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The basics
THE UK: Subject Guides

Aerospace Engineering

How about doing something really different with your Engineering degree? Nuannat Simmons gives an overview of this new and exciting career path.

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How about doing something really different with your degree? Many students simply choose a course that is a continuation of their studies at school, without recognizing that those strengths could be applied to something truly vocational and life-changing. Now is a great time to grab the future with both hands – in this article, Nuannat Simmons is here to show you that the sky is the limit.


When you travel by air or see a vapor trail in the sky, do you ever stop to think of the tremendous evolution that has taken place in aircraft design in the last 30 years or what aircraft will look like in the future?


The greatest minds in the world are striving to solve issues such as finite fossil fuel resources and global warming whilst creating larger, faster and more efficient passenger, freight and military aircraft. This is no easy feat and time is of the essence.


In response to these pressing concerns, engineering, innovation and design are now driving aviation forward into the next generation of air travel. Business is booming for aviation engineers, but could you be one of them? Take a look below and see if any of the following qualities describe you:


  • Ambitious and creative
  • Adept at problem-solving and technically-minded
  • Enjoy taking things apart to figure out how they work
  • Like to travel
  • Interested in machinery and cutting-edge technologies
  • Interested in computer modeling and computer-assisted design
  • Want to know more about air traffic control and the logistics of aircraft production

Any of these attributes would be well-suited to a career in aeronautical engineering. There are many jobs open to graduates – for more info about this career route, click here.


The Challenge

Under pressure from governments and the weight of public opinion, aircraft manufacturers are now developing engines with greater fuel efficiency and reduced green house gas emissions. Advances in aircraft engine design mean that the target to reduce energy consumption by up to 70% by 2035 as compared to the present will be achieved.


In recent years, air traffic disruption has occurred due to volcanic ash clouds, costing the aviation industry billions of dollars. This is due to safety issues such as silicone particles in the ash melt and reform into larger silicone compounds in the engine which can damage the engine turbine. How can this problem be resolved? Well, this is where Aeronautical Engineers come in.


The Course

Aerospace engineering courses have been established to respond to the current demands placed on the workforce in this area. This program is quite new as compared to electrical, mechanic or chemical engineering. Graduates can expect to find a job comparatively easily and the rate of progression is equally meteoric in comparison to other, more conventional degrees. This pressing need for new blood in the industry is best summed up by a recent report from Aviation Week:

“The ageing aviation workforce is a global problem”


In response to this problem, airlines and manufacturers are creating academic pathways for students around the world, so that they can be trained to fill the skills gap that is developing:

“Companies need to understand the demographic situation is something we have to face and find methods to work against it…We have to open borders to let people come from other countries.”


The Next Step

If you want to study aerospace engineering, we have information relating to courses and institutions both undergraduate and postgraduate for you.


A background in mathematics and physics would be beneficial to you in your application.


If you study Aerospace Engineering in the USA, these programs are included in the list of STEM programs. This may allow you to extend your stay in the USA after you have graduated by apply for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa. For more information, read Hotcourses’ article about immigration reform in the USA.


If you think that you are suited to a degree in aerospace engineering, we recommend that you pursue this interest further. There are many reasons to do so:

  • Excellent graduate employment rate and a range of career options
  • Gain a detailed understanding of aeronautics
  • Work with aircraft
  • You can also branch off into astronautics
  • Gain knowledge and practical skills in aerodynamics, propulsion, flight mechanics, orbital mechanics, fluids, materials, structures, guidance & control, and computation etc. 

To read a case study from an aerospace engineering student, click here.


Aeronautical engineering could take you on a journey that you never thought would be possible. We would say that ‘the sky is the limit,’ but then, considering that some aeronauts also go on to become astronauts, this wouldn’t be entirely accurate!


To search for courses, click here.  


There are many forms of engineering courses and careers available. If you have found this article interesting, perhaps you will find the following information helpful too. 



STEM Courses in the USA

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