To become a pilot in the Colonial Fleet:
-Pilots are trained in a different way to shipboard personnel and though a government military academy is the primary training faculty and commission source within that structure there are two distinct programs. One for Pilot Candidates and one for everyone else. That is not to imply anything less of 'everyone else' but that that is how it is popularly percieved by the wider Colonial community.
An aspiring pilot goes to flight school. There training can take ten months to two years. The standard is a year and a half to produce a Battlestar qualified (StarQual) Viper or Raptor pilot. Or is significant as in that one course a pilot can only qualify in one class. Viper pilots are pushed further physically. But one is not 'easier' than the other as the programs push pilots mentally and psychologically too. Once you get your wings your ratings will likely influence where you are assigned... that is if you are really good. Mostly you go where the Fleet needs a body.
After getting experience the opportunity to come back and train further is offered (like to qualify on both types). Shuttle pilots are the short course and trend towards returning to get a Raptor certification. Raptor certification can include studying an ECO skillset (this is abreviated though accepted with actual ECO qualifications not happening in Flight School)
-The War College teaches the finer art of war to experienced and likely high ranking Fleet Officers.
-Test Pilot school is for highly capable and ultra experienced pilots who are then further prepared to fly experimental craft. Structured specifically, course time varies from a few days to a full year.
-Tactics Instructor Course is an intensive ten week program cramming in a lot about weapons and tactics pertaining to modern fighter operations.
-The Fleet needs all types of Officers. There are lots of different schools in the academy system covering the various specialities required from Tactical to Medical to Intelligence to Deck Ops and aspects of command.