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Best ways to start a career in Aerospace Engineering

Jun 14, 2017 10:40 IST
    How to Start a Career in Aerospace Engineering
    How to Start a Career in Aerospace Engineering

    Based on the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded annually, the Engineering majors offered at colleges and universities can be roughly divided into one of four size-based categories:

    • The “Big Four” Disciplines: Civil, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering, which together collectively account for approximately two-thirds (67%) of all engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded annually.
    • The “Medium Four” Disciplines: Aerospace, Biomedical, Chemical, and Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering, which collectively account for approximately 20% of all engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded annually.
    • The “Smaller Ten” Disciplines: Agricultural, Architectural, Engineering Management, Engineering Physics/Engineering Science, Environmental, General Engineering Studies, Materials, Mining, Nuclear, and Petroleum Engineering, which collectively account for less than 10% of all engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded annually.
    •  The Specialty Disciplines: A variety of specialty disciplines offered (such as Ocean Engineering) that collectively account for less than 5% of all engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded annually.

    This article talks about aerospace engineering, one of the Medium four disciplines. Aerospace engineering is one of the most sought after engineering disciplines after the big four disciplines. If you wonder how things fly and intricate machinery of aeroplanes, helicopters, space vehicles etc. excite you, then this is right place for you.

    Overall Focus: Flight vehicles and systems, covering both space flight (spacecraft, rockets, satellites, etc.) and sub-space flight (airplanes, helicopters, missiles, etc.). Many Aerospace Engineers also work on land-based vehicles as well (race cars, regular cars, etc), typically focusing on aerodynamics (designing external surfaces).

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    Courses for Aerospace Engineering:

    • Diploma Course

                Eligibility Criteria: Class 10

                Duration: 3 years

    • BTech/BE Course

                Eligibility Criteria: 10+2 with PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics)

                Duration: 4 years

    • AeSI (The Associate Membership of Aeronautical Society of India)

                Eligibility Criteria: 10+2 with PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics)

                Equivalent to a graduate at par with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering

    • ME/MTech Course

                Eligibility Criteria: BTech/BE Course

                Duration: 2 years

    There are also good opportunities to pursue higher studies in computer engineering. Higher studies are usually pursued in certain areas of specialization.

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    Primary Areas of Specialization:

    1.  Aerodynamics (design of external surfaces)
    2.  Structural Design & Materials Selection
    3. Propulsion Systems
    4. Guidance & Control Systems

     Related Fields:

    • Astronautical Engineering (focusing just on space flight)
    • Aeronautical Engineering (focusing just on sub-space flight)

    Most of the colleges offer academic programs in Aerospace Engineering.

    Top Employer of Aeronautical Engineering:

    • Aerospace and aero-engine companies
    • Airline operators
    • Research and development organisations
    • Contract agencies
    • Consultancies
    • The Civil Service
    • The armed forces
    • Government agencies such as The Ministry of Defence
    • Universities

    Associated Professional Society: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) (www.aiaa.org)

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