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What is National Defense?

Engineers working in national defense have the opportunity to help guard our country against threats to national peace and security. From designing military-grade vehicles to building electronics for surveillance, engineers have numerous opportunities to work in national defense.

Majors that Could Lead to National Defense Careers

Students interested in national defense careers could start their career paths through several majors offered by the Texas A&M University College of Engineering.

See below for a list of some of our majors that could lead to a national defense career.

  • Aerospace engineeringAerospace engineers provide expertise in support of defense strategies. They design and specialize in military aircraft and equipment. They also advise on projects and test equipment and use learned business skills to consult on policies to meet federal government standards.
  • Computer engineering: Computer engineers focus on hardware and software which are used by defense systems.
  • Computer science: Studies in graphics and computational photography guide computing professionals to help analyze information from drone and satellite images. Software designers, interacting with geographic information system information, can create weapons systems using smart technology to provide super-accurate weapon targeting, and cybersecurity specialists work to provide critical defense of our nation’s protective systems from outside attacks.
  • Electrical engineeringElectrical engineers work on the hardware development of systems for defense, electronic warfare, weapon guidance and navigation.
  • Electronic systems engineering technologyElectronic systems engineering technology majors learn to develop hardware and software for embedded system applications used by U.S. Department of Defense industries.
  • Industrial and systems engineering: Industrial engineers work in government and contract organizations, helping keep the nation and world safe. They can be seen in most government sectors working to create productive systems.
  • Industrial distribution: Industrial distribution focuses on the procurement, warehousing, materials management, supply planning and logistics to support military as well as defense manufacturers.
  • Manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology: Manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology majors learn to work with mechanical and manufacturing systems used by national defense and security systems.
  • Materials science and engineering: Materials engineers develop critical materials for aerospace, personnel protection and new sensors. As examples, Texas A&M University researchers are involved in designing new self-healing plastics and materials to rapidly wick away heat to keep U.S. Department of Defense electronics systems cool.
  • Mechanical engineeringMechanical engineers work on design, maintenance and construction activities in support of military equipment, facilities and installations.
  • Multidisciplinary engineering: Engineers can combine systems engineering, software engineering, manufacturing engineering, supply chain management and industrial analysis to obtain jobs in the government section and national defense. Also learn about our cybersecurity minor.
  • Multidisciplinary engineering technology: Mechatronics systems are heavily deployed in defense systems.
  • Nuclear engineering: As long as nuclear weapons exist, nuclear engineers will be needed to work across the state and nation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ensure the security and safety of nuclear materials. 
  • Ocean engineering: In addition to the analysis and design of military ships and submarines, ocean engineers are a vital part of the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research, Navy civilian laboratories and research centers (such as the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Naval Undersea Warfare Center), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering Research and Development Center, as well as divisions and districts. They also serve in the U.S. Marines and Army in military careers and conduct ocean monitoring and mapping for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Finally, ocean engineers work in the application of underwater acoustics for search, communication and mapping in the oceans and other water bodies.