What are other career options for a puzzle-loving aerospace engineer?
August 22, 2014 6:27 AM   Subscribe

I have been an aerospace engineer at a major aerospace company for 15 years, and I'm ready to try something different. I would really like to do something that involves diagnosing problems or solving puzzles. I love crosswords, cryptograms, logic puzzles, jigsaw puzzles. I hate team management/herding cats/politics.

The range of things I'm interested in is pretty broad. I like music, art, gardening, science, am a decent photographer, enjoy researching things on the web, know the basics of various programming languages, enjoy learning foreign languages and other new skills. I'd like to not have to start over from scratch with schooling (switching to a medical field might be tough), but don't mind a few classes/certifications. What other careers might I enjoy?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Where are you geographically? This might help limit your focus. One thing to consider is to look at smaller/startup aerospace/robotics firms that might provide a more interesting challenge. If you're interested in solving problems on short-term engagements, consider the consulting field, HOWEVER the consulting life isn't for everyone and that should be considered.

I'm a recovering aero engineer and have been consulting for 10+ years, with a focus on the aero/defense industry. Coding is a good way into another field as well. If there was a dream company you'd like to work for, who would it be and how would you get there?

Feel free to memail me if you'd like to bounce around a few ideas. I appreciate your need for anonymity on this, as I'm freelancing right now I guarantee I don't work for your firm.
posted by Farce_First at 6:51 AM on August 22, 2014

I have a few friends from college with Aero degrees. One works for Boeing, the rest are in the auto industry. It seems like transitioning to a mechanical engineering field would be doable, if staying in engineering is a goal.
posted by COD at 9:06 AM on August 22, 2014

Build a drone to fly fairly tight gps grids over cities with cellular receivers to independently map cell coverage from the various providers. Use these lovely maps to blackmail providers encourage providers to improve service, while at the same time helping your city-mates to find what provider will be locally best.
posted by H. Roark at 9:22 AM on August 22, 2014

I went into aerospace because I liked watching Star Trek as a kid. The harsh reality is that NASA is more like The Office and less like Star Trek. (You) might be better off ... I think ... the way it seems to me. Making up (your) own shows, which might be better than T.V.
posted by Rob Rockets at 10:41 AM on August 22, 2014

Programming. Brush up on those languages you already know - because programming and debugging is all about problem-solving. You just need to find a project (instead of doing boring programming tutorials) and you will suddenly find your problem-solving/engineering gene takes over.
posted by Joh at 11:44 AM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

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