But what if they’re more interested in engineering? A 2013 Forbes magazine survey of college engineering students found NASA to be the number one dream job for this group, and they continue to be near the top in more recent surveys. Let’s look at where some of their engineers attended college.

NASA’s Engineering and Safety Center consists of the folks who evaluate whether projects NASA is working on meet the strict safety standards necessary for very challenging missions. Here’s where the top engineers in that important office studied as undergrads.

NASA Engineering and Safety Center Leadership

Office of the Director

US Air Force Academy

New Mexico State

U Houston

Southeastern Massachusetts U

Principal Engineers

US Naval Academy

Purdue

U Florida

U Colorado–Boulder

Integration Office

Northwestern

Chief Engineers

Iowa State

U Arizona

U Akron

Penn State

U Puerto Rico

Cal Poly–Pomona

U Alabama

Longwood College

U New Mexico

Technical Fellows

U Illinois (3)

Vanderbilt

U Alabama

St. Louis U

U Massachusetts

Virginia Tech

William and Mary

U Cincinnati (2)

Southeastern Massachusetts U

U Central Florida

SUNY–Buffalo

Western State Colorado U

Albion College

U Houston

U Connecticut

Source: nasa.gov

(last updated 3/31/2021)

And while we’re at it, let’s look at where NASA’s currently active astronauts studied, too.

Currently active NASA astronauts

US Military Academy (6)

US Air Force Academy (4)

U San Diego (2)

UC Santa Barbara

Washington U in St. Louis

Albion College

LeMoyne College

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Tulane

Davidson

Brown

Oregon State

St. John’s U (MN)

Harvard

Southeastern Massachusetts U

U Kansas

US Naval Academy (5)

MIT (3)

U North Carolina Chapel Hill

U Washington

The Citadel

CSU Fullerton

Purdue

U Illinois

North Carolina State

UCLA

Boston U

UC San Diego

Rice

Rensselear

Tennessee Tech

Stanford

Source: nasa.gov

(last updated 3/31/2021)

So, as with students who are interested in business, those headed for careers as rocket scientists—and rocket operators—also seem more likely to find success based on who they are than on where they’ve done their studies.