Shooting for the Skies: Aeronautical Science Needs You

A degree in aviation science prepares you for a career in the aerospace, aviation or airline business. Aeronautical science prepares you for unique careers that will provide you with exciting experiences. For many aeronautical professionals, their career is also a personal passion. Aeronautics is also responsible for many technological advances that are now part of daily life. For instance, non-stick pans and handheld calculators were initially created for space flights!

Why Do We Need More Black Professionals in Aeronautical Science?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), less than three percent of aircraft pilots and flight engineers are black or African American. Recently, General Aviation News told the story of a nonprofit organization called Fly for the Culture, which introduces aviation to minority kids. Founder Courtland Savage notes a lack of visibility as a large reason why more young people from underrepresented groups don’t consider it as a career option. He said, “As we get older, we forget what it’s like to be a kid. We say, ‘You can do anything you want to do, all you’ve got to do is try.’ But they’re kids, and their minds aren’t fully developed. They literally have to see it to believe it.”

FMU aviation grads

FMU Aviation program graduates

Why Should You Go into Aeronautical Science?

By many metrics, studying aeronautical science prepares you for a good career. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for airline pilots, commercial pilots and aerospace engineers is more than $115,000 per year. The industry demand for aeronautical experts is growing rapidly. Boeing has predicted that over the next 20 years, “804,000 new civil aviation pilots, 769,000 new maintenance technicians, and 914,000 new cabin crew will be needed to fly and maintain the world fleet.” Naturally, a niche area of study like aeronautical science calls for a unique set of skills. Being organized and detail-oriented will benefit you greatly. Staying clear-headed under pressure is a must. 

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How to Prepare for Success

While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to take an aeronautical science class in high school, much of your core curriculum will benefit you in the long run. Sharpen your understanding of math and physics to help you quickly navigate the technicalities of aeronautics. Take advantage of English and public speaking classes to polish your communication skills, which will be useful in any workplace. In addition, make sure your computer proficiency is top-notch. While a college degree isn’t always necessary for a career in aeronautical science, it’s usually preferred. Talk to your high school counselor to help you navigate the college selection process. 

UNCF Schools to Check Out

Florida Memorial University offers three degrees under the U.S. Department of Aviation and Safety: bachelor of science in aviation management (Aviating Accredited Board International accredited), aeronautical science with a concentration in flight education, and aeronautical science with a concentration in air traffic control. Tuskegee University offers a bachelor of science degree in aerospace science engineering.

Scholarships and Programs

obap logoThe Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) makes scholarships available through partnerships with key carriers and aviation-related businesses, to students pursuing aviation-related careers. And, of course, the UNCF General Scholarship Awards are a can’t-miss opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major.

As you explore all the different places an economics major can take you, you may feel the need to reach out for some guidance. You’re not alone! Submit a major interest form on our website to get the ball rolling. And to keep the updates coming, make sure to follow us on UNCF social media channels. This way, you can be the first to hear about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Great minds make great aeronautical professionals, which is why we’re so intent on providing our students with all the resources they need. Reach out today!