Classroom to Workplace: Knowledge and Skills Learned by Recently Hired Aerospace Engineers

Subhanwit Roy, Yun Dong, Lorenzo Baber, Benjamin Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A primary outcome of the organizational socialization process for new hires is learning how to complete tasks successfully, which requires learning new knowledge and skills. Although researchers have investigated the knowledge and skills essential for engineers in general, research specific to the aerospace industry has been overlooked. Herein, semistructured interviews were used to explore the perspectives of newly graduated aerospace engineers, each with less than three years of work experience, to gather insights into the new knowledge and skills they needed to learn to do their jobs. Ten interviews were analyzed with an open coding process, and the participant responses were classified into different categories of knowledge and skills. The qualitative method generated rich contextual data, allowing us to identify new types of knowledge and skills that are missing from the related literature dominated by quantitative studies. Our findings show that new workers must learn new knowledge and skills related to electronic hardware, software, and aerospace business operations. The study leads to a call to update the curricula of existing aerospace engineering educational programs to help facilitate an easy transition from school to work and enable newcomers, as professionals, to adapt to the ever-changing industry and make valuable contributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-329
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aerospace Information Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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