Discouraging young people with big dreams

A guy asked a question on an aviation forum, about how to become a pilot, and asked for any advice on how to succeed. One of the first replies he got was “Don’t become a pilot”

WOW. I could go on forever about this, and there are several reasons that is wrong.

Just let me say this; you don’t just tear out someones heart, and start jumping on it. That is exactly what this fellow did by posting such a discouraging comment. I understand (and know first hand) how hard it is, how much money and dedication you have to invest in your dream, but saying something like that is just disrespectful.

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Keep climbing, follow your dreams and keep a positive attitude. Maintain full power, and success will come!

I think this is where the US and especially Norway differ. In Norway, we don’t pay tuition to go to universities, it’s all sponsored through the government. Unless you want to go to a private university of course. That’s why it seems like such a big investment (and it is, don’t get me wrong) to do flight training rather than a bachelor or master degree.

In the US, the difference between going to university or flight training is more evened out, by the tuition students have to pay in order to get a degree. This might answer to someone who might be skeptic and think it’s too big of an investment. But if you really look at it though, the difference between getting your commercial pilot license and a master degree, isn’t too much (in the US). In Norway, that’s a whole other story, and might explain why some people in Norway think it’s a waste of money.

Education is expensive, but it is an investment in your own future. I’m doing my flight training, and waiting to see if I’ll do a degree. If I wanted to get a degree, I would have to get a Masters, because a bachelor in political science (which is the degree I would seek) is not really worth anything unless you add those 2 extra years and get a Master.

I feel sorry for this guy, trying to get advice from pilots and others involved in the aviation industry. The same, disrespectful guy even said:

The aviation industry is a place no one wants to work.

Well, I’m not going to argue that too much, but HELL, if it is a place no one wants to be, something has to change. We can’t just stop the recruitment to the flight deck because it is an awful place to work (disrespectful guy’s words.) Things need to change, and we need new, young pilots ready to make that sacrifice; to make aviation a safe and good industry to be employed within, with reasonable paychecks and work schedules.

If people like this forum troll continues to discourage young student pilots in pursuing their dream, all we are left with is pilots from low-cost countries that can work for “a dollar a day” – I’m not interested in making that happen.

– Cecilie

Posted on April 9, 2012, in blog and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Cecilie, I was on a sitting on a flight once next to a gentleman who kindly asked what I did for a living. Upon telling him that I am learning to fly he also told me the same thing, “don’t do it.” Instead of becoming defensive about it, I asked him, “Why?” He stated that it was nothing better than “being a schoolbus driver”, getting paid as much, and how bad the industry is. I am not going to even go into how he told me how people err pilots were promoted through the system, however, I took it in one ear and out the other. To top it all off, he wasn’t a current ATP so that right there serves me a reason why I shouldn’t’ve listened to him in the first place.

    • Some people… Argh. They should appreciate the work pilots all over the world are doing every day, getting their passengers and cargo, safe and sound to their destination!

  2. Cecilie, I received an email asking me how I could, in my heart, motivate and encourage kids to go into this profession. I told him that I would encourage anyone to follow their dreams, no matter what they were.

    Despite the challenges, which there are everywhere, this is a great job. tonight I was waiting for the elevator at the hospital, and a female doctor was waiting for the elevator heading up. She was drinking a can of diet Pepsi and it was 1930. I said, “The dinner of champions.” She had one more patient and then she could leave. It occurred to me the hours they put in. Granted they get paid a lot of money. But what people must understand is that the money means nothing if you don’t love what you’re doing. And you should never do anything for the sake of money alone, because you are selling yourself.

    I’m really curious about the education system in Norway. So… your government pays for your university, but you must get your flight training on your own?

    • Exactly! Following our dreams is so important, no matter what that dream is.

      You are so right. And it really applies to all types of professions. Do what you love, and love what you’re doing. If that’s not the case, then find something else to do.

      Public universities, like the University of Oslo, are government funded. The University of Tromso offers flight training (government funded) and the students end up with an MPL (Multi Pilot License) which is more restrictive than a CPL (I think).
      I couldn’t attend that school because they require all the science classes from high school, which I didn’t take because of some restrictions with me being an exchange student to Nebraska in 12th grade.

      The only expenses a “normal” university student will have, are living costs and books. Which can be a lot, especially in Oslo (you’re lucky if you find a small apartment for less than $1500 per month)

      Thank you for your comment!

      • I have to add – there is no such thing as free lunch. Without going into too much details on our tax system, we pay for our schooling, even if it’s not directly to the school. Food (14%), transportation (8%), clothing etc (25%) +++

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