Not sure where to go with your career? Why not get AU accreditation and then study to become a pilot? A degree in management and teaching seems compatible with piloting as do degrees in French, politics—or nursing. After all, what deathly ill soul doesn’t cry out for a doctor onboard a flight?
But what do I know about planes? A little, I suppose: my roommate had a pilot friend who flew small planes. I went flying once with my roommate and this so-called pilot. The pilot did upside down circles in air until I became sick.
Later, my roommate asked if I wanted to go flying again for the day—with the same pilot. I said no and begged my roommate not to go. I told him he’d die if he went. So, he stayed home. That night, we learned that the pilot crashed mid-air and passed away. He’d been guzzling the bubblies the night before.
Not long after, another friend of mine bought a flight simulator game. It featured all the flight controls of an actual airplane. I tried playing it, but I crashed within five seconds each try. But at least I didn’t get sick in the lav.
Decades later, a tiny female friend said she’d entered flight training school. Her brain seemed perfect for piloting: she smiled lots and played along with my boyfriend’s friendly teasing. But unlike her, I don’t have a carefree pilot’s brain. In the past anxiety attacks would strike me daily. So, I’d hide in my cubicle, shaking, until quitting time. But where could I hide if mid-air? Ah, yes, the lav.
Yup. That’s my background with airplanes.
But AU students can become pilots fast. You’ve got the smarts. And you can go from not knowing how to drive a car to flying commercial planes within a year (Turpeinen, 2019). Better yet, “you can start your flight training straight out of high school (or even before that)” (location 64 of 2328, 3%). And “there is a global shortage of pilots, which is predicted to last for at least the next two decades …. That means a pilot career might still be a good option for people in their 30s, 40s or even 50s” (Turpeinen, location 76 of 2328, 3%). Even I might qualify if not for mid-air anxiety.
But what if you have a disability or chronic disease? Well, “the medial requirements for pilots are also not as strict as you might think. There are commercial pilots who are deaf, armless, or who have other disabilities. Some limitations apply to those pilots of course, and they may not be able to work in passenger transportation. But they can still work as commercial pilots for other types of flying” (Turpeinen, location 64 of 2328, 3%).
It’s costly to get pilot licensing, yes, but “there are many scholarships, student loans, and other types of financial aid available for hopeful pilots” (Turpeinen, location 64 of 2328, 3%). So, if you want to pilot, why not cap off your air training with an AU certificate in Management Foundations? Or go the graduate route with accreditation in Global Studies or Blended and Online Learning and Teaching?
But why study teaching? Well, you can also teach as a pilot: one student “started flight training in 1998, and one year later was already teaching other people how to fly. It seems becoming a professional pilot, and even a flight instructor, can be accomplished that quickly” (Turpeinen, location 135 of 2328, 6%). With know-how from AU, you can make your mark midair and on ground.
But, whatever you do, please don’t do doughnuts with a commercial jet.