It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to find information about space-tech careers, so here is a useful guide on where to look.
Space, that great unknown, has proved to be a major draw for millions of little kids down through the years. Events like the first moon landing and popular culture titans like Star Trek have cemented space exploration as the greatest, out-of-this-world adventure ever.
Unfortunately, reality hits for most little kids turned big kids and at some point in their lives, they realise that the selection process to be a NASA astronaut is too stringent. For example, you can kiss your childhood dreams of being an astronaut goodbye if you grow much beyond six feet tall. But what a lot of people don’t realise is you don’t have to go into space on a rocket to work in the space exploration business.
You can have a career in the cosmos from the comfort of the ground. Well, kind of. Space technology is a very lucrative and specialised sector to work in and if you set your sights on it you’ll have to work hard and keep up to speed with all the latest tech trends. From working on satellites gathering data in space to making the materials for rockets that are being launched into the stratosphere, the kinds of careers out there for space fans are limitless.
That said, because space technology is such a niche area it can be difficult to know where to look for career guidance and jobs. With this in mind, we decided to compile a list of resources for anyone thinking they might want to check out space-tech jobs in Ireland and further afield.
NASA doesn’t really need an introduction, other than to point out that if you did miss the boat, or rocket, to become an astronaut there are plenty of tech, research and engineering opportunities instead. Check them out on its careers page.
The Aerospace Corporation
This California-headquartered organisation has been around since the ’60s. It assists various US bodies including NASA, the United States Airforce and the National Reconnaissance Office with R&D for space missions. It also works with commercial customers and universities.
It employs scientists, researchers and technologists to work on the entire lifecycle of a space mission, from the development of hardware and software to the launch process.
The corporation’s careers page has links to information and opportunities for students and graduates, as well as those who know they are interested in specific topics such as systems engineering, electronics and sensors, communication technologies and engineering.
Space Talent has worked with some of the big names in space-tech such as Arbol, Skywatch, Planet and SpaceX. It bills itself as “the destination for careers in space-tech,” boasting a talent network with more than 600 companies and an extensive jobs board.
Its FAQ page is a decent place to start if you are completely new to the world of space-tech careers. If you want to use its employer-employee matchmaking service, you can sign up for the talent network. This involves submitting your CV, selecting what you are interested in and where you would like to work. The service shows you employers looking for people with your skills and experience and makes recommendations based on your profile.
The careers in space section of the RHEA Group’s website is, as you probably guessed, entirely devoted to engineers and scientists who want to explore the industry. You can search for international job opportunities across a variety of subdisciplines, sign up for a weekly jobs newsletter and gain an insight into the kinds of qualifications and skills you’ll need, depending on what you want to do and who you want to work for.
As well as general space careers information, there is also a list of vacancies at RHEA itself. The Belgian-headquartered global company has been operating in the sector for 30 years now.
Space Careers is simply a jobs board for people who want to work in the space-tech industry. It’s very easy to use and you can receive job alerts and build a profile for recruiters to see you.
European Space Agency
The ESA is a major employer of European space-tech talent, and if you want to grow your career in Europe you should definitely familiarise yourself with its work. The careers section of its website has links to ESA vacancies as well as links to ESA careers fairs, open days and information on how to navigate your own career path.
European Union Agency for the Space Programme
EUSPA oversees a lot of the projects such as satellite navigation programmes and the security of the EU space programme. It works closely with innovators and businesses to develop technology to advance Europe’s space strategy.
The careers section of its website has links to traineeships as well as jobs for temporary workers and experienced people.
European Southern Observatory
Headquartered in Germany, the European Space Observatory’s careers page is definitely one you should keep an eye on if you are interested in astronomy. It is currently listing a variety of deep-tech and tech roles such as photonics engineer, systems administrator and engineering fellow. It is also seeking science communication interns.
International Space Station
The ISS National Laboratory regularly posts employment opportunities on its careers page. It works very closely with NASA and is headquartered in Florida.
Ireland’s Space Industry Directory
We may get overlooked sometimes with all the international space activity, but there are so many Irish space-tech companies doing us proud right now. If you want to work for a small, domestic start-up it can be difficult to find opportunities but here is a little cheat that will save you from scouring the internet for elusive Irish space start-up lists.
This page on Enterprise Ireland’s website has a list of Irish space-tech employers it works with. It includes players like Varadis, Ubotica and PlasmaBound.
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
DIAS’ remit is asking big research questions and Celtic society so it is no surprise that it looks to the stars sometimes. It runs the Dunsink Observatory and employs researchers and scientists specialising in astronomy, astrophysics and geophysics among others. Its researchers collaborate extensively with international agencies so if you are interested in space research do keep up with its pretty stellar output.
C-Space was set up at University College Dublin in late 2020 with a view to being a dedicated research hub for the Irish space industry. It also focuses heavily on nurturing the next generation of skilled space workers, providing professional training courses and learning paths for a range of different skill levels.
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