Aviation Week Releases Annual A&D Workforce Study

Aerospace Corp. Earns Top Rankings; Trend Among Young Professionals Reversing: 63% Plan To Stay In Industry Despite Market Disruption

Aug 20, 2012, 12:14 ET from Aviation Week

NEW YORK, Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Aerospace Corp. sweeps company rankings in Aviation Week's 16th Annual Workforce Study released today, pushing employees to bring value to every conversation and assuring personal skills are valued.  This is the first time a single organization has claimed top honors in all three categories of "Where A&D Professionals Want to Work" — technological challenge, valuing and respecting the individual, and learning/professional development.

Aviation Week's Workforce Study, the industry's official report and a mainstay for A&D planning and trend analysis since 1997, identifies trends in technological challenges, leadership, demographics and compensation, and ranks the top universities for A&D recruitment.  This year, the study results reveal 63% of A&D young professionals plan to continue working within industry through retirement, reversing the multi-year trend of this demographic pursuing careers in other industries.

New for the 2012 study, Aviation Week used three lenses to examine the schools most likely to supply the STEM talent needed for the future: 1) the preferred, go-to schools for hiring quality grads; 2) the universities where A&D hired the most graduates; and 3) the schools young professionals believe give them the edge in being hired and being promoted.

University Study Results

Corporate Preference

By Number Hired

YP Perceived Value to Career

1. California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)

1. Iowa State University


1. Georgia Institute of Technology


2. Purdue University



2. University of Washington



2. (tie) Purdue University, Virginia Tech, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

3. (tie) University of Maryland and Rochester Institute of Technology

3. Purdue University


3. California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)

4. Georgia Institute of Technology



4. (tie) University of Iowa and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

4. Penn State University



5. Virginia Tech


5. Georgia Institute of Technology


5. (tie) Brigham Young University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

"2012 marks another year of pressure and change for the aerospace and defense industry," said Greg Hamilton, president, Aviation Week. "Despite enormous uncertainty in the defense sector, U.S. A&D companies plan to fill some 28,000 jobs next year, and the forecast is for continued hiring as the industry brings into balance retirements, emerging talent needs, growth in the commercial sector and potential declines in defense and space."

The study reveals who is hiring, the geographic regions where opportunities are greatest, and how A&D leaders plan to compete for the best and brightest.  To attract people to an industry garnering headlines about job cuts, the industry continues to outpace other sectors in pay increases.  A&D pay increase was 2.7% and challenger Gray and Christmas reports that for industry overall the increase was 2.4% and Computerworld reported IT pay increased by 1.7%.

The 2012 Workforce Study is produced by Aviation Week in collaboration with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), and provides a single source of reliable data that analyzes current A&D workforce issues, trends and opportunities. Other key highlights include:

  • Over 40% of the young professionals owe on student loans, almost 30% with loans of more than $40,000, and they have to consider that debt before looking at job moves or opportunities.
  • A&D manufacturing has been the strong point of the American economy for the past four years. Now with improved energy costs, improved technology, and renewed partnerships to create the high-end skill base needed for 21st century manufacturing, one of the hottest spots for off-shoring is right here at home. Companies have landed new manufacturing facilities in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

The Workforce Study was launched in 1997 to share information about compensation and job/career opportunities across the industry. Over the past 15 years, the study has grown to include a demographic reflection of the workforce, comparisons with other industry sectors, and identification of key issues and trends that impact the overall health of the industry. In addition, the study includes components designed to provide data on how best to attract, retain and develop the workforce into the future. Findings are based on corporate data from large and small manufacturers that collectively employ more than 90% of U.S. aerospace workers, an Aviation Week user/reader survey, a survey of young professionals, and a survey of engineering students.

More information on the Workforce Study is available in this week's Aviation Week & Space Technology and at www.AviationWeek.com/workforce (summary data only; full access available to Aviation Week Intelligence Network/AWIN subscribers).

About Aviation Week:

Aviation Week, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is the largest multimedia information and services provider for the global aviation, aerospace and defense industries. Industry professionals rely on Aviation Week for analysis, marketing and intelligence. Customers include the world's leading manufacturers, suppliers, airlines, militaries, governments and other organizations that serve this global market. Aviation Week produces data and analytics services including the Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN), industry-leading events around the world, as well as ShowNews and Business & Commercial Aviation.

On July 2, 2012, the group's flagship Aviation Week & Space Technology (AW&ST) relaunched with an even greater focus on technology, business and operations that has long been the brand's hallmark.  In addition to civil, military and space, AW&ST's market coverage is further expanded with new monthly Defense Technology and MRO editions to include land and sea and aftermarket insights. 

Aviation Week's 2012 digital expansion includes a redesigned AviationWeek.com for deeper community engagement and navigation and a comprehensive technology upgrade to the Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN).  AWIN, the industry's essential integrated business tool, now has increased capability through more fleet and MRO data and an expanded team of data analysts.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:

McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

SOURCE Aviation Week