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University or dream career? Which would you pick?

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    I shall start by saying that I do not have an offer for the dream job, but it's a position which is recruiting for the next 4 or 5 years (IIRC). But I am wondering how I should confront the issue at hand and how I could ask the company if they'd be able to defer applicants until they've completed their degree. I think it's about 80 successful jobs per year.


    So, to the story: Quite a few airlines are recruiting new pilots and I want to be one of them. Some airlines are going to be taking in new pilots to train for the next 9-10 years. Problem is, I want to go to university. Given the length of my course (which could be as long as 5 years if I do a masters with industrial placement year) I don't want to miss this opportunity, but I need the fall-back position. Every instructor I've met has told me to invest in university instead of learning to fly, and that's what I intend to do... A failed medical means I'm out of the pilot's seat and I need to go to another job. Sure, I don't plan on failing the medical, and I have no reason why I should, but I can't predict what might happen in 5-20 years time.


    So how could I word the enquiry to the airlines? They're recruiting for quite a while, so I should hope that they could consider me for a later entry onto their training courses. Shall I just go straight in and say "Hi, I want to go to university and fly for you. Can I apply every year for the next decade? Will you defer my entry onto the course if I succeed whilst I'm still studying?" (or, to that effect).


    The financing shouldn't be an issue, in fact it works out quite nicely. It's about £100k to become a pilot, and the airline will put their name on the dotted line for that loan. The university fees will be, what? £45-£75k in total between a 3-5 year course... Given all the costs of studying, loans, etc. The initial rate of pay for a pilot will be more like £12k as you pay off their loan, but that lasts for about 7 years or so (I think pay bonuses are applied annually, as well as extra flying pay, etc). The repayment for the student loan won't start until I'm earning about £20k anyway. So when one loan is paid, the other one will start, and I'll be on a much higher rate of pay by then anyway. So I'm hoping that the financing will be okay to deal with that.


    So I've given my route some consideration, but what would you do if you had to choose between the dream job or the dream degree? I want both, and I could quite possibly have both. I don't want to kill either baby, but if it came to it, what would you do? And shall I just send out some brief emails showing my concerns but also my interest?


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    Dream career 100%


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    (Original post by Muscle)
    Dream career 100%


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    For yourself, or for me?
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    Given the number of applicants and the depressed market for pilots into training (there are not 'quite a few' airlines recruiting trainee pilots - there are 'very few'), go to university. Why you think a Masters is something you'd need to do straight away is beyond me.

    So - you want to be a trainee pilot (one of the rarest options now and in the future) and you want to get a degree. Go to uni. The airlines won't look at you before you can apply properly.
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    Why not apply to be a pilot and do Open University at the same time? You might even find that the company will sponsor some of your course. That way you can train to be a pilot now and have your degree finished in probably 6 years. It'll be very hard work to hold down both at the same time but will save you at least 3-4 years on the job ladder.
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    (Original post by ProStacker)
    Given the number of applicants and the depressed market for pilots into training (there are not 'quite a few' airlines recruiting trainee pilots - there are 'very few'), go to university. Why you think a Masters is something you'd need to do straight away is beyond me.

    So - you want to be a trainee pilot (one of the rarest options now and in the future) and you want to get a degree. Go to uni. The airlines won't look at you before you can apply properly.
    Because the best solution to the degree that I want is to do a masters now. It will also make it a lot easier to become chartered in the future. Yes, you can become chartered in my degree area with a bachelors, but it requires certain input by employers and it takes more time and effort. I might as well get the workload out of the way whilst I'm still doing it.

    Respectfully, I can apply properly. Provided I can get into university, I have the required academic achievements to go for the pilot training. But the time that the applications are open for means that I could considered in two months time, or worse, 2 years time (when I'm half way through my course!). Of course, I'm not going to skip university on the wish that I do get this other job, but what if the two happen at the same time? I'm going to university to get my fall-back position, but university was always going to be an opportunity for me to get closer to aviation anyway. Perhaps not simply, university studies can be continued at a later date... This cannot.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
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    Dream job, although your dream job may require that you have an academic degree.
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    (Original post by Choo.choo)
    Dream job, although your dream job may require that you have an academic degree.
    7 GCSEs A*-C - Check (I have 12 GCSEs, 8 of which are A*... So I think that'll be fine!)
    3 A-levels (BBC) - Pretty much check (I have AB already. Hoping for a further Cc this results day)
    2:1 degree in a subject area - Not check, but not required either. A degree is only required if the A-levels aren't achieved.

    So I'm basically there for the academic stuff.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
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    A lot of jobs, especially ones which are advertised in graduate schemes require a degree, so what I've said may be partially true. It depends where you want to be, and what career path you want to take.

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Updated: July 24, 2012
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