An undergrad degree and some real common sense can manage most of it. The rest, the grad and post grad types can handle since us poor undergrads aren't that smart and stuff.
I'd say you have it pretty much understood there K.!
All of my flying was as a civilian (except the 20 minutes or so of KC-135 time but I wasn't in the right service so in that respect I was still a "civilian") but I had been around airplanes since I was a small kine kid and my instruction all down the line had been intense. As a result, I was good enough that the Air Force let me fly their T-37s (and the Reserve a T-33) after which I got time in US Air's DC-9 & B737 simulators which is also kind of tough to do. Taking my total combined actual and simulator time ... about 15% - maybe more - has been in jets and a good portion of the rest wasn't in your common everyday Pipers & Cessnas. At the same time, I was taught early on to "fly the airplane, not the book" which made a huge difference. The Nervous Nellies you mentioned never learned that part so, yeah, they were in search of a farm to buy. All the degrees in the world won't help you one bit if you're stuck on top of an overcast without 1.) the knowledge of how to get down through it, and 2.) the confidence in one's self to manage it. Confidence but not overconfidence since that's a killer too.
Copy and concur, K!
Yep, and being in one that's going in that negative direction is a great way to get a handle on how to get it out of that realm!
That's why we stall and occasionally, spin one (shhhhh!). Always make the student poop himself to find himself beginning a spin, especially with the instructor in his ear: "Get out of this NOW! NOW!"
Hey, you tend to not want to do it when you've done it, and you've learned how a) to get out of it) and b..) not to do it anymore!
I was going to say, "It's always by the numbers," but, I'd say that if you never experience what happens when the numbers fall off the table, you may not live to fly much more.