Becoming a pilot is a common childhood aspiration, but not many of us go on to actually achieve it. Well, what if we told you it’s now a completely attainable goal?
While the subject itself is a little bit niche, usually requiring enrolment in a specialist school, we’ll be taking a look at an international school in China, WISS (Western International School of Shanghai), who recently began offering an Aeronautics pathway as part of the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP). This pathway opens doors not only to careers as a pilot but countless other opportunities. Interested? Read up on exactly what the Aeronautics pathway can offer.
What is the Aeronautics pathway?
WISS has teamed up with the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) to offer students a dual enrollment Aeronautics pathway. The pathway is one of four offered at WISS for students taking the IB Career-related Programme (the others are Art & Design, Business & Sustainability, and Sports). It’s for students wanting to pursue further study in aeronautics, engineering, and aviation business.
Currently, the school is the only IBCP school in China offering this exciting pathway and one of only four IBCP schools to do so worldwide.
What do Student’s study?
Students take freshman year courses in aeronautics, aeronautical engineering, or aviation business administration through ERAU alongside their IB courses. This is done via eLearning while on campus at WISS. Students take a total of eight ERAU courses, each lasting nine weeks. After they have completed all required classes, they’re able to select some electives that best interest them.
The Aeronautics pathway includes three “tracks” for students to pick from – Aeronautics, Aviation Business & Administration, and Engineering:
Track 1 – Aeronautics (BSA)
The Aeronautics track prepares students for careers in aviation and aerospace. Students of this track are typically interested in aeronautical sciences and will study skills such as aviation maintenance, engineering, transportation, and communication.
Track 2 – Aviation Business and Administration (BSABA)
This track is for students striving for managerial roles in the aviation industry. Aviation Business and Administration students develop aviation-focused skills in finance, economics, business administration, and marketing.
Track 3 – Engineering (BSE)
The Engineering track prepares students for careers in design, research, and development within the aviation sector. They’ll learn vital skills like teamwork alongside their mathematic and scientific studies. They’ll also study the impacts the aviation industry has on global issues such as climate change and the economy. Specific careers these students are ideally suited for include electrical, mechanical, and aerospace engineering roles.
Who is the pathway for?
The Aeronautics pathway is a very rigorous but exciting academic path. Those undertaking it should be dedicated and studious since it requires a great deal of hard work. For example, it’s important to note that students will need to work through school holidays to keep up with their ERAU classes. Typical interests of students taking this pathway include aviation, air traffic control, aeronautical science, engineering, physics, the military, and civilian aviation.
What’s required to take it?
Students undertaking the Aeronautics pathway must meet and do the following:
• Meet or exceed ERAU’s dual enrollment admission requirements
• Take 2-3 IBDP courses (HL Physics and HL Math are strongly recommended)
• Complete the CP Core
• Pass all eight ERAU classes (taken throughout Grade 11 and 12)
What do graduates of the pathway/programme receive?
Students who graduate from any IBCP pathway will attain an International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme Certificate. Aeronautics pathway graduates can earn up to 24 university credits. Students that earn sufficient credits can opt to join Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as a sophomore.
What kind of career can Aeronautical pathway graduates get?
The Aeronautics pathway prepares students for careers in aviation and aerospace. Specific careers, among others, could include aerospace engineers, aircraft pilots, air traffic controllers, various managerial roles, and avionics technicians.
Does all this sound like something you’re interested in? Find more information on the Aeronautical pathway online.