June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.114.1 - 26.114.16
A Study of Aerospace Engineering Student Professional PersistenceThe pending retirement of the baby-boom generation impacts all areas of engineering in theUnited States. According to the Committee on the National Aerospace Initiative, in order tomaintain aerospace leadership, the United States must continue to have a highly skilled, stable,secure, and growing aerospace workforce. In order to meet these needs, high professionalpersistence will be required of the students studying aerospace engineering today and in thefuture. How do today’s students view the aerospace profession and do they desire to have thelong careers in aerospace engineering required to meet the needs expressed by the NationalAerospace Initiative? A survey was conducted in 2009 called the Survey of Aerospace StudentAttitudes which attempted to capture the beliefs and attitudes of aerospace engineering studentsfrom a number of aerospace engineering programs from across the United States. A quantitativeanalysis of the results of this survey was conducted in an attempt to understand modern daystudent perceptions of the field and see how they impact persistence. In particular, the followingquestions were addressed:(1) What are the professional persistence characteristics of present day aerospace engineeringstudents?(2) How does the aerospace engineering education experience influence student perception ofaerospace engineering?(3) What may be done now and in the future to maintain and increase persistence in the field?Multiple regression analysis of results from this survey indicates that most of today’s aerospaceengineering students do in fact desire to have careers in the field and that aerospace workexperiences do have a positive impact on this desire. Results also indicate that there are areas forpotential improvement to further increase student professional persistence in aerospace.
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