OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) - Oshkosh is known for its deep aviation roots. Now the home of EAA is also helping better train the industry's newest pilots.
Fox Valley Technical College is teaming up with UW-Oshkosh to offer a new Bachelor of Applied Studies with an emphasis in Aviation Management.
"It's great for the community, it's a great draw and what better place than Oshkosh, Wisconsin," said FVTC lead aviation instructor Jared Huss.
After completing one of three two-year aviation courses at FVTC, students can gain valuable skills in management and leadership online through UWO.
"The nature of aviation is that our grads are all over the world," explained Huss. "Pilots, for example, if they're out on an overnight while they're at work, they can sit in the hotel room and complete their degree while they're working."
Officials said the program will also help with an expected U.S. pilot shortage. The industry will need an estimated 500,000 more pilots by the year 2030.
"Not only that, there's going to be a shortage in the amount of pilots that have a 4-year-degree because there are so few 4-year universities and they're very expensive," said UWO researcher Kelly Hudson.
Hudson said this advanced training will soon be a necessity in the aviation industry.
"Even with the increased demand of pilots, the need for a bachelor degree is imperative," said Hudson. "It makes them so much more employable and many companies won't even offer a job without that bachelor degree."
That's why their goal is to put locally trained pilots on the fast track to success.
The first classes in the new program start this fall. School leaders said they've already seen interest from pilots across the country.