Internships and student jobs in the space sector
When you imagine your future, do you picture yourself building spacecraft, using space technologies to improve the quality of life on Earth, or even going into space? As a student, all of those options are open to you, but it's not always easy to know where to start.
To help you, here are the answers to some of the most common questions regarding opportunities, internships and student jobs at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and in the space sector.
- What should I study to work in the space industry?
- What should I study to become an astronaut?
- How can I find an internship or a student job in the Canadian space sector?
- How do I apply for an internship or a student job at the CSA?
- How can I participate in school projects or events funded by the CSA?
What should I study to work in the space industry?
There are many different careers and areas of expertise in the space industry, so before deciding what to specialize in, please read our 10 tips on how to pursue a career in the space industry.
The next step is to find a subject that you love and learn more about the careers in that field. Explore the different careers in the space sector and have a look at the profiles of some of the fantastic people who work at the CSA. There are a variety of universities in Canada where you can obtain a degree in a space-related discipline.
What should I study to become an astronaut?
There are no specific courses to take to become an astronaut. However, astronauts all have a few things in common: an education in science or technology, excellent health, and outstanding qualities and skills.
Our advice to anyone who wants to become an astronaut, or to excel in any field, is as follows:
- Pick a subject/career you love and throw yourself into it
- Stay fit and treat your body right
- Put yourself in challenging situations (backcountry camping, hiking, leadership roles, etc.) to become more resourceful and alert under pressure
For more information on what it takes to become an astronaut, visit the requirements and conditions of employment page. You can also read up on all the great Canadian astronauts to learn about their journeys to becoming Canada's representatives in space.
How can I find an internship or a student job in the Canadian space sector?
A good way to find a job or an internship is to search the Canadian space directory for a list of the organizations involved in Canada's space industry. Once you've found organizations you're interested in, you can use their contact information or visit their website to find out if they have any opportunities for students.
How do I apply for an internship or a student job at the CSA?
As a Government of Canada agency, the CSA is subject to the Student Employment Policy. This means that to be eligible for an internship or a student job at the CSA, students must be enrolled in one of the following approved programs.
Post-secondary Co-operative (CO-OP) Education and Internship Program
The CO-OP/Internship Program is a way to get hands-on experience in your field of study as part of your academic program. Participation is limited to students enrolled in programs approved by the Public Service Commission.
If you are a CO-OP/internship student and the CSA has sent an offer to your school for your program of study, you can apply directly through your school.
If there are no CSA opportunities open to your school, you can ask your student placement coordinator to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about the programs at your academic institution.
Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP)
You can also get work experience at the CSA through the FSWEP. Simply submit an application to the Ongoing Student Recruitment Inventory, and managers in the federal public service will gain access to your résumé.
If you fit the requirements for a student job opportunity at the CSA, you may be contacted by a manager for an interview.
Research Affiliate Program (RAP)
Conduct research related to your degree program and gain experience through the Research Affiliate Program. You can find and apply to open RAP jobs by creating a public service jobs account.
You can also visit the youth and student employment page for more information about job opportunities and hiring programs for students and the jobs and the workplace page to learn more about working in the federal government.
How can I participate in school projects or events funded by the CSA?
Projects and opportunities for students
The CSA funds school and research projects across Canada to give students real-life experience and to support research, awareness and learning in space science and technology.
- The Tomatosphere project and the Canada from Space Giant Floor Map are great examples of how to take an interest in space in elementary school and high school.
- At the university level, you could participate in projects that would allow you to:
- Canadian post-secondary students are eligible to take part in:
- some of the European Space Agency's (ESA's) opportunities, thanks to the Cooperation Agreement between Canada and ESA
- internships as part of the NASA I2 Project
To learn more about these and other initiatives, visit our grants and contributions page and our Funding opportunities page.
The CSA also takes part in many public events across the nation every year, such as the Eureka! festival and Beakerhead. Go to our events calendar and follow us on social media for more details.
The CSA also sponsors post-secondary students to participate in space conferences like the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). Opportunities are listed on our Funding opportunities page.
If you are organizing an event or a school activity, you can invite an astronaut or an expert from the CSA to be a speaker.
- Opportunities at the Canadian Space Agency
- 10 tips on how to pursue a career in the space industry
- Humans of the Canadian Space Agency
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