The University of North Dakota took a survey of what courses its students wanted and found heightened interest in business aviation. About half of the students surveyed said they had interest in pursuing careers in that area of aviation. So the university administration is now offering a concentration in that specific field, with 16 credit hours of courses on fleet planning, aircraft acquisition, insurance, accounting and entrepreneurial skills.
Department chairman Kent Lovelace said, “We are short on new blood in business aviation, and that problem is getting worse. What this does is better prepare students to move into the business aviation community and make a greater contribution sooner.” He added that the courses covering insurance are among the most fascinating.
That might sound counterintuitive, but Lovelace explained that the insurance curriculum touches on a variety of aviation business needs and the growing industry need for documented Safety Management Systems. “Both the fleet management and insurance courses were prepared by folks with real-world experience,” said Lovelace.
Most of the new curriculum will be available beginning with this fall’s term. UND has offered bachelor’s degrees in aviation management since 1968, but this new initiative sharpens the focus of the degree program. Lovelace, who sits on the governing board of the NBAA Certified Aviation Manager program, said, “We already have graduates in top positions within the industry. That’s a trend that will continue. These are the people who will inherit the whole industry.”