Spirit of adventure, exploration and discovery, combined with the results of classic engineering at its highest: the creation of extraordinary machines and control systems of amazing complexity. These are the ingredients that give Aerospace Engineering studies a special charm. Certainly not all aerospace engineers end up designing a breakthrough aircraft or being part of the exciting descent of an interplanetary probe on a distant planet. But there is no doubt that this degree opens the doors to "frontier" engineering environments, where the bases of the most advanced new technologies are built. To name but a few, in aeronautical and space engineering you apply and refine the philosophies of multidisciplinary design, you are confronted with issues of safety and reliability, you study and experience the management of more complex systems. Politecnico di Torino, in particular, is offering you a training which is strongly inspired by international models: to get ready to face challenges in Europe and worldwide where many aerospace engineering graduates from Turin have found employment.
From the beginning of the century to date, Aerospace has always required a workforce that is highly qualified and highly prone to innovation. This is true, now more than ever: the challenges in competing on the global market and the increasing complexity, required in systems and structures in order to meet the needs of international customers (large airline companies, space agencies ...), imply increasingly high system integration levels. Environmental implications further strengthen this process, as well as those related to the emerging concept of sustainable development.
In the past decades, aerospace had been characterized as the industrial sector, of the developed countries, with the highest research intensity. To this end, in some companies the level of investment reaches 30% of total global income, a percentage which is much higher than in any other high-tech sector. For the European aerospace industry this means that they need to find young engineers who are continually motivated and talented, to enlist them not only nationally, but also in Europe and in the rest of the world. They are often fought over by various companies even just after a few years of work experience. This competition for the best engineers also extends to neighbouring industrial sectors, such as automotive, mechanical, energy and even electronic - computer. Many students who choose aerospace studies are indeed employed in other areas because of their particular scientific knowledge and technical skills, albeit acquired focusing on aerospace, but increasingly sought elsewhere.
n the last decade the European aerospace industry has employed an average 350,000 people, with a good 10% in Italy. If on the one hand these figures show a noteworthy position of Italy in Europe, they also indicate on the other hand that from the perspective of future employment the scenario cannot only be national. This is also due to the fact that the corporations employing these numbers may be the same in different countries, either because they are cross border transnational companies (like EADS and Airbus), or they are joint ventures (like Thales Alenia Space and Alcatel, Agusta and Westland, KLM and Air France...) or, finally, they are co-operations on specific projects (Alenia Macchi- Boeing and many more)
The consolidation of the aerospace industry and the relative increase in the rate of productivity per employee have increased the turnover to an average 14.5% in the past years, simply at an R&D level. It is a high percentage that demonstrates the excellence of the sector in advanced technologies. In other words, with 19% of all employed people in R&D, 29% of which with a university diploma or similar, the aerospace sector is certainly at the forefront in employing young graduates.
It should be added that, beside the so-called key players (large companies, agencies and transport companies) the Aerospace sector includes an impressive amount of related industries made of suppliers, consultants ..., so the numbers of employees mentioned above can easily double. Nor must we forget the nationally and internationally located European research centres, and, more in general, the entire scientific community, that interacts frequently with the aerospace world, since they also depend on the availability of highly qualified personnel in this area.
In conclusion, considering an average work period of 30 years for each employee, a simple calculation leads to a need, only in the major aerospace companies, for annual replacements of over 2,600 experts in R & D, most of them engineers. It is true, not all of them are aerospace engineers (the industry also needs other specializations), but this is more than compensated by their demand from other sectors. To weigh such a demand, just consider that important European universities, with training specifically indicated for the aerospace industry and located in regions that are absolutely strategic for it (and therefore particularly advantaged in placing their graduates in it), regularly see more than half of their engineers attracted by other external sectors.