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Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering

hk0333hk0333 Posts: 3User Awaiting Email Confirmation New Member
edited November 2012 in Engineering Majors
I am currently a Senior in High School. I am applying as of now. First off, i love airplanes and its my dream to build and all that good stuff. But the jobs aspect of Aerospace Engineers is not as diverse as Mechanical Engineers (I have heard). I was wondering if i can still build airplanes and work in the Aerospace Industry as a Mechanical Engineer?
Post edited by hk0333 on

Replies to: Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering

  • hk0333hk0333 Posts: 3User Awaiting Email Confirmation New Member
    bump.............
  • PoppinBottlesMGTPoppinBottlesMGT Posts: 216Registered User Junior Member
    I am only a freshman, and barely that. But I have read and started a lot of these sorts of threads, and it dissatisfyingly boils down to this: you have to decide for yourself.

    I think all kinds of engineers are involved in building these things, so it really depends on what part of it you want to do. If you are just absolutely dying to do whatever specific things that the real aero guys do best, to the point where you just feel like you are settling for a life you don't want, my opinion is to throw the dice a little and do what you like. But it's also my opinion that not a lot of us experience that kind of I.D. foreclosure at 18. Beyond that, unless you specifically know the exact thing you want to be doing with planes, and want to ask experts if a MechE is often qualified to do that, I don't think anyone can give you much here.

    Good luck with your decision, and you should have at least another year and a half to make it.

    (Personally, I am almost considering not doing engineering at all. I don't know enough about it yet to say, and I will probably still do my undergrad in MSE, but I am starting to come to grips with the fact that I never wanted to be an "engineer" the way the job is usually described, I want to be a scientist. And as I am starting to figure out that I have some ability to succeed in school and could go to grad school, I am also starting to feel like I really want to be in a lab designing kooky experiments. And letting myself think about doing a PhD in PChem or something less employable makes me happier. I still don't know what I'm going to do, because I'm not sure what I like or what does what. But I know I don't want to grind out my life, or even the next 4-5 years, doing something I don't like, just because it seems like a safer career. If you think you don't know what you want to do, or aren't sure, or learn it really is a smart way to get where ever you decide you want to be, then that's great. But don't do a degree you don't want to do unless you really don't care either way.)

    Edit: I think you could also do Mech undergrad, take as many Aero electives as you can, and if you like it, do an aero MS orPhD or something.
  • NeoDymiumNeoDymium Posts: 1,310Registered User Senior Member
    If you're not sure, go for Mechanical. You can do everything an Aero can do.
    Aerospace companies hire just as many MechEs as AeroEs.
  • PoppinBottlesMGTPoppinBottlesMGT Posts: 216Registered User Junior Member
    Do they really do the exact same things though? I was under the impression that their educations were quite different, no?
  • crazedcrazed Posts: 1,928Registered User Senior Member
    read my response to similar thread:
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/engineering-majors/1414076-aerospace-vs-mechanical-engineering.html

    Son is dual aerospace engineering major and Mechanical engineering major getting BS degrees in both. I do think above is correct that Aerospace companies hire many Mechanical engineers.
  • NeoDymiumNeoDymium Posts: 1,310Registered User Senior Member
    Do they really do the exact same things though? I was under the impression that their educations were quite different, no?
    No, they're about the same. Aero is more focused on Aero work, and Mech on Mech work, but the concepts are all the same.
  • DustmasterdDustmasterd Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    I really wanted to be a aerospace engineer (for the space part), but in reality its a pretty restrictive field. Most programs are going to have you study predisposed laws of aviation, and the outdated Goddard rocketry systems. I say mechanical engineering is the way to go. You'll get a broad aspect of engineering that will cover over some aerospace aspects, while "future proofing" you in my opinion. Its kinda sad aerospace has stagnated by simple laws, but you have to consider that in your lifetime we are going to move past conventional aerospace principles. For example bumblebees cannot aerodynamically fly, yet produce better control than even our finiest helicopters. We are still using simple combustion instead of electromagnetism to propel rockets forward.


    I'd say get a mechanical engineering degree with a minor in aerospace if you really want it.
  • hk0333hk0333 Posts: 3User Awaiting Email Confirmation New Member
    Thanks guys, I am going to choose Mechanical Engineering for now, and hopefully if i make it through, ill hopefully working for the Aerospace Industry.
  • mechadvicemechadvice Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    I did a Bachelor's in Mechanical and a Master's in Aerospace. Something to consider if you felt like your Aerospace minor was not enough when you graduate.
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