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The right route to take

  1. Nov 23, 2008 #1
    Hello to all,

    First of let me introduce myself to the PF community. My name is Matt and I am from South Florida but at the moment reside in VA. I am 26yo and been in college for a little more then 7 years. I have bounced around from degree to degree trying to figure out what I want to do and I think I've found it. I would like to do something in the aerospace industry either dealing with GNC and or automation of spacecrafts. For my BS I was thinking about double majoring in Computer engineering (CE) and Aerospace engineering (AE) with concentrations in robotics and automation for my CE and controls and dynamics for my AE. For my masters was plan on doing Aerospace Engineering with more in depth concentration in controls and dynamics. If I go this route I would be done by the fall of 2017, making me 35 when I am done.

    After reading some of your posts it seems that I would be better of in doing a BS in Mechanical engineering (ME) followed by a masters in AE. Plus I could cut some years off if I do a minor/certificate in EE or CE. The school I am hopefully transferring to has no minors in engineering but has a minor in Intelligent Robotic Systems (IRS) which I think would be give me a good foundation to build off of. I would like to hear from you guys (and girls) about this idea. Thanks again for your responses.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2008 #2
    I'm not following your math, I'm afraid. You have 7 years' worth of credits (even supposing you've taken one course a semester), and you think a BS and an MS are going to take you 9 more years?

    Are you taking a light course load because you need to work, or are you well off and just screwing around in school?
  4. Nov 24, 2008 #3
    Well, let me explain that in detail. Majority of the credits I have are in either graphic design classes or a mixture of lower level GRE or prerequisite classes for the degree I was working on at that time. Plus the 9 years includes getting two BS and one MS.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  5. Nov 24, 2008 #4
    Get a job.

    Or have I just been trolled?
  6. Nov 24, 2008 #5
    Whoa dude no need for that kinda stuff here. New to this board and you come out swinging? You don't know his business, maybe he had problems when he started off College, had to work full time to feed the family or whatever, we all have bumps and runs, but the point is he's making effort for the better and the long term.
  7. Nov 24, 2008 #6
    There is probably no need to get 2 BS's. I would just major in ME and either get a minor/minors in EE/CE/AE (Or just take classes you enjoy or think would be useful to your future job). And then go straight to the Masters. Since I'm guessing you already have all the general credits completed, a BS should probably only take 2-3 years, followed by (I"m guessing) a 2 year Masters.
  8. Nov 24, 2008 #7
    I thought about it last night and have decided to do a ME with a minor. As a lot of people have pointed doing a BS in ME will open a lot of doors for me down the road.

    Unfortunately, some of the GREs for one degree are consider electives for another. I still have to take some general GREs like Foreign Language and some histories. Things of that nature. So that is about an extra year or so of just those classes so I am looking at 3-4 years for the BS and about 2 years for the MS and that is with taking 12+ credits each semester.
  9. Nov 25, 2008 #8
    Getting a job isn't bad advice.
    Think of the debt someone has to get into when studying for 15-odd years at university, especially in the US. No career, save hedgefund manager, is going to be able to pay that off.

    Check out this story:
    People literally fleeing the country because they can't make loan repayments.

    Could be that he's independently wealthy and can pay cash up-front for his courses. If so he can study until retirement and not worry about getting a pay-cheque.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  10. Nov 25, 2008 #9
    I do work. When I was an instate student living in Florida most if not all of my classes were paid either by Finical Aid or grants. Moving to Virginia has caused me to be an out-of-state student who now has to take out loans to pay for classes because Finical Aid isn't covering it. One reason why some semesters I only take 6-7 credits sometimes 9.

    I have heard about some people leaving the country because of not being able to pay for their loan debt. My loans are not to bad right now. Would like to keep it like that. One reason why I am going back to Florida and applying to become instate again.

  11. Nov 25, 2008 #10

    I tend to agree with EnSvensk that getting a DUAL major isn't needed (especially a dual in two types of engineering); pick the field that is the BEST fit for your interests, and then take upper level electives from other branches if you want to fill out your degree some.... and maybe try to do some work in a faculty member's lab (the experience will be good for employment prospects and graduate admissions prospects).

    The time-line of ~5 years therefore sounds sufficient, especially since you have general education credits out of the way. I worked part time for the Air Force while I worked on on a master's degree (electro-optics / optical engineering), and that degree was still completed (with thesis) in ~2 years. Note: Aerospace engineering graduate programs tend not to pay as well as other types, especially for terminal masters degrees (which often are unfunded)... but you should, of course, try to balance economics and doing what you want.
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