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Software engineering instead of mechanical engineering

  1. Dec 5, 2012 #1
    I have been talking on this forum for a while about going back to school for engineering. Ive been considering though getting a masters in software engineering. Im sort of conflicted though. I like computers but my main passion is aircraft. Since aircraft are becoming increasingly reliant on computers iwould it be possible to get a job in the aerospace industry as a software engineer because this is the field I really want to get into? I dont have any prior experience with writing code or anything like that but that doesnt seem to matter to the university I want to attend just gotta complete a few pre requisites, but is there anything I can do on my own to prepare such as taking some classes at the community college? Also Im also it seems like software engineers seemed to be viewed as inferior to other engineers. I feel like I would be selling out by choosing the path of software engineer but I feel that my concerns are unwarranted because it seems that software engineers aint doing that bad, and it seems like the field is pretty stable. Bottom line as long as I can combine computers with working with aircraft Id be happy.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2012 #2
    I'm a junior undergrad computer engineer - it depends on what you want to do, I'd guess. Would you rather work on the physical plane itself, or would you rather work on the software that controls it?

    I'd first learn some programming; I've heard coursera is pretty good.

    Alternatively, you could go look up a few tutorials to do things in a language (python is a pretty easy start) and try to solve some problems (for example, stuff like http://projecteuler.net/). You could also take some community college courses if you'd rather - just try to start learning programming and see if you'd like studying that sort of thing (and doing it every day!).

    Also, you say you want to get a masters; did you already get a mechanical engineering degree, out of curiosity?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2012
  4. Dec 6, 2012 #3


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    The answer is simply yes, you can get a job in the aerospace industry.
  5. Dec 6, 2012 #4
    Thanks for the feedback. I thought in the beginning I would always like too work on the physical plane, but now Ive been looking into other tech fields in which I can still work with aircraft. So I guess what I am trying to say is I am interested in the devolopment of software that control the aircraft and the avionics systems. No I do not have an undergrad in mechanical engineering but I started to get a second degree in it, I decided to restart but now I am wondering if a masters in software engineering or computer science might be a more practical choice. The university in my area said that doesnt matter I would just have to take some prerequisites. I have been looking at tutorials, they are helpful but I feel a traditional class would work better for me. Like I said bottom line as long as I can be part of the team to develop aircraft Id be happy.

    Also Ive been looking at the field of systems engineering, Can a software engineer enter the field of systems engineering for aircraft?

    I just wqnt it known that Im not choosing this because I think its easier path which Im sure it isnt. Im doing it because It just feels right.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
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