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June 26, 2022, 11:38:33 am

Author Topic: Aerospace, waste of time?  (Read 9596 times)  Share 

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ldee

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Aerospace, waste of time?
« on: December 17, 2012, 08:39:35 pm »
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Hey guys.

So I'm pretty interested in aerospace engineering, and think I would enjoy both studying and working in the field. However, I have a few queries..

After searching around the net for a while, I've found various threads on sites such as whirlpool discussing the usefulness of an aersospace degree. I know that the job market it slim, but a lot of what I've read is saying that it's REALLY slim. Should I be worried? I would hate to spend all those years in Uni only to end up with no job prospects.

Btw, I am planning to apply for the Monash commerce/aero double degree, so I guess that can open a few more doors?

Anyway, if anybody has any experience or knowledge feel free to chime in. Thanks.

Hancock

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Re: Aerospace, waste of time?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2012, 08:44:13 pm »
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Aerospace is 'basically' a more speciazlied version of Mechanical Engineering focusing in aerodynamics and fluid dynamics (among other things). While the aerospace industry is quite low in Australia, an aerospace degree will allow you to apply for mechanical engineering roles however it may be a tad harder when competing against actual Mechanical engineering grads.

I know two mates who graduated this year in the same position as you (as was I last year) choosing to do Mechanical engineering with Aero electives instead of an Aero degree. It's all about costs vs benefits: if it's your absolute passion I say go for it. If you are a bit weary, I don't see anything wrong with taking the Mech pathway and shoving some aero electives on the side.

On the double degree note, a double with commerce will help you out immensely if you want to move to the finance / banking industry or move into management (like most engineers do after their technical stint in their firm). However, in some engineering consulting firms, I know a few personally that would rather have a straight engineering degree because you will have more engineering courses as opposed to a double with commerce. I would still take the double with commerce if I was in your position because the benefits definitely outweigh the costs (IMO).

Best of luck with you engineering studies.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 08:51:15 pm by Hancock »
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2012 - 2014: B.Sc. - Mechanical Systems - The University of Melbourne
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JinXi

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Re: Aerospace, waste of time?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2012, 08:58:30 pm »
+5
Hey guys.

So I'm pretty interested in aerospace engineering, and think I would enjoy both studying and working in the field. However, I have a few queries..

After searching around the net for a while, I've found various threads on sites such as whirlpool discussing the usefulness of an aersospace degree. I know that the job market it slim, but a lot of what I've read is saying that it's REALLY slim. Should I be worried? I would hate to spend all those years in Uni only to end up with no job prospects.

Btw, I am planning to apply for the Monash commerce/aero double degree, so I guess that can open a few more doors?

Anyway, if anybody has any experience or knowledge feel free to chime in. Thanks.

You're right about the job opportunity being small (ESPECIALLY if you decide to stay in Australia). I've heard from somewhere that only around 9% of aerospace engineering graduates actually get a job in the industry. However, most of them do end up getting jobs in other industries (mechanical, commerce etc), so there's definitely job prospects there, just not in the aviation industry.

On a side note, I'm currently doing my internship at a Civil Engineering consulting firm (Sinclair Knight Merz). I'm placed on the bridge team, and even though there's obviously a ton of material that I haven't seen before, what I learnt from Aerospace Engineering can still be indirectly applied to civil/structural engineering.

Eg. I'm on the bridge team,

1. We draft using AutoCAD, which is what Aerospace Engineers would use.
2. We analyze bridges using staadpro, which is something I haven't encountered, but the coding is somewhat similar to Matlab, which helps me pick up the new programming language extremely quickly.
3. Beam analysis, we did something similar in Aerospace Engineering, just applied towards wings instead of beams.

the list goes on... basically my point here is that whatever you learn is NEVER wasted.

Also, in my team, there an engineer that did Aerospace Engineering for his bachelor degree in US, but later came over to Melbourne to do a masters in Structural Engineering. This shows that if you don't like your bachelor degree you can always switch. I've also spoken to a phd student in Aerospace Engineering who has a bachelor degree in chemical.

Finally, what Hancock said is true, especially the fact that the competition is quite fierce in aerospace engineering. The cut-off score might be 91ish, but almost everyone I know has an ATAR of 98, and has a HD average in uni.

The only down side is that you'll be able to count the number of girls in the lecture hall with your fingers, and with one hand at that. You'll be required to hunt outside your faculty ;)

EDIT: Adding on, I reckon' Aerospace/Commerce degree is an extremely good combination as it somewhat lessens your workload (18ish hours instead of 24+ hours per week) for the first couple of year. Also, in the consulting firm I'm working in, they actually prefer engineers that have a background in commerce, especially management. The projects here are all group based and team work is essential to the completion of a project on time. With a double degree, I think the company would have more reason to promote you from a graduate engineer position to a team leader, or project manager etc.

I was actually tossing between Aero/Sci and Aero/Commerce two year back and decided to go into Science, even though back then I knew Aero/Commerce would had presented more opportunities. Hope to see you around next year!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 02:20:23 am by JinXi »
Monash B.Aero Eng/Sci Discontinued in Sem2 2012 [2011-2015]

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ldee

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Re: Aerospace, waste of time?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 01:05:55 pm »
0
Firstly, thanks a lot for the replies guys!

I know two mates who graduated this year in the same position as you (as was I last year) choosing to do Mechanical engineering with Aero electives instead of an Aero degree. It's all about costs vs benefits: if it's your absolute passion I say go for it. If you are a bit weary, I don't see anything wrong with taking the Mech pathway and shoving some aero electives on the side.
That seems like a solid way to go, I'll definitely take it into consideration. Thanks.

On a side note, I'm currently doing my internship at a Civil Engineering consulting firm (Sinclair Knight Merz). I'm placed on the bridge team, and even though there's obviously a ton of material that I haven't seen before, what I learnt from Aerospace Engineering can still be indirectly applied to civil/structural engineering.

Eg. I'm on the bridge team,

1. We draft using AutoCAD, which is what Aerospace Engineers would use.
2. We analyze bridges using staadpro, which is something I haven't encountered, but the coding is somewhat similar to Matlab, which helps me pick up the new programming language extremely quickly.
3. Beam analysis, we did something similar in Aerospace Engineering, just applied towards wings instead of beams.

the list goes on... basically my point here is that whatever you learn is NEVER wasted.
Well this seems pretty promising! Do you think that you will be okay in landing a job in another field of engineering if you have an aerospace degree? If skills are transferable then it certainly looks that way.

Finally, what Hancock said is true, especially the fact that the competition is quite fierce in aerospace engineering. The cut-off score might be 91ish, but almost everyone I know has an ATAR of 98, and has a HD average in uni.
Hmm that seems pretty scary. I know I should be able to keep up with the workload but if the competition is of that high standard, I'm not sure if I can compete. Are the internships decided on a basis of academic results?

The only down side is that you'll be able to count the number of girls in the lecture hall with your fingers, and with one hand at that. You'll be required to hunt outside your faculty ;)
Haha I've been bracing myself for this ever since I started looking into engineering.. Goodbye female interaction!

But anyway guys... Do you think it would be more benfitial to just go into Bachelor of Engineering / Commerce initially? In the common first year, do you just learn the basics of various disciplines and then decide upon that what you want to pursue?

JinXi

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Re: Aerospace, waste of time?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 09:19:31 pm »
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Well this seems pretty promising! Do you think that you will be okay in landing a job in another field of engineering if you have an aerospace degree? If skills are transferable then it certainly looks that way.

I think aerospace engineers would be fine getting a job in structural/ mechanical engineering. More and more companies are recognizing the fact that Engineers ARE engineers regardless of what their field is and is taking that into consideration nowadays. Of course a civil engineering consulting form would prefer a civil/structural as opposed to an aero/structural engineer, but the chances are there and they DO consider aerospace graduates.

Hmm that seems pretty scary. I know I should be able to keep up with the workload but if the competition is of that high standard, I'm not sure if I can compete. Are the internships decided on a basis of academic results?
With enough effort and dedication, almost everyone that has a mind that is geared towards maths/science will be able to get a respectable score in engineering. Like is said before, the difficulty in engineering is sometimes overated.

Engineering internships are awarded the same way as every other job/interns etc.etc. Academic results do play a major role, but so does your extra-curricular activities, leadership roles, interview and many more factors, especially connections.

Haha I've been bracing myself for this ever since I started looking into engineering.. Goodbye female interaction!
Lol don't worry you'll meet more than enough people through clubs and stuff. However I must admit there isn't much inspiration for turning up to lectures...

But anyway guys... Do you think it would be more benfitial to just go into Bachelor of Engineering / Commerce initially? In the common first year, do you just learn the basics of various disciplines and then decide upon that what you want to pursue?

What do mean by "go into Bachelor of Engineering /  Commerce initially"? Do you mean starting off with a single degree (eng or comm), then deciding if you want to transfer to a double degree or the other degree? If so, I would recommend starting off with the double degree as it's generally easier to drop from a double degree to a single degree than going from a single to a double degree. Also, it'll let you have an insight to both of the degrees.

All engineering at monash (Except Aerospace/Mechatronics) has a common first year. You'll do subjects like maths, physics (yuck), basic computing (MATLAB) and engineering profession (teaches you how to act.... and bullshit from what I heard) You'll also get to pick a couple of electives from a list, and this is where you'll get your introduction into the field that you're interested in. You decide on your major going into your second year of engineering.

P.S. Aerospace and Mechatronics only do a couple of different units compared to the common 1st year engineering structure, so it's quite easy to transfer between the fields between first and second year.

Hope I've answered some of your questions :)
Monash B.Aero Eng/Sci Discontinued in Sem2 2012 [2011-2015]

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ldee

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Re: Aerospace, waste of time?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 07:20:24 pm »
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You've definitely helped me a lot with my decision making, thanks heaps :)

Still can't decide on Monash verse Melbourne though, and only a few days left D:

spectroscopy

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Re: Aerospace, waste of time?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 07:38:24 pm »
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you cant do double engineering majors/degrees at monash can you? eg; aero/mech, even though subjects wise theyre very similiar, is there a way so that on paper you have both, to boost job prospects and such, maybe by doing a summer subject or something?

Hancock

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Re: Aerospace, waste of time?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 07:45:03 pm »
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Not possible to do a double degree Eng / Eng. No point doing Aero / Mech double degree anyway, they're incredibly similar in content.
Thinking of doing Engineering? - Engineering FAQs

2012 - 2014: B.Sc. - Mechanical Systems - The University of Melbourne
2014 - 2014: Cross-Institutional Study - Aero/Mech Engineering - Monash University
2015 - 2016: M.Eng (Mechanical with Business) - The University of Melbourne
2015 - Sem1: Exchange Semester - ETH Zurich