The CTI program through my VRA eyes

BreezyBeachLife

Trusted Contributor
Jan 23, 2013
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Alright I've done a little reading as of late and just wanted to post my two cents to see if my opinions are mirrored by anyone. Let me tell you how I see it (not that my opinion matters, but here I go nonetheless). The main purpose of the CTI program was for the FAA to design a way for college kids to pay for part of ATC training. So what happens next? All these colleges wanna start offering the CTI program to help these college kids out with ATC dreams....yea right, they want MONEY people! Now I don't have the numbers but lets say there are 20 some CTI schools that graduate 3000 a year collectively (And I'm sure the number is bigger and that doesn't even include kids who can't afford or decide just to not finish the program). Now look at the FAA's published hiring plan for the next decade. Guess how many people on average they are projecting to hire annually! If you guessed around 1200 you know your shit partner! ;) Now as I'm sure you're seeing first-hand, FAA prefers hiring a prior experienced controller over a college grad who thinks they can separate planes blindly while using an overpriced simulator. So lets say after hiring the prior experienced controllers that leaves 800 openings for the year left for CTI grads, yippie! Now do the math, 3000 grads minus 800 new hires equals approx 2200 grads who are left applying for unemployment, bagging groceries, or in broad terms, not doing what they prob want! Now take that extra 2200 grads and multiply it every year that passes...Starting to see the light? And since when do you need a college degree to just do OJT as a controller. Remember when it was said that ATC was one of the highest paying career fields without needing a degree? (I personally have a degree but I honestly think it just made me more tunnel visioned and having the degree to pin on the wall is probably the biggest use for it) Anyway that does it for my break, back to work as a controller, call me blessed...
 

ad1234

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Dec 8, 2011
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I know just as many morons from the vra pool as I do the cti pool. just because you served doesn't mean you deserve something afterwards. its all about the attitude which you bring to work everyday. who gives a crap where you came from.
 

rwallen85

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May 9, 2012
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I know just as many morons from the vra pool as I do the cti pool. just because you served doesn't mean you deserve something afterwards. its all about the attitude which you bring to work everyday. who gives a crap where you came from.
but the morons in the vra pool have actual work experience, what do you have experience in besides playing beerpong and xbox? I'm not saying i deserve anything better, but does 9 yrs atc experience sound better than 4 yrs of college to a selection panel? yes, yes it does.
 

smitty16s

Trusted Member
Jan 23, 2009
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I know just as many morons from the vra pool as I do the cti pool. just because you served doesn't mean you deserve something afterwards. its all about the attitude which you bring to work everyday. who gives a crap where you came from.
Wrong. Its not about the attitude, I've seen people with the best attitude and outlook that couldn't do this job. Then I've seen people that hated work, could give a shit less about showing up on time, and were all around shit-heads that were awesome at this job. Yes, serving means we deserve something afterwards, because we've actually done the job! Your post is invalid.
 

DeuceKV

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2008
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Kentucky
CTI think they are better than VRA because they have a college degree, VRA think they are better than CTI because they have talked to airplanes before.

Blah blah blah, been there heard this a thousand times...
Agreed, this thread is senseless. I guarantee you any of the FAA facility people will tell you they have seen about the same number of CTI people that are terrible as military. I've seen two military controllers (1 already washed) in the last year that nobody at my facility believes could have ever controlled airplanes. Does that speak to all of you? No. Your post speaks to everyone though. Maybe you're a good controller but nobody cares. Get hired and prove it.
 

LimaAlpha

Senior Member
May 13, 2010
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CTI think they are better than VRA because they have a college degree, VRA think they are better than CTI because they have talked to airplanes before.

Blah blah blah, been there heard this a thousand times...
A lot of VRA have college degrees as well! That's double coolness status.
 

LimaAlpha

Senior Member
May 13, 2010
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Agreed, this thread is senseless. I guarantee you any of the FAA facility people will tell you they have seen about the same number of CTI people that are terrible as military. I've seen two military controllers (1 already washed) in the last year that nobody at my facility believes could have ever controlled airplanes. Does that speak to all of you? No. Your post speaks to everyone though. Maybe you're a good controller but nobody cares. Get hired and prove it.
In my personal experience, there are PLENTY of military controllers that slip through the cracks and somehow get rated. Especially lately it seems washing people out is becoming more difficult. Probably because the experienced controllers are getting out since the re enlistment bonus blows.
 

usafhawk

Junior Member
Jul 26, 2012
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Alright Cmon, the reason behind this post wasn't to get into a pissing contest on who's better. I just wanted to point out that the FAA approved all these colleges and simply can't hire even half the grads from the CTI programs. However, colleges wanna tell you the outlook likes great while the odds say when your sitting in your CTI classroom and look to your classmate to the right and left, understand that there isn't even close to enough slots to hire everyone and its grimy the government approved all these colleges for the CTI program when they know they won't be able to hire them all or even come close.
 

NovemberEcho

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
4,388
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I graduated CTI and let me tell you, I could SCHOOL you at beer pong. :)
Air Force is in the rear with the beer. As well as 6 years of dealing with spring break in Panama City. Challenge accepted.



And on a side note, please don't lump all us VRA guys in with the idiot who started this thread.
 

DeuceKV

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2008
86
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Kentucky
I can get on board with that. There were 13 CTI schools when I started and they weren't turning out enough people so they continued to hire off the street. You are right though there are way too many schools now. I don't know what it is but it's probably around 80-90 (I'm sure someone can correct that). So yes, way more graduates than slots to fill.
 

rhd9b

Trusted Contributor
Dec 24, 2009
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I can get on board with that. There were 13 CTI schools when I started and they weren't turning out enough people so they continued to hire off the street. You are right though there are way too many schools now. I don't know what it is but it's probably around 80-90 (I'm sure someone can correct that). So yes, way more graduates than slots to fill.
36 approved CTI schools
 

140_6

Newcomer
Dec 3, 2010
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MCTC in Minneapolis. 1 year program, about $10k TOTAL. Almost everyone I graduated with in 2011 has been picked up (unless they scored a Q) and about 15 are already at there facilities. It has been a huge success in my eyes and not much money.
5 of us worked at a railroad as dispatchers while we waited, so the degree was very helpful in landing that job.
O yeah and our school did a fantastic job preparing us for the Academy.
 

StuSEL

Moderator
Aug 23, 2009
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You know where.
Alright Cmon, the reason behind this post wasn't to get into a pissing contest on who's better. I just wanted to point out that the FAA approved all these colleges and simply can't hire even half the grads from the CTI programs.
You're really breaking new ground there, Copernicus, as if this hasn't been discussed on StuckMic before.

It doesn't leave 2200/3000 CTI applicants out on welfare or bagging groceries. CTI is in many places just a certificate program or minor, and not everyone who completes it is actually interested in pursuing ATC as a career.

The main purpose of the CTI program was for the FAA to design a way for college kids to pay for part of ATC training.
The purpose of the CTI program is no secret. "The program is designed to provide qualified applicants to fill developmental air traffic control specialist positions" (Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI)). A rhetorical question: Does a 27 year old whose been in some job for 4-5 years and then decides to pursue ATC qualify as a college kid?

Now as I'm sure you're seeing first-hand, FAA prefers hiring a prior experienced controller over a college grad who thinks they can separate planes blindly while using an overpriced simulator.
So your premise is that CTI schools use overpriced simulators and pump out students who think they can separate airplanes. Have you looked at the equipment in use at a majority of CTI schools? Most don't have high quality sims. Most CTI grads except those on this board whose screen name resembles that of a 12 or 13 year old gamer like LAX-Tower-Future-Controller-2250 or whatever don't think they're God's gift to ATC.

And since when do you need a college degree to just do OJT as a controller.
Uhh, since the CTI program was started by the agency, dummy.

Anyway that does it for my break, back to work as a controller, call me blessed...
I'll stick with dummy for now. Your thread is embarrassing.
 

DeuceKV

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2008
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Lol only 36...well I wasn't even close was I? Nonetheless I'm sure they're turning our way more than needed.
 

DE_UND_CTI

Trusted Member
Dec 12, 2008
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CLT- Charlotte Douglas Int'l Airport
Universities are businesses in a capitalistic nation. In my opinion it is up to the student to determine whether or not pursuing a specific degree is a good idea. If a school has the ability to get credited by the FAA for a CTI program then all the power to them. They are providing a service to students, who in turn pay for that service just like any other. People aren't forced to go to a particular college or choose a particular career, which is the beauty of living in this country. If a student feels that a certain university is too expensive he or she can choose a cheaper school or enlist in the military to get their training.

To say the FAA should regulate how many CTI programs there are so that they can produce the perfect amount of applicants to fit the needs of the agency is like telling the government to regulate how many elementary education degree programs are out there because of the backlog of jobless teachers in many areas of the country. Same thing goes for saying CTI schools are misleading and are robbing the students. That's like saying that private $40k/year universities should not be able to offer teaching degrees because the students won't be able to earn enough income when they graduate to pay back student loans and live at the same time. The student knew going into it, or should have at least, that teachers' salaries are not the highest in the nation and that choosing a less expensive but equally effective school is most likely the better option.

College has become so common in America that I think people think of them as organizations that are their to feed success to students everywhere. Colleges are simply businesses and at the end of the day it is all about the bottom line in their budgets. It is up to the students to make the right decisions and have the work ethic to make themselves successful in this nation.
 

phillyman2633

Epic Member
May 13, 2010
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Yup, I'm behind this 100%.

We are now living in a society that has decided that the bottom line profit and padding the pockets of CEOs and upper-level management are more important than "the greater good." It has become so commonplace that, if it didn't hurt so many people, would be comical.

Corporations have outsourced the majority of their good-paying manufacturing jobs overseas while management controls things from their cozy offices here. Apple outsources nearly all of its labor to Asia while CEO Timothy Cook made almost $400 million last year...maybe he could have cut back like, I dunno, a hundred mil and left some jobs for the rest of us?

Whereas 50 years ago you could make the equivalent of $50k a year working in a machine shop, you are now required to go to a dime-a-dozen college for a generic BA degree and put yourself in a washed-down pool with 10 million other people fighting to get that same $50k a year job.

THIS is the reason why there has been such a wage disparity between classes. People borrow money to go to college because they basically have to now if they don't want to work at McDonalds, then when they graduate they can't get a job to pay off their loans because they don't have experience because they can't get a job because they don't have experience because they etc... etc... etc...

And all the while, the Ben Bernakes of the country laugh between sips of scotch in their penthouses.
 
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jdatc624

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2010
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Alright Cmon, the reason behind this post wasn't to get into a pissing contest on who's better.


Anyway that does it for my break, back to work as a controller, call me blessed...

no, you were also were trolling, otherwise you wouldn't have ended your post the way you did.

step one is to actually take responsibility for your actions, not make excuses. Not many people want to work with someone who can't step up and take responsability for their actions. good thing you have time to grow up before you are hired. (see that's a trolling ending)