Hello, I have enrolled in aerospace engineering at university and I am trying to figure out what kind of jobs I'm going to be training for specifically. Does anyone have a hint?
Samba said:I am a supervisor of a structural analysis group for a large Aerospace company. I have worked with most of the major aerospace firms in my career. I have a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M.
I interview recent graduates for employment in my department. The first thing I can say is that if anyone asks me what kind of jobs they can get here, or what do we have for them, the interview will be very short.
Why would I want to hire someone who's spent 4 years working VERY hard to get a difficult degree, but doesn't know what they want to be when they grow up. At that point, you're a professional and a professional attitude is expected. You will be paid a lot of money for your judgement and analytical abilities. Not knowing what you want to do with your expensive degree convinces employers that you have developed neither.
Ask yourself why you chose Aerospace Engineering in the first place. If you did because it was 'cool' then you may have made a mistake. If you're in it for the money, you definitely made a mistake. If you have a love of math, aircraft, physics, knowledge, solving problems, etc. then you're probably in the right field.
InfernoSun said:I've had a few jobs. But I've never had any choice in it. One has to take whatever is available. One job I had was door-to-door sales of home security systems, another involved merchandising displays for lady's cosmetics, another was digging out the foundations of houses by hand and pouring fresh cement. Why should I get a degree if I never get to do the job I'm trained to do. And if I'm not being trained for something in particular, and if such a job doesn't exist, why bother getting a certificate for it !?!?! I could get a certificate in wormhole physics, and get the same job working as a cashier in a fast food restaurant alongside high school students, high school graduates, college students, university graduates and people with phd's.
Why bother choosing a program to study if there is no work and there's no choice in the work and supervisors are giving really short interviews because the guy doesn't know what the hell kind of job he's suppose to do. Give me one example of a job title held by someone with a degree in aerospace engineering. I bet it's not "Aerospace Engineer".
InfernoSun said:And I don't believe that only "lower" staff do specific jobs. An accountant is university educated and you are bound to find him/her in an accounting department, doing accounting, with the title "Accountant". Same with medical doctors and lawyers. They are often found doing the jobs they are trained for. Maybe those are better fields to be in now that I think about it. Human resources is another field too, where a specific job is what you are trained for.
No they didn't. They taught you computer aided drafting. Design work is not the same thing. There is a world of difference between a drafter and a designer.InfernoSun said:... Computer aided design? You know they taught us that in high school.
Any monkey can be taught to push buttons and enter numbers into a michine. Who is the check to make sure what they have done is the correct thing? Who gives the technicians/machinists the numbers required? Who specifies the materials, processes and finish requirements?InfernoSun said:I've got 2 years architectural drafting on AutoCAD and IronCad in grades 11 and 12. I hear community college grads are doing the same thing in their CNC machining and toolmaking programs. You see, I just don't know what is left for engineers to do?
The only dumbing down that has occurred is in those skills that have become mainstream or commonplace over time. What was specialized skills 20 years ago can be done by less skilled people today. A lot of people would like to think they are engineers because they are given the title by their company, but it still does take much more than squirting out a blueprint with a picture on it.InfernoSun said:It's like all you old fogies spent the last 20 years dumbing everything down, making software, reducing whole engineering textbooks to a single button in some windows software package and now anyone can be an engineer at the click of a mouse.
In the day-to-day running...I don't doubt that one bit. That's the way it should be. A lot of the mundane things done do not require engineering support. So what? In a lot of cases, the mechanics have a better understanding of the details involved to do those specific jobs.InfernoSun said:Even in aerospace the people in charge are the aircraft mechanics, not the engineers!
The mechanics are also the first people to get laid off in times when money is tight.InfernoSun said:The mechanics are licensed and unionized and get huge paycheques (if there is even a job in this economy)
They will sign off most work. However, there is always QA checks by inspectors and some repairs/tests in the US require a D.E.R. (FAA designated engineering representative).InfernoSun said:and sign off on maintenance work.
That's good lobbying by their union I guess. The one thing you are forgetting is that those jobs have a lot of competition for them (at least in the US they do). Not every airframe mechanic is going to be treated that well. You probably do get better rewards right out of the gate being a mechanic, but there are plenty of tradeoffs. The first time you poke your frozen fingers with safety wire on the flight line will have you wondering if that was the right choice.InfernoSun said:The real kick in the balls is that their job is even guaranteed BY LAW !!!! That's with a 2-year community college diploma and 4-year apprenticeship. Meanwhile the engineer with 4-years of university really doesn't have a "specific" job. I bet employers would be impressed to hear that.
And after we discuss that, we can discuss the difference between a designer and an engineer....FredGarvin said:No they didn't. They taught you computer aided drafting. Design work is not the same thing. There is a world of difference between a drafter and a designer.
That is true as well. I figured I had muddied up the waters enough.russ_watters said:And after we discuss that, we can discuss the difference between a designer and an engineer....
Close! I'd have to disagree with calling the government a "designer." The government puts forth a specification document that outlines the design criteria for a specific project (no matter what that project is). It is up to the contractor to design a platform to live up to that criteria. In the business, the government is known as the customer. A very anal retentive, annoying and beurocratic customer.physicsCU said:For military aircraft, the designer is the government. They tell the company what they need from a plane, and the company's engineers figure out the details of the whole plane.