09 April 2012


Daytona Beach is about half an hour from where I am now.  You've all heard about the eponymous beach and the Speedway.  Within steps of them are the airport into which I fly whenever I visit my parents.

Within steps of that airport is Embry Riddle College, long reputed to be the best school in the nation, if not the world, for anything related to aeronautics.  It's an expensive school, with tuition at nearly $30,000 for undergraduate students.  From reading various online conversations, I am seeing much of what I see in the discussions of law schools and most other graduate schools:  The ones who got the jobs they wanted will tell you it was "worth every penny." On the other hand, those--who are increasing in number--who don't get the jobs they hoped to have curse their decision to go, though not quite with the same vitriol as many law school and humanities grad school graduates.

One thing I know is that it's much more difficult to get a job as a pilot now than it was just a few years ago.  Even the Air Force isn't taking in as many pilot trainees as it did not so long ago.  I've seen conflicting reports on how easy or difficult it is to get a job as an aeronautical engineer, but I'd have to think that unless there is more hiring of pilots, there won't be more commercial or military flights, which wouldn't increase the demand for engineers.

In any event, Embry-Riddle and other schools in the field seem to best serve those who are already working in the industry, or who are in the military and working in a specialty related to aviation. 

Whatever the truth is about the prospects for Embry-Riddle graduates in aviation or aeronautical engineering, I have to think they're better than they are for those who get MBAs in Aviation Management.  For one thing, the market for MBAs has had a similar trajectory to that of law graduates over the past few years.  Plus, the bankruptcies, mergers and other problems that have plagued the aviation industry--and US airlines in particular--can't have improved the employment situation for new or recent graduates.

Whatever the prospects are for someone with an MBA in Aviation Management at Embry-Riddle, I would think they're better (as if that's saying much) than those who earn BA's in that field.  York College, where I used to teach, has such a program, which began in 2005.  I had about a dozen or so of its graduates in my classes.  As far as I know, none has gotten a job in that field.

Some of those students might have done better to come to Daytona Beach--and taken their chances on the Raceway.


  1. Some of those students never had a chance to get off the ground.

  2. Nando--True. At least no one can accuse you of not having a sense of irony, if not humor.