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What degree to get a job at Boeing

Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:33 pm

My councilors have been worse than useless. I am about to get a transfer AA degree from a community college, and have just learned that I cannot be accepted to the UW without picking a major. I have always loved airplanes, flying, and traveling. I would have happily became a commercial pilot. However, even in good economic times, that career is extremely hard to get started in, and now it is basically hopeless if I don't want a below minimum wage salary that requires commuting across the country. I haven't taken a single college level math class as of yet. I hate general math classes, but I actually become enthralled in math once I see it being used practically. I enjoy doing things with computers. I can dm you my course list if you think you could help me. I realize this isn't a life help forum, but I am really at a loss for who to turn to at this point.
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Re: What degree to get a job at Boeing

Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:23 pm

What specifically do you want to do with Boeing? They have a diverse operation to support their primary function of aerospace. If you want to be an engineer, then go into engineering. If software/IT, go for a computer science/IT related degree. If you want to work in their legal department, go to law school. A more general business or finance degree may be useful for management/financial/procurement positions.

But in all cases, if you go through school with the only goal of working for Boeing, you will be very disappointed. Betting your education on just one company that may or may not have future positions available and is currently in hot water is not smart. Broaden your horizons to the industry as a whole, and have a backup plan if this industry downturn continues/another one happens again.
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Re: What degree to get a job at Boeing

Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:04 pm

Not gonna lie, hating math is not a good starting point for a college degree. Especially not for anything engineering related.

Also, as N965UW already states, you should not get a degree with the expectation of working for any particular company. That's for two reasons; one is that large corporations like Boeing can pick and choose from a whole bunch of graduates, so you'll need some luck for the application; the other is that most degrees can be used at many companies and even various different industries, so depending on your circumstances it might be better for you to pick a job at a company that's not Boeing.

Boeing is an OEM to the airlines but there are hundreds of less known suppliers. Examples are tier 1 suppliers like GE (engines) or Spirit (fuselages), but there's also suppliers for avionics, sheet metal, fasteners, tools, seats, hydraulics, ... . Boeing only takes all these ready-made parts and assembles them to a complete aircraft.

Right now, about half of all job vacancies at Boeing are engineering related. The others are in administration, project management, production, HR, marketing or PR. Not all of them require a college degree. If you want to get into engineering, I highly recommend to get a broad introduction to all engineering fields (electrical, software, mechanical, aerodynamics). If not, you should still try to get a basic understanding of how engineers and airplanes work.

Industrial and production engineering are a good starting point for a career in project management and don't dive into maths quite as deep, though you'll still need to learn the fundamentals. If you don't like theoretical maths, I'm not going to recommend computer sciences because most courses place a heavy emphasis on them. You might not need it for your job but you'll have to pass the exams. The same applies to electrical and, to a slightly lesser extent, mechanical engineering. Once you get past the introductory classes, all of these can be very rewarding however when you get to apply your knowledge on projects.
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Re: What degree to get a job at Boeing

Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:38 pm

Get a degree that is widely applicable. Engineering, physics, materials science. Once you're at the point that you can get your "dream job", companies tend not to be super interested in the specifics as long as you have a degree in an applicable field. You'll learn most of what you need in the job anyway.

As mentioned above, don't target a specific company early on in your career. Take any job you can get, and once there start honing your skills. It takes years of hard work to be able to target a dream job and get it. And by then your goals may have changed, and other fine opportunities may present themselves.

Show that you can work hard. Don't complain. Show initiative. Be helpful and positive at work. Those things will further your career.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
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Re: What degree to get a job at Boeing

Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:10 am

Are you in the Seattle area? Ping me if you'd like to grab a socially-distanced beverage and discuss at length.
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Re: What degree to get a job at Boeing

Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:57 pm

I have a friend at Boeing, former coworker. He has a chemistry degree and works in Environmental health and safety
15 years ago

I got $20 says AA takes their 787's with GE powerplants. Just a hunch. Any takers?
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Re: What degree to get a job at Boeing

Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:41 pm

"Monkey" or "Clown" should be on the resume.

Reading accident reports is what calms me down
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Re: What degree to get a job at Boeing

Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:07 am

I have a friend working there who studied aviation maintenance. Don't know if that program is available.

That said, You can try to get in as a recent grad, but just try and get into the industry. You can look to job hop from there but the most important thing is to get your foot on a rung of the ladder.

Also there are tons of jobs you've never even thought of related to aviation. I work for a company with around 30 employees that you've never heard of that makes flight simulators. All of the fun theory with none of the hearing loss.

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