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Learn aerospace engineering with online courses and programs

Aerospace engineering is critical to the design and production of the products that enable air travel, space exploration, and defense. Learn more about aerospace engineering with online courses delivered through edX.

What is aerospace engineering?

Aerospace engineering is a field of engineering specifically focused on the design, development, and testing of aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles.Footnote 1 This field requires engineers to apply the sciences of aerodynamics, propulsion systems, structural design, avionics, and more in order to create new technology. Designing these products can be very complex processes that take multiple years. Engineers will need to understand the customer’s requirements, assess project proposals for feasibility and safety, develop a design plan, create and test prototypes, and inspect and address any problems related to malfunctioning equipment. Governments are often the largest customers of the aerospace industry.Footnote 2

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Aerospace engineering course curriculum

Launching your aerospace engineering education through edX allows you to choose from a wide variety of online coursework. Learn introductory and foundational topics in aerospace engineering, such as the basic principles behind rocket science, orbital mechanics, and best practices for astronaut safety. Other aerospace engineering courses can dive deeper into the logistics of propulsion systems, space flight, and aircraft design. 

Beginners can explore courses that cover fundamental engineering principles to set themselves up for success in a professional program. Industry professionals looking to accelerate their careers can explore advanced degrees or programs on more specialized topics, such as hypersonics, which focuses on studying flight speeds greater than Mach 5, or forensics engineering, which examines what goes wrong and how to prevent disasters from reoccurring.

Explore aerospace engineering jobs

There are many exciting roles available for individuals pursuing an aerospace career. Two general types of aerospace engineers are:Footnote 3

  • Aeronautical engineers, who work with aircraft. They focus on designing aircraft and propulsion systems and study the aerodynamic performance of aircraft and construction materials. They work with the theory, technology, and practice of flight within Earth’s atmosphere.

  • Astronautical engineers, who work with the science and technology of spacecraft, examining how they perform inside and outside Earth’s atmosphere. Their work extends to small satellites such as CubeSats and traditional large satellites.

Other aerospace engineering job titles and responsibilities can span different sectors and consist of varying duties.Footnote 4 They may include, but are not limited to:

  • Electrical engineers, who work on the design, development, buildup, testing, and integration of electrical power systems for space vehicles.

  • Product review engineers, who evaluate performance and other issues on aircraft production lines.

  • Research scientists, who work in specific areas such as modeling and simulation, potentially involving but not limited to electromagnetic radiation, fluid dynamics, and material properties.

  • Flight planning and requirements engineers, who support projects such as the International Space Station Program by coordinating and communicating planned visiting vehicle traffic to different NASA organizations, contractors, and international partners.

  • Program managers, who lead teams and projects that involve various aspects of airplane and/or spacecraft design and manufacturing.

How to become an aerospace engineer online

Aerospace engineering is a challenging field of study that requires a deep understanding of computer science and aerospace systems. But learners can gain the skills and knowledge they need to become an aerospace engineer through online learning. To build a foundation in STEM, they can pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or other relevant disciplines. Professionals can accelerate their career trajectory by pursuing a master’s degree in engineering or a related field. A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for professionals in engineering roles, and there may be additional licensing requirements depending on the level of job role and the location.Footnote 5

If you are interested in leveraging the convenience of online learning, get started with edX today. From specialized boot camps that can help you build your professional skill set to full master’s degree programs from accredited universities, there are different learning formats that can help propel your professional development forward. 

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