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.
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.
5. Get informed and get involved!
- Tell your teachers about your interest in a space-related career.
- Ask your career counsellor for the names of professional associations you can contact for information on space careers.
- Talk with people who work in the field. They'll be happy to answer your questions!
- Call and visit companies in the space sector; many of them welcome students on an appointment basis. This will help you learn facets of the job that are not always covered in an educational setting.
- Take part in hands-on projects (CubeSat project, Mars Sample Return Simulation, Tomatosphere, etc.).
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.
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.
- Canadian space directory
- Funding programs and opportunities
- Internships and student jobs in the space sector
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