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Aerospace engineering? The future?

Matthewdupreez

Legendary member
#1
Hey there guys... so i have recently been thinking of what i would like to study in college...
and i thought... hey aerospace engineering sounds super cool.

but according to my mom..
#1, there is very little employment for aerospace engineers ( a quick google seems to say otherwise)
#2, with covid there is little or no future for aerospace engineers..

what are your thoughts, and opinions on this?

while this is a 4 year degree.. that doesnt bother me as i love hard work
 

JasonK

Participation Award Recipient
#2
#1 - There are not a lot of companies that are actually doing aerospace engineering, so compared to other types of engineering, your mother is probably correct. Does that mean aerospace engineering is a bad choice? depends on if you live in a place were that time of work is and if you can put in the effort to be good at it. Also, an engineering degree should have many transferable skills, so even if you ended up working in something different, you should still have many skills that you learn that are useful.

#2 - that is a non starter, the world will move on from covid one way or another, I wouldn't make future plans around 'but covid' because even if it stuck around for 20 years, society would need to find ways to continue 'working' even with it around, there is no way society could handle 'lock downs' for any meaningful amount of time (I would argue that it was already 'to long' in some places and places that don't find a way to open back up are going to have serious economic issues compared to places that figure out a way to open up or find a reasonable balance point between 'safety' and the reality of the need for people to be working)
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#3
Moms a little off in her advice. Aero space is growing like crazy. Projected out look is a steady 3% growth in the general industry from 2019 to 2029. Its top 10% salary range job on average.

The draw backs is you have to move to where the work is. The good thing is there are many sub divisions to branch out in so a ton of options and directions to take a career. You just need to be willing and able to adapt to those facts. The hiring trends tend to be project oriented so several relocations may have to happen before getting to plant solid in any one specific place or company.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#5
I just did a quick google search on the job out look for an aerospace engineering degree.. Totally general and prospects look good if your willing to move around to follow the work. What that means for someone not in the US.. who knows.
 

Phin G

Elite member
#6
I live right next to an areospace engineering company and they said that when i do work experience i can go there. Martin baker has an apprenticeship which i am also looking at doing.
 

Mid7night

Jetman
Mentor
#7
My general advice to younger people on the topic of "looking for work" is "are you ready to go where the work is?" That is not specific to engineering of any flavor.

On aerospace engineering specifically: I actually have a B.S. in Mechanical, but I wish I had double-majored in Aero because the required courses overlapped so much (I went to Cal. State Long Beach). IF you can stomach it, I would recommend that route.

I chose Mechanical actually on the advice of an engineer who himself majored in Aero. His reasoning was (and I generally agree): Mechanical Engineering has more applications than just the Aerospace industry - you can work in automotive, civil, construction ... literally anything that has structural or mechanical workings will have a need for someone with that background. If you major in Aeronautics however, your fields are somewhat more narrowed and specialized...however^2: As Psyborg rightly points out there are quite a lot of aerospace applications popping up, between numerous eVTOL, commuter/UAV and other aerial vehicle startups. In addition to that I wouldn't be shocked if the SPACE end of aeroSPACE picks up in the coming decades. And you CAN still use an aero degree in the automotive industry; they do wind tunnel testing of high-end models, and racing teams use it even more-so, but those are (like I said) a bit more specialized and likely not "entry level" positions.

I definitely do NOT think an Aero or Mechanical Engineering degree would be wasted on anyone, even if you don't end up going to be a famous aero or auto designer. Here's why:
In order to get one of those shiny engineering degrees, you have to take a LOT of classes that teach you nasty things like statics, dynamics, physics, calculus, and electromagnetic theory. Guess what? Along the way, by passing those classes, you will acquire (by necessity) incredibly valuable and increasingly rare skills of critical and lateral thinking, multi-variable analysis, deductive and probablistic reasoning, and logical and rational discernment. For THOSE SKILLS ALONE I would recommend a double-major in Aero-Mechanical Engineering. I'll even throw in Electrical Engineering - there's a massive shortage of electricians (and general contractors) in my area, my wife is about ready to go back to school herself if we can't get electrical work done! :p

And then if you DO fancy actually using your degree, you can take it to Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, Rockwell, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Swift, Wing....ALL of which I know are hiring in some engineering capacity, and those are just off the top of my head. Go browsing on LinkedIn and you'll get swamped! :D

Hope that helped! Good luck!!
 

JasonK

Participation Award Recipient
#8
I'll even throw in Electrical Engineering - there's a massive shortage of electricians (and general contractors) in my area, my wife is about ready to go back to school herself if we can't get electrical work done! :p
An EE is not the same skill set as an electrician (I am the first, not the second - they aren't the same). And yes, you absolutely learn how to critically think about stuff. in all the stuff you learn in an engineering degree (not counting the humanities credits they required) you learn a bunch of critical thinking (the humanities classes were far less 'think critically' and 'think the way I tell you to' - which is really unfortunate)
 
#10
The main thing is do you love doing engineering, but what type of engineering structural, electrical , system which one. think where you want to go.
 

Matthewdupreez

Legendary member
#12
My general advice to younger people on the topic of "looking for work" is "are you ready to go where the work is?" That is not specific to engineering of any flavor.

On aerospace engineering specifically: I actually have a B.S. in Mechanical, but I wish I had double-majored in Aero because the required courses overlapped so much (I went to Cal. State Long Beach). IF you can stomach it, I would recommend that route.

I chose Mechanical actually on the advice of an engineer who himself majored in Aero. His reasoning was (and I generally agree): Mechanical Engineering has more applications than just the Aerospace industry - you can work in automotive, civil, construction ... literally anything that has structural or mechanical workings will have a need for someone with that background. If you major in Aeronautics however, your fields are somewhat more narrowed and specialized...however^2: As Psyborg rightly points out there are quite a lot of aerospace applications popping up, between numerous eVTOL, commuter/UAV and other aerial vehicle startups. In addition to that I wouldn't be shocked if the SPACE end of aeroSPACE picks up in the coming decades. And you CAN still use an aero degree in the automotive industry; they do wind tunnel testing of high-end models, and racing teams use it even more-so, but those are (like I said) a bit more specialized and likely not "entry level" positions.

I definitely do NOT think an Aero or Mechanical Engineering degree would be wasted on anyone, even if you don't end up going to be a famous aero or auto designer. Here's why:
In order to get one of those shiny engineering degrees, you have to take a LOT of classes that teach you nasty things like statics, dynamics, physics, calculus, and electromagnetic theory. Guess what? Along the way, by passing those classes, you will acquire (by necessity) incredibly valuable and increasingly rare skills of critical and lateral thinking, multi-variable analysis, deductive and probablistic reasoning, and logical and rational discernment. For THOSE SKILLS ALONE I would recommend a double-major in Aero-Mechanical Engineering. I'll even throw in Electrical Engineering - there's a massive shortage of electricians (and general contractors) in my area, my wife is about ready to go back to school herself if we can't get electrical work done! :p

And then if you DO fancy actually using your degree, you can take it to Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, Rockwell, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Swift, Wing....ALL of which I know are hiring in some engineering capacity, and those are just off the top of my head. Go browsing on LinkedIn and you'll get swamped! :D

Hope that helped! Good luck!!
thanks a ton... i like what i read
 

dap35

Well-known member
#13
My general advice to younger people on the topic of "looking for work" is "are you ready to go where the work is?" That is not specific to engineering of any flavor.

On aerospace engineering specifically: I actually have a B.S. in Mechanical, but I wish I had double-majored in Aero because the required courses overlapped so much (I went to Cal. State Long Beach). IF you can stomach it, I would recommend that route.

I chose Mechanical actually on the advice of an engineer who himself majored in Aero. His reasoning was (and I generally agree): Mechanical Engineering has more applications than just the Aerospace industry - you can work in automotive, civil, construction ... literally anything that has structural or mechanical workings will have a need for someone with that background. If you major in Aeronautics however, your fields are somewhat more narrowed and specialized...however^2: As Psyborg rightly points out there are quite a lot of aerospace applications popping up, between numerous eVTOL, commuter/UAV and other aerial vehicle startups. In addition to that I wouldn't be shocked if the SPACE end of aeroSPACE picks up in the coming decades. And you CAN still use an aero degree in the automotive industry; they do wind tunnel testing of high-end models, and racing teams use it even more-so, but those are (like I said) a bit more specialized and likely not "entry level" positions.

I definitely do NOT think an Aero or Mechanical Engineering degree would be wasted on anyone, even if you don't end up going to be a famous aero or auto designer. Here's why:
In order to get one of those shiny engineering degrees, you have to take a LOT of classes that teach you nasty things like statics, dynamics, physics, calculus, and electromagnetic theory. Guess what? Along the way, by passing those classes, you will acquire (by necessity) incredibly valuable and increasingly rare skills of critical and lateral thinking, multi-variable analysis, deductive and probablistic reasoning, and logical and rational discernment. For THOSE SKILLS ALONE I would recommend a double-major in Aero-Mechanical Engineering. I'll even throw in Electrical Engineering - there's a massive shortage of electricians (and general contractors) in my area, my wife is about ready to go back to school herself if we can't get electrical work done! :p

And then if you DO fancy actually using your degree, you can take it to Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, Rockwell, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Swift, Wing....ALL of which I know are hiring in some engineering capacity, and those are just off the top of my head. Go browsing on LinkedIn and you'll get swamped! :D

Hope that helped! Good luck!!
Just to second this. While it has been eons since I worked in Aerospace, most of my peers in design were Mechanical or Civil Engineers not aerospace. Both disciplines offer very diverse skills that can be applied in many industries. The basic engineering principles work.
 

Mid7night

Jetman
Mentor
#14
Just to second this. While it has been eons since I worked in Aerospace, most of my peers in design were Mechanical or Civil Engineers not aerospace. Both disciplines offer very diverse skills that can be applied in many industries. The basic engineering principles work.
This too! I forgot to add in my first post: One of my most cherished mentors in aerospace concept design began his career outside Boeing as an architect. :D
 

Matthewdupreez

Legendary member
#15
My general advice to younger people on the topic of "looking for work" is "are you ready to go where the work is?" That is not specific to engineering of any flavor.

On aerospace engineering specifically: I actually have a B.S. in Mechanical, but I wish I had double-majored in Aero because the required courses overlapped so much (I went to Cal. State Long Beach). IF you can stomach it, I would recommend that route.
so basically you are recommending that people take a major in aero and mechanical? so they have 2 degrees?
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#16
so basically you are recommending that people take a major in aero and mechanical? so they have 2 degrees?
They overlap a LOT in the basics so not duplicating classes with minor changes and the more skill you have the more valuable you are as an employee. As long as you can pull your pants up, show up to work on time, and speak properly so when you communicate with other professionals they understand you.

I met a guy working in Kodak that had degrees in electrical, mechanical AND chemical. Spent over half his life in school. Will spend the remaining half paying it all off but STILL making enough money to live very comfortably. He is probably retired by now and living on his own island some where.
 

clolsonus

Well-known member
#18
When I was younger, a friend of my dad's suggested that everyone should major in philosophy in order to learn how to think. Then go on to get a graduate degree in whatever you are really interested in. My dad's friend was a philosophy professor though, so he may have been a bit biased.:unsure::unsure::unsure:
I started out intending to major in aerospace engineering, but ended up majoring in CSci. Years later I find myself working on aerospace research projects at a university. Being able to wrangle large/complex coding projects has been a huge asset, but I'm always feeling behind everyone else on much of the deep math and aerospace specific stuff because I never took any of those classes. I mention this just to point out that there are many paths and they can all be great. You are at the point in your life where you have best opportunities to explore and try things, so give yourself freedom to change direction. You never know when life might just come full circle back to your first love.
Here's another thought (realizing time is always a limiting factor.) If you decide to major in "A" but are also interested in "B", go seek out a student group in "B" and join them. I don't know if this link will work for everyone, but here is a student testimonial from a chemistry major who joined the aerospace rocket team:
 

Matthewdupreez

Legendary member
#19
When I was younger, a friend of my dad's suggested that everyone should major in philosophy in order to learn how to think. Then go on to get a graduate degree in whatever you are really interested in. My dad's friend was a philosophy professor though, so he may have been a bit biased.:unsure::unsure::unsure:
I started out intending to major in aerospace engineering, but ended up majoring in CSci. Years later I find myself working on aerospace research projects at a university. Being able to wrangle large/complex coding projects has been a huge asset, but I'm always feeling behind everyone else on much of the deep math and aerospace specific stuff because I never took any of those classes. I mention this just to point out that there are many paths and they can all be great. You are at the point in your life where you have best opportunities to explore and try things, so give yourself freedom to change direction. You never know when life might just come full circle back to your first love.
Here's another thought (realizing time is always a limiting factor.) If you decide to major in "A" but are also interested in "B", go seek out a student group in "B" and join them. I don't know if this link will work for everyone, but here is a student testimonial from a chemistry major who joined the aerospace rocket team:
I like that bit about getting a major in philosophy and then doing A.
I agree, I don't know which degree I'll do for sure but, I guess aeronautical/aerospace seems like the kinda thing I like...
But who knows I might become a philosophy professor:ROFLMAO:.

The biggest con: to aerospace/aeronautical is that I would probably have to move to another country to find a decent job, there is practically no opportunities in sa in that line... I would probably have to be in either the us or Europe...
Or Russia😋...
Im don't think places like new Zealand have much going on those sectors.. Except maybe in the airforce???