The goal of this research is to gain insights into what motivates students to study aerospace engineering, how their experiences influence their career choice, and what their perspectives are on a future career in or outside of the aerospace industry. These insights can be used to identify reasons that students might not stay in the aerospace field, and to help formulate practices to hire and retain engineers. This study is conducted under the direction of Principal Investigator Prof. Annalisa Weigel, Ph.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The web-based survey consisting of 80 questions takes approximately 30-40 minutes to complete. The survey population is sophomores and seniors in undergraduate aerospace engineering programs across the United States. Eventually, these students will be re-surveyed at 2 and 5 years out from graduation to create a longitudinal data set spanning the very dynamic college and early career years.
Survey data are gathered in six areas:
- Initial interests in aerospace (pre-college)
- College experiences
- Career expectations
- Desired job attributes
- Perception of aerospace industry
2009 Response Characteristics
More than 600 students from 23 schools across the United States responded to the 2009 Survey of Aerospace Student Attitudes with the following demographic characteristics:
- 80% were male, 20% were female
- 96% were US citizens, 4% were foreign nationals
- 73% were Caucasian, 27% were non-Caucasian