Have you always daydreamed about flying an airplane and wearing a crisp white uniform with stripes on your shoulders, while basking in the beauty of the heavens and the golden sunset or mottled-metal twilight sky? Well, being a future pilot could be the kind of profession you are looking for.
If you’re currently a junior high school student and have been dreaming of flying a plane, you’re most likely already wondering about what SHS strand is best to become a pilot. After all, you’d have to start from somewhere, right? Some say, it’s STEM. To some, it does not really matter.
This article aims to shed some light on this topic and help you determine which strand of the K-12 Program’s Academic Track is best suited for your dream of becoming a pilot. In this blog, we’ll answer these questions:
- What strands are there in the SHS Academic Track?
- How can each strand help you develop the skills needed to become a pilot?
- What do others say regarding what strand is best?
- What is the bottomline?
What strands are there in the Senior High School Academic Track?
The K-12 Program, implemented in the 2012/13 Academic Year, introduced a new educational system that increased the number of years of basic education from 11 to 13 years with the aim of helping better prepare students for tertiary learning, develop 21st Century skills, and their readiness to be part of the workforce.
The revised system divided secondary education into two phases: four years of junior high school (Grades 7-10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 7-11). Before entering the latter, students need to pick a track from the five options they can choose from: Academic, Arts and Design, Sports, Technical, and Vocational.
The Academic Track, for one, offers four strands/ sub-branches:
Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS)
HUMSS is recommended for students who are inclined to pursue careers in Education, Mass Communication, Literature, or other related paths.
Accounting Business and Management (ABM)
The ABM strand is the perfect strand for those who seek to make a mark in the corporate world or would like to launch their own businesses. Related college courses include Accountancy, Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Marketing, and other pertinent courses.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
If you have always loved technology, designing prototypes, and analyzing numbers, STEM is the strand for you. This path is for those who wish to take courses on Biology, Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology, Math, and other similar disciplines.
General Academic Strand (GAS)
The GAS strand offers courses that are related to all fields/courses. This is a good choice for those who are not sure yet – which is definitely understandable – and would like to keep your alternatives open.
How can each strand help you develop the skills needed to become a pilot?
Is your path to becoming a pilot exclusive to one strand? Imagine each strand as different doors with different paths. Let’s take a look at the skills and knowledge you can acquire depending on the strand you may choose and consider their relevance in the role of being a pilot.
HUMSS: With the HUMSS strand, you’ll be introduced to topics, such as disciplines and ideas in social sciences, cultures, Philippine governance, and critical thinking in modern times. Should you take this strand, you’ll be able to develop a good foundational knowledge of the different social environments, legal structures, and community-based realities that affect the aviation industry. It may not impart with you the basic technical knowledge needed to operate a plane, but it helps to also understand these concepts.
ABM: This strand may be all about the basics of business administration, financial management, and marketing, but the skills you’ll learn from these subjects can help you understand the frameworks and systems necessary to efficiently run an airline company or an airport. This strand can also impart with you some technical skills that you may eventually use to become a good flight crew leader.
STEM: STEM is actually the most recommended strand to take for senior high school students who are planning to enter the aviation industry and become pilots, aircraft engineers, or avionics specialist.
It can provide you a good foundation in concepts related to engineering, science, and math with focus on subjects such as algebra, geometry, and physics. Obtaining a good grasp of these concepts can be beneficial to real-life scenarios in aviation.
What do others say regarding the ‘pilot strand’?
Wondering about others’ takes on this question? Here are a few snippets from Reddit threads discussing which strand should SHS students take should they want to become pilots:
The Bottomline: What is the best strand for pilots?
If you want to develop your engineering, math, and science skills early on and be well-equipped come your official pilot training program, STEM is the best strand to take so you can prepare as early as you can, however, it is also alright to take other strands if you’d still like to explore options for now and then decide later on when you have gathered more insights from your family, teachers, or peers.
We understand. It can be difficult and confusing to decide on your future at an early age. It’s perfectly acceptable to take a different strand during your senior high and eventually enroll yourself in a pilot/fllight school, later on, should you be fully decided to pursue being a pilot.
Can I start studying to become a pilot right after SHS?
At least, here in the Philippines, you could become a pilot with any type of education and begin your pilot training right after senior high school, as long as you’ve met these basic requirements:
- At least a High School (Class 12) graduate*
- At least 16 years of age to be issued a Student Pilot License and 17 years of age to begin pilot training
- Be certified to be physically-fit
- Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language
*If your plan is to be a pilot for one of the major airlines in the Philippines, having a college degree is a must.
If you have met these requirements and are ready to begin your journey into becoming a professional pilot in the Philippines, Laminar Aviation, a CAAP-registered pilot school based in Subic, and its esteemed roster of professional flight instructors are ready to welcome with world-class pilot training programs to help you earn your wings.