The best way to get an aerospace degree is to think about your long-term career goals and then apply to a college or university that offers the degree you need. Traditional universities and aerospace colleges both offer aerospace degrees, ranging from two-year associate degree programs to Ph.D. programs suitable for research and academic positions. Traditional universities provide excellent aerospace degree programs as well as non-aerospace electives and minors. Many aerospace colleges have a strong reputation in the industry, and earning a degree from one of them can improve your chances of landing a job in the industry after graduation.
Many of the major aeronautical associations have lists of accredited aerospace programs on their websites. These organizations also rank aerospace degree programs based on their reputation in the industry. Aerospace degree programs have different requirements depending on specialization, but they all require a thorough understanding of mathematics, science, and engineering.
Aerospace associate’s degree programs concentrate almost entirely on aerospace science and the development of technical skills. Humanities and social science classes, as well as non-aerospace electives, will be required in bachelor’s degree programs. Master’s degree programs in aerospace require specialized research and build on a basic understanding of aerospace principles. Ph.D. programs prepare students for advanced positions in research and academia.
Some students choose to earn an associate’s degree in aerospace before pursuing a bachelor’s degree in aerospace. This is advantageous because an associate’s degree can assist a student in obtaining work experience while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Many aspiring pilots, for example, obtain an associate’s degree in airframe and power plant mechanics, which allows them to work as an aircraft mechanic while studying for a bachelor’s degree in flight. This allows them to work in the aviation field while earning their bachelor’s degree and gaining experience and contacts.
Students interested in pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in aerospace should first obtain a bachelor’s degree in aerospace or a bachelor’s degree in a related field. A bachelor’s degree in physics or mechanical engineering can help you get started on your master’s degree in aerospace engineering. A bachelor’s degree in business or accounting may be a good starting point for a student who wants to pursue a master’s in airport management. Some students choose double majors in college to gain skills in complementary fields, especially if they are still deciding between two disciplines.