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Undecided on Career, What To Do?

  • Thread starter Astroman
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  • #1
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Hi all,

I graduated with a BS in Physics in May 2007, and will be finishing up my MS in Astronautical Engineering this December. The thing is, I can't decide what to do. I guess the first inclination would be that I would try to get an engineering job at one of the defense companies such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, or JPL (not really defense). However, I sometimes question whether I have the creativity to come up with new designs and such. Neither program required a senior project or thesis, and all the stuff I have done in the past at my institutions has been lab stuff and some research. So I think I have the technical and intellectual skills for a science position, but I just don't know what else to look into. What other fields of science related to R&D or industry could my skills be useful in? If anyone has personal experiences this could be useful information as well.
 

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  • #2
symbolipoint
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A reasonable guess is that as long as you did "some research", then you are ready to begin a research or design position in industry; you maybe will not start at the top, but you could begin in a research position as maybe assistant, or "junior" designer-researcher.
 
  • #3
Andy Resnick
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I worked for a NASA contractor for a few years, and an Air Force contractor prior to that- you have an ideal educational background for this type of work. I'm not familiar with the specifics of astronautical egineering- could you for example, work on motors? Hull design? Automotive design?

Please realize that in industry, you are not going to be responsible for coming up with "new designs". You will be part of a large team, and if you are lucky, senior people on your team (who may be only 5-10 years older than you) will mentor you. In fact, wherever you find a job, identify someone to mentor you.

I had the good fortune of working with some brilliant engineers and learned a huge amount, experiene that I can now draw on when I have to design my own instrumentation.
 

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