FAA through my CTI eyes

scSkilLZ

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Jul 16, 2009
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Im waiting for a 'VRA through my CTI eyes", and a "OTS through my CTI eyes" thread next...
 

MTCTIGUY

Trusted Contributor
Jun 19, 2008
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I'm under the belief that if you go to school for ATC and ATC only, you should realize it has little application to other jobs. I'm all for going for a secondary bachelors or masters in something else after you finish your CTI degree.
 

phillyman2633

Epic Member
May 13, 2010
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International waters
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I'm under the belief that if you go to school for ATC and ATC only, you should realize it has little application to other jobs.
You know what, not to single you out, but after seeing multiple people say to CTI students in the other "in my eyes" threads, this brings me back to when I was 18. You know what? When I was 18 and getting ready to go to college, I didn't know half the shit I was supposed to look for in a school. Neither my mom or dad went to college; they helped the best they could, but other than saying to me basically "think of something you want to do and go to school for it," there wasn't a ton of practical advice they could give.

If I knew this site existed when I was 18, maybe my life would be completely different. But I was 18, I wanted to fly planes, blah blah blah and now I'm here at this point in my life, saddled with debt and waiting for a job. If I could go back in time and tell myself to change things, I would 100%. But most kids graduating high school don't "know better," haven't been around long enough in the shitty job market to realize, whoops, should have gone to school for something better. The fact that college is even necessary, the enormous pressure placed on us to succeed and go to "the right school" and "you choose your own future" is bullshit. No 18 year old knows what to look for when looking at college. I bet we would all change things if we could, but we are stuck with the choices we have made.

I tend to side with the people who say the entire CTI program is retarded, that the FAA basically gets a free ride by telling kids if they want to be an Air Traffic Controller and don't want to go into the military, they need this magical endorsement on their transcript at a college that they pay for themselves...then treat us like this when we graduate.

The CTI program is the only program of its kind in the country. You pay to get trained for a position that you don't know if you're even cut out for, have to wait for years to get picked up for, and, guess what, THERE'S ONLY ONE EMPLOYER THAT CAN HIRE YOU WITH YOUR DEGREE. There are no other air traffic "businesses" we can apply to. If we don't make it, we're screwed. And the FAA can wipe their hands and we all go 'wah wah wah' and can't do shit about it. Don't make it with one company with your BA? There are a million more businesses looking for a mid-level office manager. Johns-Hopkins won't hire you with your Ph. D? Try U-Penn. But we only get one shot with one company. Those who say the CTI program is a joke are 100% right.

:rant:
 

JoshATC

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Jun 27, 2010
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Just think what is going to happen down the road when the FAA hiring numbers drop. Once all the eligible to retire people have retired.

What do you think is going to happen when the FAA needs only a few hundred new hires a year (example 300-500) and the military can cover that with people separating.

I'm curious to see what the CTI schools are going to do.
 

Salty

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Feb 3, 2013
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Even Better- whats going to happen to you in the immediate future. There's a hiring freeze beginning March 1 and could last the rest of the fiscal year.
:) you guys probably won't even notice considering its like a 2 year wait through the CTI pipeline.
 

Salty

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Feb 3, 2013
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And Phillyman- the FAA doesn't feel like you need this magical endorsement. It's obvious because they hired 7000 ots over the past four years. The only people that feel that this program is needed is the money making CTI programs themselves. Thus the faa has finally agreed to hire from this pool only.The FAA has historically done fine without them.
 

MTCTIGUY

Trusted Contributor
Jun 19, 2008
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You know what, not to single you out, but after seeing multiple people say to CTI students in the other "in my eyes" threads, this brings me back to when I was 18...... etc etc

:rant:
The main point I wanted to convey in my post was deleted in your quote, so here it is again:

I'm all for going for a secondary bachelors or masters in something else after you finish your CTI degree.
I'm just saying have a backup plan.... If you get an associates in ATC, get a bachelors in something else, and if you have a bachelors in ATC, get a masters in something else. Even taking an extra year to double major might be a good idea.

I agree that at the age of 18, we might not be thinking about the whole picture, but a year or two of extra school to give you a foundation in something else wouldn't be a bad idea.... Even if you've already graduated and are out of school already. I ended up getting a masters and right now, am a manager at an airline doing something I also enjoy...
 

140_6

Newcomer
Dec 3, 2010
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NOT ALL CTI SCHOOLS ARE EQUAL!! I got through in 1 year. It was cheap and we had actual Lab senarios (which are harder then the ones at the Academy). Almost everyone got picked up from my 2011 class. I believe it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
If you want this career and don't have Military options. Then Look around. You don't need to spend the big bucks or waste your time. Just my thoughts. (ALSO RAILROADS LOVE TO HIRE CTI GRADS)
 

atcguruaf

Rico Suave
Jan 4, 2009
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Right here
I heard of someone getting hired at an FCT after obtaining a CTO from a college in FL (or somewhere). He had it for 6 months so was able to apply. First time I have EVER heard of that happening.

So, if you have a CTO, I'd try and make sure to have held it for at least 6 months and apply to contract companies as well.
 

JoshATC

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Jun 27, 2010
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They have a high turn over just like all the towers in the Phoenix area and that's just because of traffic volume. Look at the top 10 FCTs in the US. IWA, RYN, CHD, GYR, and GEU which are all in Arizona make up the top 10.

Just like IWA it took 3 controllers washing out before our 4th we hired got fully certified. Even Atcguru use to work with one of them at PHX.
 

JoshATC

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Jun 27, 2010
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And that is why FCTs don't hire CTI. They just don't have the extra time it takes training someone that had never talked to a plane. Not saying the individual wouldn't get it eventually it just takes longer.
 

phillyman2633

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May 13, 2010
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Could be worse, many countries the military runs all ATC functions.
That would make my job easier lol, I would have just said "Hmmm can't be an air traffic controller, better focus more on my Human Factors degree."

And Phillyman- the FAA doesn't feel like you need this magical endorsement. It's obvious because they hired 7000 ots over the past four years. The only people that feel that this program is needed is the money making CTI programs themselves. Thus the faa has finally agreed to hire from this pool only.The FAA has historically done fine without them.
Yeah I kind of missed the boat on that one...I didn't even know about OTS (because I didn't have any friends/family who had been controllers and unfortunately hadn't found stuckmic [which, you have to admit, if you sort through the bullshit does have some useful information]) until after I graduated, which by that time PUBNAT 8 or 9 or whatever the last one was had already closed, so the last 2 years have been a continuous buttsecks party for me. The FAA is at least partially to blame here (also to blame are the CTI schools, I agree), because basically from this point forward they will not hire anyone who is not VRA or CTI (or RMC or ReinDoD, etc...) and they have allowed this farce of a CTI program to continue by saying you have to have a CTI endorsement if you want to get picked up.