You sound like you know where you want do go (or at least know where you don't want to be stuck), so a degree and, further down the line, chartership, will open up more options, such as going into design, analysis and the like. I would also enquire about sponsorship opportunities from your employer.(Original post by robbor)
My current job is an Environmental Navigation and Science Assembly Integration and Test Engineer (pretty long title). I basically look after the assembly, integration and test of one of the ESA science projects going on at the moment. It does have it's cool moments, I'm sitting at a computer half the time, and down in the clean rooms the other half fitting items to the space craft. It's very much a 'beginning to end' kind of job. The only problem is with the Aerospace industry, is that the workload undulates massively, so you could be doing quite literally nothing for 4 weeks, and then have a week of 12 hours days.
But yes, at my age I don't want to sink into a job that i'll stay in for 30 years, and this could quite easily be that kind of job, so I want to keep my options open for as long as possible. By getting a degree and becoming chartered will definitely help me with this - it also means I may get the chance to experience other engineering industries.
Over the Easter break