Casen Phillips

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With NASA putting a halt on its space program, what does this mean for aerospace engineers?

I am a high school student aspiring to be an aerospace engineer in the future. From what I understand, NASA is ending its shuttle program and trying to pass the ball to private sectors. In your opinion, how hard do you think it will be to find a job with a degree in aerospace engineering.

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    Apr 4 2011: Regardless of whether a public or private entity hosts spacecraft, the support system of contractors and suppliers will for the most part remain the same. If you become an aerospace engineer, you'd more likely end up working for some company than NASA. When thinking about work prospects, remember that you are at the tail-end of an era and standing at the dawn of a new one so the former generation of engineers are starting to retire and new blood will be needed.

    Aerospace engineers with a toolbox of skills in computer programming, electromechanical systems, and who can do Finite Element Analysis will have very marketable skills. As someone about to start a robotics company, I can tell you that all of those skills would be useful, especially when I begin shifting over to space operations. If you want to be ahead in the game, consider learning the Common Lisp and C programming languages. Also I can't stress enough the important of mathematics.

    If you're interested, here's a free online copy of one of the best Common Lisp intro books out there: