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Yes I Am A Rocket Scientist..

Or at least I was trained as one. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering just after the Cold War ended. It was funny in that when I began my freshman year, the Dean said look to the left and right of you these people won't be there when you graduate in 5 years. Our starting class occupied the entire staircase of the main engineering hall which was an old 30's building with massive columns. After 5 years of very little sleep and much hard work not too mention a bit of money, I finished with only 19 others. Yes, I was 10th out of 20 in my graduating class. How is that for the Dean's statement. Many changed majors partway through, others dropped out after too much partying (You better not party like its 1999 if you expect to finish an engineer's curriculum.), and us few stayed the course. For me, I knew I couldn't afford to change majors which would require at least 2 more years of school if I didn't stay in engineering. I went into Aerospace rather than Naval engineering thinking I had a better shot at jobs. Boy was I wrong. I've never formally worked as an engineer except when I co-oped. I even took the Professional Engineers exam (like the Bar for engineering) and passed it. Which was truly amazing since it includes all disciplines of engineering most of which you have NO training or education in. I can tell you about the camber of a wing, the control system that controls the rudder, or my specialty when in grad school, the jet engines. But on the electrical, chemical, and nuclear sections, I was basically flying by the seat of my pants.
The education hasn't gone to waste though, because I can see systems and tell how to disassemble or assemble them. I understand most technical manuals, English or no. And of course, I got very familiar with computers and spent many years working in different aspects of the IT industry. But the dream of working at NASA died way before the manned program did.
PrairieDog71 PrairieDog71 41-45, M 2 Responses Jun 8, 2012

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Yeah, they didn't tell us about the other disciplines on the test, so me and my buddies were a bit surprised to say the least. Weirdly, I was the only one who passed with a 70. The others got lower scores even though they graduated with higher GPAs. Of course, I've had a more varied life than them. :)

There were around 40 in my freshman engineering class and only 2 finished so it was a lot like you described and I have also spent most of my career in IT. Congrats on passing the PE, I've heard it is every bit as difficult as you describe.