly or get laid off or furloughed from an airline. Good luck!

    Jim
    ...and to add on to Jim's post...

    Nothing wrong with getting an aviation minor or emphasis for any degree you wish to pursue. Aeronautical Engineering? Go for Engineering and take the extra classes to get you familiar with the aeronautical side of it. Aviation Management? Go for Management (or even business) and take the Aviation Management class as an elective. Aviation Science? Go to the local FBO and get your ratings (cheaper and better taught) while you're getting a Liberal Arts degree.

    Aviation is my third career. I'm having a blast, but as Jim mentions, if you have something go wrong with your health or the economy turns south at a bad time for you (low seniority) you'll be out on the street with nothing to fall back on.

    Good luck whichever way you go. If you apply yourself, you'll do good.


    (Oh, and this is coming from someone that got his Masters at Riddle.)
    I'll come up with something profound

  8. #8
    TaildraggersInc's Avatar
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    Ryan,

    I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Aerospace Administration. The school also has a pilot training program. I am currently employed with Lockheed Martin as a Flight Service Specialist. Don't ignore Air Traffic Control as a viable career option. They pay is usually VERY good, and there are locations all over the country. True, you're not flying for a living, but most entry-level pilots don't really earn a living wage. We have several that work for us now that they realize how bad the pay was.

    I would really recommend either working to pay for your tuition, or suckering your parents into paying for it. ERAU and the other "big" schools are very expensive. You'll be looking at over $100k in student loan debt just to finish college. I've done time at ERAU in Daytona, and while it's a nice campus, the name isn't always worth the premium price (just my opinion).

    Also, if you like girls, you'll want to consider someplace other than ERAU. Last I checked, the dude to chick ratio was 13:1. Those are bad odds, my friend. A larger university like MTSU has waaaaay more to offer than aviation, and therefore a whole lot more chicks. Trust me. This is important. It may be the most important factor.

    Above all else, be realistic with yourself about the costs of becoming a professional pilot, the pay you're likely to earn, and the huge student loan bill you'll have to repay. I know guys who are paying over $1000/mo in student loans. That doesn't leave much money for rent and food when you're only making $30k/year.

    Good luck, and let us all know what you decide!

    -Wayne

  9. #9

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    Not that far from you is Ohio University, Athens Ohio. They have one of the oldest aviation departments in the country. They are rated as one of the best values for the cost of education. Stick to your dreams, that way you will never say " I wish I had done that". Good Lock

  10. #10
    Richard Warner's Avatar
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    Hey Ryan. I started my airline career at the ripe old age of 20 in 1956(Delta). You can't do that anymore though. Go to a school that you can get a degree in aviation and all of your ratings. My grandson went to Louisiana Tech in Ruston, LA and got all of his ratings except the multi-engine there. They were too expensive, so he got that rating at a place in Dallas for a lot less. He flight instructed for about 4 years for an outfit in Daytona Beach that did contract instructing for Embry-Riddle and finally landed a job with Pinnacle Airlines about 5 years ago. He is now flying Captain on the big Canadair Regional Jet(can't think of the model) but is still hoping to land a job on a major airline sometime down the road. He got a great aviation education there.

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