What is the workload and some challenges one faces when studying aeronautical engineering?
I am currently a senior in high school. As of now, I am certain that I want to attend college to major in aeronautical engineering; however, I do have some apprehensions. I often hear that over half the people who enter the engineering field drop out. I do not wish to fall into this group, so I have come for guidance. I hope to get an idea of what to expect when studying aeronautical engineering. #engineer #aeronautics
Unfortunately many engineering students do drop out as the classes can be technically rigorous. My personal estimation is that engineering students can sometimes have 2-4x the workload of other undergraduate programs. However, as the previous answer mentioned, there are typically excellent support networks of both students and faculty to help you succeed.
As a quick test, if you enjoy Physics and Calculus and have performed well in these subjects in High School, you will be a great candidate for an engineering degree if you're willing to put in the effort. (This obviously isn't a strict requirement but it is a strong signal in my experience.)
I wouldn't trade my degree for anything. Engineering taught me how to better approach problems and think analytically; I loved the experience. It's hard work but if you love the material (as you appear to) you can definitely make it. The resources are there for dedicated students, and I've never met someone who genuinely wanted to be an engineer and not make it.
"Qualifications" for answering this question:
-Graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering
-Faculty member at two Universities teaching Aerospace Engineering
-Worked on Aerospace projects (as an engineer) with NASA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Air Force
I studied aero/astro at MIT, and while the program was tough, I loved it. The course typically touches on many different engineering fields, including structures, dynamics, fluids, programming, controls, signals and systems, and more. The means you get exposure to a broad range of topics, and as an upperclassman, can decide which areas you enjoyed the most and take more in-depth courses. There also tends to be a strong systems component, where you're not just studying each discipline in a silo, but understanding how they connect together.
Additionally, in my department, there was a really tight knit community of students and professors, more so than many of the larger engineering departments. My experience was also that the majority of my class ended up making it all the way through the course, so I'd recommend you talk to departments at different schools you're considering, to get the facts directly from them.
Good luck with your decision!