Career prospects in the Aerospace & Defence

A variety of cutting-edge machines roaring over Bengaluru’s skies during the Aero India event in February has got people thinking about the Aerospace and Defence (A&D) industry.

Here are a few trends in this sector 

Commercial Aerospace: This dramatic reduction in passenger traffic in the aftermath of the pandemic has also affected the demand for aircrafts.

This sector is expected to recover to pre–COVID-19 levels by 2024. 

Defence Sector: As most countries have not significantly cut down defence budgets, the defence sector is expected to remain stable in 2021. However, disruption in the global supply chain could see defence programs facing cost increases and delays in schedule. 

Emerging technologies Technological developments in 2021 are likely to drive growth of the industry. 

• Electric propulsion: 2021 could see experimental flights using electric propulsion systems, which are touted to reduce carbon emissions, make flights quieter and decrease costs.

• Hydrogen-powered: Hydrogen fuel as a power source in aircraft is being pursued by many manufacturers leading to improved fuel-efficiency and environment-friendly. 

Hypersonics: In 2021, hypersonic test-flights are likely. Hypersonic planes will cruise at altitude of 95,000 feet, much higher than present commercial Aircrafts (45,000 feet).

Job opportunities

The Indian A&D market forecast for 2030 is US $70 billion

Engineers: Research design and development of aircraft, space shuttles, missiles, etc

Thermal Engineer: Design systems to transform thermal-energy into chemical, mechanical and electrical energy.

Production Engineer/Manager: Testing, Quality-control, marketing, pricing of various products

Structural Engineer: Developing/Building/Testing structures of aircraft.

CAD Technician: Using CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) software to create engineering drawings of parts/products

Technicians: To support manufacturing, development, service

Project Management (PM): The PM function is vital across the A&D industry, increased demand for project controllers, project support staff and more specialised roles such as technical authors. While pathways into PM are varied, steps include qualifications in Engineering and Management. 

Non-Technical roles: Finance, Sales, Purchase, Clerical, HR, Infrastructure  

Qualification required 

Engineering degree (Diploma for technician) in Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Instrumentation, Telecommunication, Aeronautical, Computer Science, Industrial Production. 


Good verbal/written communication, mathematical & problem-solving skills team-work, adaptability. Passion for Engineering practices, technology, research.

Other skills 

Excellent physical and mental health, alertness, presence of mind, ability withstand fatigue of long/late-night working hours, traveling at short notice.

Engineers can get into Defence by writing the CDS-Combined Defence Services Examination. Candidate must be in good physical and mental health, no bodily defects or over-weight, minimum acceptable height for male candidates is 157.5 cms, and 152 cms for woman. Candidates with permanent body tattoos may be disqualified, please check for more details re this. 

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