‘How to’ tips from the NBAA: Connecting Students with a Career in Aviation
The aviation industry in 2021 has never been more robust and evolving, and it is switching into high gear with proactive ways to encourage awareness and generate interest among young people regarding a career in aviation. The National Business Aviation Association is making it easy for regional aviation groups to engage with students, teachers, parents and guidance counselors about a wide range of careers in aviation.
When students contemplate a career in aviation, they may overlook many positions that are not necessarily related to flying an aircraft. The NBAA is working to help change that and to draw attention to a variety of careers that are attainable in the field of aviation.
Sandi Ohman, assistant director of career services at Embry-Riddle University, said, “Even at an aviation university, students don’t know about the many non-flying positions that require other skills, such as business or marketing.”
“Aviation insurance is a good example,” said Ohman. “There’s a lot of opportunity in insurance, but it’s not a career area that gets a lot of attention.” Ohman encourages business aviation professionals to reach out to middle school and high school students everywhere about careers in aviation and how students’ math and communications skills may be useful for flying and non-flying positions.
The NBAA works closely with regional associations to expand workforce development programs in aviation and offers suggestions for strategically focusing on students within their areas. NBAA has even created a “Top 5 Tips” fact sheet.
Marj Rose, NBAA’s local and regional group committee chair, said, “To help the groups, we’ve developed five simple takeaways; and even if groups just do one or two, it’s still really helpful.
The five tips are:
- A four-minute video that can be used at speaking engagements;
- Information on material available for a student audience;
- Reminders to encourage students to follow NBAA on social media;
- The availability of scholarships and how to find them; and
- Ways students can get involved with aviation in their communities.
Additional ideas for introducing young people to aviation opportunities include hosting Zoom events; utilizing young professional members (YoPros) to engage in student outreach, since students can often relate better to professionals closer to their own age; having students shadow group members at their jobs for a day or two, and encouraging them to ask questions and keeping them engaged.
Resources for elementary, middle school, high school and college students as well as information about aviation events and career days are available at www.nbaa.org. Increased efforts to reach women and people of color, groups who may have been missed with past engagement efforts, but who will be part of the future of an expanding industry, are being implemented.