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Cal Poly for Aerospace Engineering?

  1. Jul 31, 2011 #1
    Hey all,

    I'm an aspiring Aerospace Engineer and I'd like some advice on what you guys think about the Cal Poly schools. I really like their "learn by doing" philosophy because it's great for immediate job recruitment, but not necessarily good for those who want to pursue a Ph.D. I want to acquire a Ph.D, but if I can get a job right after graduating then I'd rather take that course. My first question, do you guys think it's a good idea to work in industry for a few years then go back to school for a Ph.D? It'll be a tough transition financially, especially if I get raises during my initial career. Cal Poly also offers this program where you can get a Masters in about a year after your bachelors. Would that be a better option? My ideal company to work for would be SpaceX and I also have dreams of creating my own space company one day, if that makes any difference. The founder of SpaceX doesn't have a Ph.D.

    What do you guys think of the Cal Poly schools overall? Which one is better for job recruitment? I've heard that Pomona is better for Engineering because it's closer to a lot of the industry in SoCal. But SLO definitely has the better campus life and area.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2011 #2
    The Cal Poly schools are definitely good. I'm not sure which one is better for job recruitment, but SLO seems to be a little more competitive and prestigious. But I've heard good things about Pomona engineering, and I know very successful people who went to Pomona, so it probably won't matter a whole lot. And like you, I think SLO is in a better area.

    I just don't think you can really decide yet on whether you want to do a masters or phd, you should just wait and see how you feel when the time comes. I personally don't really like the idea of working for a few years and then going back to school, I would just want to get it all over with in one shot. But's that not to say it isn't possible.
  4. Aug 1, 2011 #3
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  5. Aug 1, 2011 #4
    Nice find Punkyc7. I think most of the "what can I do with a degree in x?" would be mitigated if every school had a detailed survey of their alumni doings.
  6. Aug 4, 2011 #5
    Yeah I saw that before. I just wonder what the total amount of Aerospace graduates were in a given year, compared to the total amount who actually got employed.

    Versus other UC's like UCLA, UCSB, & UCSD, how do you think Cal Poly stands? I didn't include Berkeley because they don't offer an Aerospace program.
  7. Aug 4, 2011 #6
    The Cal Poly engineering program is probably on par with those other schools. Although, the UC system has a bit more of a prestigious name compared to the Cal State system. Cal Poly is focused on science and engineering, while UCLA is near the top in many other fields as well (the arts, medicine), which could contribute to its prestige. But if you are only concerned about engineering, Cal Poly is a great choice and is much more affordable than a UC.
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