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Aerospace Aerospace and/or Mechanical Engineer Degree

  1. Aug 13, 2011 #1
    Hey, I always had a passion for space and pretty much anything space related and I've recently decided to change my major (currently liberal Arts & Sciences) to Aerospace engineering so i can pursue a career where i'm apart of the space industry. However, i have read from various forums how Mechanical Engineering is more diverse and covers a wider range of topics than Aerospace, and in some cases, awards you with more employment options. With that in mind, i'm also considering getting a Masters degree or even a PhD and i was wondering what is my chance of being employed working on projects/research for a space company (something like NASA) if i got a BS in mechanical E. and a masters and/or PhD in Aerospace E.

    Also would it be a bad idea to have a BS,MS/PhD in Aerospace? How would this effect my job prospects for working in the space industry?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2011 #2


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    Your prospects are fine with any of those options. NASA, SpaceX, Lockheed, Boeing, and any other company that build or work with spacecraft all employ many aerospace engineers and mechanical engineers. It just depends on what part of the process you want to work in. If you get a graduate degree in aerospace engineering, for the most part people aren't going to care what your undergraduate degree was, especially if your graduate degree is a Ph.D.

    It wouldn't affect it at all. It just depends on what your job goals are. If you want to get into research, you need a Ph.D. regardless of what industry you are in. If you just want to get to work and be one of various flavors of design engineer, a BS is just fine. You just have to realize that with a Ph.D., there are jobs for which you will now be overqualified and won't be able to get.
  4. Aug 13, 2011 #3
    Thanks Boneh3ad, from what I see your telling me and from various other sources, it seems that you can get a job working in the space industry with any of those degrees. Which is good so i don't have to pull my hair out trying to figure out which degree to pick. Plus, I'm 100% sure I'll be at least going for my masters so that will help as well.

    I was thinking about getting into maybe the design part of engineering. I'm still doing research to find out what aerospace engineers who study the research side actually do. But design sounds like it's something i would like to do. However, if research is more on the lines of 'form ideas/suggestions with your brain about the design, based on physics, and watch it come together' then that is something i would do. So any light you or anyone can shed on that would be greatly appreciated.
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