What is the best university degree for pilots?

If you are thinking of becoming a pilot as a possible career option, Brenda has posted a great question on AskaCFI.com concerning what type of degree one should obtain:

What is the best degree that you can get along with a pilot license? Something related to aviation, that way its not completely different and can help if you discontinue with flying. Please help me.

Corporate pilot and flight instructor James replied by writing that any degree from an accredited university is a good thing to have.  However, he would encourage someone looking at a career in aviation to get a degree in a field besides aviation in order to have more options in case of a bad economy, a lost medical etc. He also pointed out hat he has never come across a pilot application or interview that required him to have a degree in aviation BUT most applications will probably require a degree.

Meanwhile, JamesCFI wrote that he wouldn’t get a degree in aviation and suggested a BA in marketing or business as these are disciplines that might come in handy in general. He also added:

…if you are trying to go the military or major airline route in your future career, you will NEED a 4 year degree and no they don’t care in what (be it a BA in basket weaving or a BS in BS).

On the other hand, Micah wrote that getting a flying related degree is a good idea because you can then get a flying related job. Hence, he advised looking at flying related jobs and going from there:

Do you want to teach at a university that has an aviation program? Get an advanced degree that is useful. Do you want to run an FBO? Do you want to work in airline management? Do you want to work for Boeing? Run a maintenance shop?

Micah also suggested attending a school with reasonable costs and pursuing a double major with one degree in aviation and a second degree in another field.

In other words and unless you get completely turned off aviation, its probably useful to have a degree that can lead to another job that is ideally aviation related just in case a pilot career does not work out or if you become grounded for other reasons.

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