Up in the Air
Master of Science in Criminal Justice, 2008
Mark Saltzman served his country in the United States Air Force flying the T-38 aircraft in Mississippi. He also flew the C-5 aircraft, based in California, to areas of turmoil around the world. Today, however, he flies commercial planes in more peaceful skies. It’s a job he loves—one that he’s been doing for many years.
It now strikes him as funny that he found his career path on a whim.
At the time of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, Mark became extremely concerned about the state of the world. He wanted to help out his country. What he did next was life changing. He walked into a recruiting office and asked, “What can I do?” The military recruiters looked at him and said, “You can be a pilot.”
After completing a year’s worth of mandatory testing, he found himself training to become a United States Air Force pilot. He spent 7 years in the air force, plus a year in the reserves. He also served as a flight instructor, training air force pilot hopefuls how to fly some of the world’s most sophisticated aircraft.
“I accidentally found a love for flying. I was at the right place at the right time.”
After his career in the air force was over, Mark began working for a major commercial airline. When it was rumored that his employer was on the verge of bankruptcy and could be vulnerable to a corporate takeover, he decided to rethink his future.
“I did not want to sit down and wait for the worst to happen—to be without a job. I wanted to be prepared.”
Kaplan University became part of his plan for a fresh start. As a criminal justice major, he was able to gain real-world knowledge in the field that had interested him for many years. “It was great to interact with real-world criminal justice professionals in my classes. The discussion board was vibrant, and students from all over the country were interacting,” he says. “This was my favorite Kaplan University moment.”
Mark earned his master’s degree in 2008, and today he couldn’t be happier. His knowledge of criminal justice has improved his relationship with Transportation Security Administration (airport security) agents and other law enforcement professionals, and has helped him create a more secure onboard environment for his passengers.
This testimonial was solicited by Kaplan University. Views and opinions stated herein are the individual’s and not necessarily those of Kaplan University. Individual student experiences may vary. Kaplan University's programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue employment in their field of study, or in related fields. However, the University does not guarantee that graduates will be placed in any particular job, eligible for job advancement opportunities, or employed at all. Additional training or certification may be required.