10 tips on how to pursue a career in the space sector

Do you dream of a career in the space sector? If you find out what skills and experience you will need and work hard to acquire them, that dream is within your reach. There are many paths that could lead you to an exciting career in the space sector.

Here are 10 tips from professionals in the space sector to help you make your dream come true.

1. Take as many science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes as you can.

If you're not sure which field you'd like to get into, take as many general science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) and math classes as possible. This will ensure that you're keeping all doors open when it comes time for you to decide on a university program.

Students in a science class.

2. Find a field that you love.

Your top priority should be doing something that is close to your heart. Many fields would allow you to work in the space sector, such as engineering, science or even medicine. The key is to find the one that interests you most. That way, you’ll be eager to pursue your education and your career!

3. Be prepared to study.

Most space-related positions require excellence in science, technology, engineering or mathematics and a college or university degree.

4. Become a space buff.

Consult websites, read books and magazines, watch space science shows and visit space exhibitions at museums to learn about past, present and future endeavours in space. You can also go to a space camp to fuel your imagination with hands-on activities.

2017-02-23 - SpaceX Dragon spacecraft approaches Canadarm2 and the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

5. Get informed and get involved!

2015-04-15 - Grade 6 students in London, Ontario, plant Tomatosphere seeds with Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen and Bonnie Schmidt, President and Founder of Let's Talk Science, to analyze the effects of spaceflight on tomato seeds. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

6. Volunteer.

Volunteering is a rewarding experience that will impress potential employers. You can volunteer through many space and student organizations, such as SEDS-Canada, the Planetary Society and Canada FIRST Robotics.

7. Choose a work-study program.

Candidates are often hired after doing an internship at a company. This is your opportunity to try various jobs so you can find out what you really enjoy.

2015-10-10 - Stefan Damkjar, electrical engineering student at the University of Alberta, building the Ex-Alta 1 CubeSat as part of the university's participation in the QB50 mission. (Credits: Charles Nokes, University of Alberta)

8. Hone your English.

Strong communication skills in English are essential for working in the space industry. A good working knowledge of other languages can be a great asset too, because the conquest of space is an international project!

9. Cultivate your imagination with science fiction.

Science fiction lets your imagination take you through time and space. You'll discover that, in many cases, what was science fiction yesterday has become a reality today.

10. Work hard and hold on to your dreams.

Your future begins now. If you apply yourself and keep sight of your dreams, one day, you may become part of tomorrow's space reality.

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