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Mech vs Aero jobs

Mech vs Aero jobs

(OP)
This is really a two part question. As a student in ME, I'm more interested in AE classes but at my particular school, the two degrees do not differ much at all with their respective classes. When job searching, do hiring managers care more about the degree title or the classes you've actually taken? For example, as an aero major, if I took the same robotics classes as a mech guy did for my technical electives, would I be just as marketable in the education aspect as the mech guy? Also in terms of job outlook in the SoCal area, who might do better in the next few years?

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

At small companies, you may need to be a hair more personable/intelligent/charming to get over the hurdle of having the "wrong" degree title, but it's possible.

At large companies, your resume will get weeded out by most applicant tracking systems, and you'll never get in front of a real set of eyeballs in HR, let alone a decision maker.

Unfortunately, I think this will remain the status quo until HR departments get better at programming their ATS parameters (ha!) or economic forces require employers to become less particular about hiring only the most perfect candidates. And I wouldn't count on the latter -- the way the world has gotten smaller (e.g. internet) seems to have outweighed even the significant economic swings we've seen in the past decade.

----
The name is a long story -- just call me Lo.

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

IME the very first requirement of most engineering position listings is "BS in _E or similar degree...." and there certainly are many working in the field with "other" degrees. In aerospace (missile guidance) I worked with many EEs and ComputerEs responsible for purely mechanical assemblies and a former intern of mine in recip engine fuel systems design has several physics degrees, two examples of many I've known. You might run into the aforementioned anal dummy in HR but dont be discouraged, those companies typically aren't worth the hassle, move on to greener pastures. Given the similarity between the aero/ME degrees I would not worry so much over the degree field as I would learning fundamental skills for your desired role.

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

(OP)
Lomarandil, thanks for reminding me of the stupid algorithm. It is quite unfortunate.

CWB1, like Lomarandil mentioned though, although a company might list similar degree (and assuming I have the necessary knowledge from the classes I chose to take), will companies factor that in to their auto screening if they use such a method?

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

JME but ATS systems in the big corp world aren't too terribly selective, usually if an application and resume contain ~75% of the basic qualification points' buzz words then it gets pushed to a recruiter for review. Recruiters tend to be a bit more picky and want all of the basic/required qualifications to proceed but IME so long as the degree says "engineering" most will quickly check that box as fulfilled pending a recruiter phone interview/screening to confirm that you sound technically competent.

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

if you're applying for a structures or systems job it shouldn't matter.

if you find it a real problem, consider getting a master's at an aero school.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

As much as more school never sounds like a fun time, I actually considered rb1957's proposal.

I got an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. It's more recognized and versatile - opening up more job opportunities. I planned on getting a masters in Aerospace Engineering because that's where I wanted to focus my career. Best of both worlds, if you ask me. Too bad I never bothered to get the advanced degree. Now that I'm mid-career, I certainly wish I had that extra credential.

--Scott
www.aerornd.com

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

I recall in early days having this issue of "wrong title" (Materials). Annoying for sure. 30 years on I see nothing really changed.

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

if you're mid-career then there should be plenty of more relevant stuff to look at than which degree you got (some years ago).

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

It's more of a matter of HAVING a Master's degree, not WHICH Master's degree.

--Scott
www.aerornd.com

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

personally a couple years of good experience beats most master's degrees.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

I completely agree with that, which is why I didn't go straight into a Masters program. But now that I've been a "few" years out of college, and the minimum standards for licensure keep threatening a master's level program (I'm already licensed, thankfully, so let's hope grandfather clauses will apply.), I find myself not recognized as a subject matter expert because I don't have that graduate degree. Doesn't matter what I've published, what other initials I have after my name, or what my CV looks like, there are some folks in industry that turn their noses up at individuals with only a bachelor's degree.

--Scott
www.aerornd.com

RE: Mech vs Aero jobs

As someone who has hired a non-engineer for an engineering role, the degree title truly doesn't matter.

I once hired a guy with a BS is Physics from a local state school to be an engineer. It was a temp position, but I would hire him again full time in a heartbeat.

In my opinion, especially for entry level positions, it's more important that someone is eager to learn than anything else. I could give a physics major a thermodynamics book, and by the end of the day we could easily be talking about complex problems.

I'm of the opinion that colleges mostly teach you how to learn. Sure, what you learn is important, but I'm not paying you to re-do your homework problems. I'm paying you to apply what you learned, and continue learning.

Jim Breunig P.E.
XCEED Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
FEA Consultants

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