I have a nephew who just became an air traffic controller at one of Canada’s largest airports - his first posting and he is landing planes.
Education wise he was studying for what seemed like forever but was probably about 9 yrs. He’s 28 now I believe.
It’s an interesting story actually. When he was in junior high some kind sole donated, to the school, a ‘build from a kit’ airplane. The school decided to set up a program where the students who qualified, and were willing to foot the cost, would be schooled in the math and physics of flight, while building the plane and taking the course for their first pilots license. Great idea, huh?
When they were about to start the course, a couple of kids had dropped out and they found they had an open space so they offered a scholarship to the kid in school with the highest math/physics grade and my nephew was that kid! He ended up getting his pilots license before his drivers permit! That was his first step into the world of aviation formally, though his Dad worked refueling jets at the local airport.
He graduated high school and went on to take a degree in computer science. After that he decided he wanted to train as a commercial airline pilot, for which he was, by then, well positioned. Off he went to another course of study.
Just as he was getting about ready to graduate from that course the government approached him and said they’d like him to consider going on to be an air traffic controller as he was just the material they were looking for, and so, he was off again taking yet more studies.
And now, though a qualified pilot, and a qualified commercial pilot he has become an air traffic controller. He has an enormous student debt, as you can well imagine, but he’s making very good money so it shouldn’t be an issue for long.
Hope this info helps to answer your questions.