Understanding insider lingo and how unpredictable factors such as terrorist attacks, volcanic eruptions, and SARS outbreaks can alter the industry is also key for job-seeking aviation and aerospace M.B.A. students.
For Kumar, who completed his M.B.A. at ERAU in December 2011, a strong grasp of industry terminology and knowledge of aircraft components helped him turn an internship with United Airlines into a full-time job as a senior financial analyst.
"RASM, CASM … they are very specific airline industry terms," Kumar says, referring to revenue per available seat mile and cost per available seat mile. "Having learned about it beforehand, you can get back to the company a lot faster, rather than trying to understand what these things are all about."
Employment demand for workers well versed in the industry is another force pushing some universities toward aviation and aerospace M.B.A. programs. The aerospace industry employed more than 620,000 people in 2011, according to the Aerospace Industries Association. Approximately 42,000 of those are in Utah, says Mark Stevenson, M.B.A. enrollment director at Weber State in Ogden, Utah.
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Weber State developed the curriculum for its graduate certificate in aerospace management, which can be earned independently or in conjunction with an M.B.A., by meeting with officials from Hill Air Force Base and corporations such as Boeing, which has a large presence in Utah's job market, Stevenson says.
"Our campus is right on the doorstep of Hill Air Force Base," Stevenson says. "They had an interest in having this certificate as a nice first step in meeting their needs."
While Weber State doesn't offer a full-blown aerospace M.B.A. like the one at UT—Knoxville, it could quickly develop into one, Stevenson says.
"I think it has every chance of going that direction given the aerospace players in our community," he says. "It could turn out to be that way in five years."
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