skills


What every rocket scientist needs to know: what color is your parachute?

If you are looking for a book for advice on aerospace careers, you would probably expect me to recommend the book that I wrote in 2014. But if you read only one book this year about a career planning and career changing… You need to read more books!!! That’s why I want to give my […]

parachute career guide

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How to find a group of fellow rocket scientists

Are you feeling lonely? Like you want to find other people who share your passions and interests, but don’t know where they are? Maybe you’ve looked on Meetup.com.  You’ve done a search for “aerospace [your city here]” and it’s come up empty.  (If you haven’t done that yet, now is your chance.) Maybe you have […]


Free career development presentations and videos from AIAA SciTech 2016

Here comes a valuable and exclusive set of videos and presentations to help you advance your career in aerospace. You will be using two of the tips from How To Be a Rocket Scientist when you click the links below: Tip #7: Use free and informal education resources Tip #10: Appreciate and work on the […]

SciTech 2016 video

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How to be a rocket scientist in 2016

Are you wondering how to be a rocket scientist in 2016?  It’s time for us to enter a brand new year!  I hope you are ready for it. What if you turned this dream into a goal?  A goal is just a dream with a deadline, after all. And what if you turned this goal […]


project manager salary

3 benefits of taking a project management approach to your career 2

When I have asked my readers and other people on LinkedIn what topics would be most valuable to them as they pursue their careers in aerospace, PROJECT MANAGEMENT was a common answer.  Reflecting on my own career move into project management, and then obtaining a project management certification (PMP), I agree that this is a […]


How to be a rocket scientist – ready for a new start?

A few months ago, I created a survey to gain insights into the most urgent needs and frustrations of people who have subscribed to this blog.  I thank everyone, once again, who participated in that survey. Some of those people got a follow up email from me to clarify or explain more about their challenges […]

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project management fundamentals

Project Management Fundamentals video from TheoriesInPractice 2

When I have asked aerospace engineers or engineering students what topics they want to gain experience in or get a job in, project management is a popular answer.

Project management is an effective and popular way to advance your career beyond a purely technical role in engineering or science.  It’s what I did, so I know it works!

My experience came first from OJT, or on-the-job training.  The title and formal position came later.

It wasn’t until I had worked full time as a project manager for nine years that I decided to obtain my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI).  To obtain this certification, a person is required to demonstrate significant work experience as a project manager.  Then they must enroll in and pass a course with 35 hours of instruction (when I write this post).  Specifics can be found at the PMI website.

How can you learn about project management faster and sooner than I did?

How can you gain project management knowledge and experience before you have a job as a project manager?

These are excellent questions!  It’s questions like these that I answer in How To Be a Rocket Scientist.

To be a successful aerospace engineer or professional, it takes more than technical skills. It takes resourcefulness, persistence, creativity, and dedication.

Chances are very good that you are already familiar with project management.  You probably have experience with it too.  But unless you are familiar with the terms and concepts used by project management professionals, you won’t appreciate this experience.

When you don’t recognize and appreciate the experience, chances are great that your future or potential managers or employers won’t either.

On the positive side, when you recognize the activities and functions that are an essential part of project management, you’ll be able to jump on opportunities to gain experience with these things when the situations present themselves.

One very effective and accessible way to gain this project management knowledge and experience is to apply Tip #7: Use free and informal educational resources.

I searched YouTube for some short and effective videos on project management fundamentals.  Each of them has their own benefits and limitations.  The one I believe does an excellent job of explaining the key concepts and expectations of a successful project manager is a 10-minute video from two women at TheoriesInPractice. Watch this video to learn the basics of project management in a short and sweet presentation:

You may have trouble with some of the sound quality.  Their example is with a kitchen remodeling. But the content is excellent, and every project shares the same fundamentals, whether it is a kitchen remodeling project, building the next airplane, or engineering a spacecraft to land on Mars.

Are you someone who wants to learn and do more with project management?  Please let me know with a comment below!  And let me know if there are other things about project management in aerospace or aviation that you want to know about.  I’ll look for resources to help you or ask a follow-up question to find out what you have tried so far.

Thanks for navigating your way here to learn and do more with rocket science!


3 ancient Chinese secrets to help you get an aerospace job 6

Over the past two weeks, I have been enjoying more videos from FightMediocrity on YouTube.  The owner and creator makes animated summarizes of books that he reads.  They aren’t ever a straightforward summary of the book.  Instead, he pulls examples or analogies from his own life or modern times to help illustrate the major points […]

Sun Tzu the Art of War

FightMediocrity 7 habits of highly successful people

Learn the 7 habits of highly effective people in under 7 minutes 4

Whether you want to be a rocket scientist or anything else that requires hard work and persistence, success will come when you consistently do the right things to move yourself effectively toward your goals.

A friend of mine and subscriber to this blog (hi David!) referred me to a fantastic YouTube channel called FightMediocrity.  The owner of this channel, Rodney, creates animated summaries of famous and influential books.  Thanks very much for the connection, David!

One of these books, which I’ve also read many years ago and credit to many of my successful habits and results, is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  If you haven’t ever read this book, I highly recommend it. (Stay tuned for an Amazon link.)  You will get an effective and entertaining summary of the book in under 7 minutes by watching the video below.

If you have read the book, I still recommend watching this video as effective positive reinforcement of these powerful principles!

This blog post has been brought to you by Tip #7 from How To Be a Rocket Scientist: 

Use free and informal educational resources!

Thanks for reading, for watching, and for your dedicated interest to do something remarkable in the amazing world of aerospace or aviation!

P.S. Click this link for The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change on Amazon. Your purchase through this link is much appreciated!  Your price doesn’t change, but a small percentage of Amazon’s profits get siphoned off to fuel operations here.  That might mean coffee and donuts, but it’s still highly effective!


Brett Hoffstadt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.