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College Educated Pilots vs Management

SWAnnabee

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I posted this as part of another thread but thought it might make a good discussion topic on the Majors Board. I know the debate on college degrees in pilot jobs is still raging but does anyone have any intelligent thoughts on the below comments regarding airline management? Got to admit, it's in management’s best interest. Thoughts?

Anyone think there is any link between the lack of college degrees for many of today's piloting jobs and the dumbing down of the industry? Trust me, you will see more of this kind of thing unless the industry insists on some form of higher education to attain professional pilot positions. Otherwise, quit complaining about not being paid and treated like doctors and lawyers. They at least earned the term "white collar" by requiring an education for their professions. Believe me, airline management has figured out that it is in their best interest to keep the pilots under-educated. And they do this while getting many of them to think it's some sort of "favor" by making the hiring standards easier. They are NOT doing you any favors by making college degrees "preferred". If you were in management, which group of pilots would you rather negotiate a new contract against, GED/High School grads or B.S/M.S/PHDs?
 

WillowRunVortex

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bozt45 said:
I posted this as part of another thread but thought it might make a good discussion topic on the Majors Board. I know the debate on college degrees in pilot jobs is still raging but does anyone have any intelligent thoughts on the below comments regarding airline management? Got to admit, it's in management’s best interest. Thoughts?

Anyone think there is any link between the lack of college degrees for many of today's piloting jobs and the dumbing down of the industry? Trust me, you will see more of this kind of thing unless the industry insists on some form of higher education to attain professional pilot positions. Otherwise, quit complaining about not being paid and treated like doctors and lawyers. They at least earned the term "white collar" by requiring an education for their professions. Believe me, airline management has figured out that it is in their best interest to keep the pilots under-educated. And they do this while getting many of them to think it's some sort of "favor" by making the hiring standards easier. They are NOT doing you any favors by making college degrees "preferred". If you were in management, which group of pilots would you rather negotiate a new contract against, GED/High School grads or B.S/M.S/PHDs?

Your first mistake is the misconception that an airline pilot is a "white collar" position. We are strictly LABOR brother.

Edit: ps , that was a quote told to me personaly by a NWA 400 pilot
 
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stonewall

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I consider myself a professional, not a tradesman. It's up to you whether you think that's blue collar or white collar.
 

capt. megadeth

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MAGNUM!! said:
I consider myself a professional, not a tradesman. It's up to you whether you think that's blue collar or white collar.

No kidding.
 

WillowRunVortex

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MAGNUM!! said:
I consider myself a professional, not a tradesman. It's up to you whether you think that's blue collar or white collar.

Then you would you consider a professional racecar driver (NASCAR) a white collar job,,,,intersesting
 

kelbill

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I'm so bored I will chime in. Lets be smart about this. Those doctors and lawyers get their college degrees in the fields they practice. The pilots with a History degree or degree in Animal Husbandry really could have passed on it and still been good pilots. Our "College" education, if you must, is really in the intense study of the regs, aeronautical info, wx, etc, that we do in order to get our ratings, as well as the real world experience attained prior to getting our dream airline job. So the argument of college being required is foolhardy. There are a lot of PhDs out there who can't figure out how to turn their VCR on.

WHAT IS NEEDED, is for pilots to be educated in basic economics as a minimum. That will bear fruit when it comes to negotiations, explaining the union's course to its members, seeing how the company is doing and what it can really afford, comparing salaries and productivity against competitors, etc. SWA has been doing that for us, as well as SWAPA, so the pilot force (or at least those smart enough to take interest) should be much more informed and able to make better decisions when dealing with management. Bottom line is that college education is not required, but intelligence is, basic economics is, and equally, a desire to become involved in one's future more so than just whining in the cockpit.
 

stonewall

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1. Of, relating to, engaged in, or suitable for a profession: lawyers, doctors, and other professional people.
2. Conforming to the standards of a profession: professional behavior.
3. Engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or as a career: a professional writer.
4. Performed by persons receiving pay: professional football.
5. Having or showing great skill; expert: a professional repair job.

n.
1. A person following a profession, especially a learned profession.
2. One who earns a living in a given or implied occupation: hired a professional to decorate the house.
3. A skilled practitioner; an expert.


I said I call myself a professional. I didn't make judgements about whether I'm a white/blue collar guy; I said that's up to you.

This on "white-collar" from dictionary.com:

Of or relating to workers whose work usually does not involve manual labor and who are often expected to dress with a degree of formality.

Check and check.
 

WillowRunVortex

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Hey FITZ,,,maybe thats what we are in our own way (athletes)? Fast at gettin to base and to our commute gate?
 
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WillowRunVortex

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kelbill said:
I'm so bored I will chime in. Lets be smart about this. Those doctors and lawyers get their college degrees in the fields they practice. The pilots with a History degree or degree in Animal Husbandry really could have passed on it and still been good pilots. Our "College" education, if you must, is really in the intense study of the regs, aeronautical info, wx, etc, that we do in order to get our ratings, as well as the real world experience attained prior to getting our dream airline job. So the argument of college being required is foolhardy. There are a lot of PhDs out there who can't figure out how to turn their VCR on.

WHAT IS NEEDED, is for pilots to be educated in basic economics as a minimum. That will bear fruit when it comes to negotiations, explaining the union's course to its members, seeing how the company is doing and what it can really afford, comparing salaries and productivity against competitors, etc. SWA has been doing that for us, as well as SWAPA, so the pilot force (or at least those smart enough to take interest) should be much more informed and able to make better decisions when dealing with management. Bottom line is that college education is not required, but intelligence is, basic economics is, and equally, a desire to become involved in one's future more so than just whining in the cockpit.

Well stated. The only thing I will ad is that a college degree will probably come in handy for the 4 (average) furloughs or closers in your airline career.
 

pilotyip

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A high school drop out can make a living flying an airplane and have a skill level equal to anyone out there driving airplanes, in fact I know one at a major. Doctors can not. Doctor's are trained in unique specialties; they have an elimination process with many obstacles to overcome to get to their profession operating level. When you need a heart transplant, or have cancer, you make sure you have best available in that field and you pay whatever he wants. Pilots on the other hand are a commodity, a company or an airline needs a COM/INST/MEL rated pilot, there are 1,000's to chose from, and the job goes to the lowest bidder. Skill above a minimum level means little to the employer. In fact the skill level above the minimum has little to do with the hiring process, personality, work ethic, etc, play more into the pilot hiring process than hours and ratings. Anyone with a certain level of skill and some desire can become a pilot. Doctors become pilots all the time, and any doctor with the desire can become a pilot. (I know, I know they kill themselves in airplanes, but that is more a personality fault, than a skill short fall) The reverse is not true very few professional pilots have the skill to become doctors. I love flying, do it as much as I can, and I enjoy flying anything with wings, and that is reason I came back to aviation. But I think sometimes pilots have a misplaced why they fly, if you are in it because you like flying, you will not be disappointed. If you are in for the money, you may be disappointed. If you want money become a doctor. As to the college degree, it has nothing to do with sophistication; yes college graduates, particularly from name places then to be more sophisticated. However, college degrees have become universal with the, "pay your fee get your B places" that the correlation between two becomes undistinguishable. We hire mostly college graduates, because as I have said the degree has become universal. Nevertheless, we do not purposely look for non-graduate. Its just we know it has nothing to do with being a good pilot and will not hold back a great candidate for the lack of a degree. On our placement test, the non-graduates often outscore the college graduates, which is a measure of basic intelligence. In fact, we think the sophistication we purposely screen for during our hiring process gives us a leg up in this business; you not find a finer group of pilots in the non-sked business.
 

stonewall

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This is not flame bait, and I'm not trying to start a civ/mil war on this thread, but I feel differently about my military flying than I do my civilian flying. Maybe y'all are right when it comes to the employer/employee relationship...we have a skill set that they want to get more cheaply than the other guy. I just can't say the same about my mil flying. I don't have the time to get it into it deeper (so to speak), and I'm not interested in starting an argument. It's just a fact I regard my military flying as nothing less than a professional endeavor.
 

Clyde

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RichardFitzwell said:
No, they are athletes. :D :rolleyes:

NASCAR drivers athletes????? I know what they do isn't an easy job, but I would hardly call driving around in a circle 500 times an athletic accomplishment.

If they were to race each other on foot for that many miles, then I can see them being athletes.:D
 

WillowRunVortex

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MAGNUM!! said:
It's just a fact I regard my military flying as nothing less than a professional endeavor.

So does the guy going house to house in IRAQ as we speak with nothing more than a rifle ,,,let alone a fully loaded F-16.

The difference is ,,,in the military you are considered a professional soldier. No where on your paper-work does it mention professional pilot,,, big difference.

Lets face it you just made a big leap from apples to oranges there. disregard 9/11 and last I knew I wasnt battling for my life when I went to the airport. WAR is SERIOUS BUSINESS #1.
 
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RichardFitzwell

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Clyde said:
NASCAR drivers athletes????? I know what they do isn't an easy job, but I would hardly call driving around in a circle 500 times an athletic accomplishment.

If they were to race each other on foot for that many miles, then I can see them being athletes.:D

:rolleyes: = sarcastic
 

Ty Webb

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pilotyip said:
Doctor's are trained in unique specialties; they have an elimination process with many obstacles to overcome


Sounds like you are referring to Proctologists here, YIP.

You know, I was going to be a meteorologist- until I found out that I wouldn't get to study meteors . . . .

But seriously, to the poster who started this whole string- your original premise doesn't hold much water, and the gentleman from SWA summed it up rather nicely, so I won't bother re-hashing that. Suffice to say that I have flown with hundreds of different pilots, both with and without college degrees, and I would say that I was often surprised to learn who did or didn't have a degree, or even attend college. There was no real way to know by their flying skills, cockpit management skills, cockpit conversation, or discussions of their personal interests outside of aviation.

One pilot in particular spoke of crop dusting right out of high school, and then several years of Alaskan floatplane flying, followed by stints at various regionals and national carriers, so I assumed he hadn't gone to college . . . I was rather surprised to learn, later on that month, that he not only had a Masters degree, but was also a classical violinist!

So, with the above in mind, I think the "dumbing down" of this industry really stems from there not being ONE guild, association, or whatever you want to call it, that sets minimum pay industrywide (think Delta pay here). Once pay is "off the table" we can all focus on QOL issues in our contracts, and the airlines will ALL have to raise fares, and they can blame us.

Pay problem . . .. Solved. Next issue?
 
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mrtoy2

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The only ones "dumbing down" our industry are ourselves. I've been looking for a reason that a college degree is required for this "profession" and can't find one. Go ahead and make the argument that you have to have one to negotiate a contract. I would counter that with you just needing experience in your field and educating yourself in labor law (doesn't require getting a degree). You simply don't need a degree to do this job and having one or not is NOT an indication of intelligence or capability.
 

Clyde

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RichardFitzwell said:
:rolleyes: = sarcastic

Got it, thanks. Still learning the different smiley faces around here.
 
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