Five Degrees For People Interested in The Space Industry
Published on: December 08, 2023
Everyone interested in what lies beyond our own world will be familiar with the popular Star Trek quote, “Space, the final frontier. “ For many, shows like Star Trek have piqued their interest in space, while others dream of humanity’s future in the stars. If looking up at the constellation of stars in the sky makes your heart beat faster, then a career involving space could be worth pursuing. The dream for many is to become an astronaut and experience space firsthand, but there are also plenty of other, more down-to-earth options available for people with a fascination with space. Check out the degree options below for inspiration on how to kickstart your career in the space industry.
Students who excel in physics and math can benefit from a degree in astronomy. A Bachelor of Science in Astronomy degree is a good stepping stone for students who want to work at astronomical facilities or attend graduate school. This degree teaches students the principal findings, common applications as well and current problems within the scientific discipline of astronomy. Students are also taught the computational methods and software resources that professional astronomers use. Astronomy degrees also feature hands-on components to provide students with the experience needed to operate modern astronomical instruments and teach them how to analyze a range of experimental data. Online degrees like the Bachelor of Science in Astronomical and Planetary Sciences are also available. These degrees teach students the scientific foundations and fundamentals of solace exploration while teaching skills in coding and problem-solving. In addition to working as an astronomer, an astronomy degree can also be combined with other learning programs to find employment as astrophysicists, planetarium directors, associate professors, technical writers, and more.
Physics degrees integrate natural science with mathematical analysis to introduce students to the properties, structure, and movements of matter as well as its behavior in time and space. Physics has different branches, including astronomy and astrophysics, that deal with questions regarding the universe and how it began, developed, and continues to function. In addition, students can choose whether they want to focus on theoretical or applied physics. The former involves developing new models to explain the interactions between matter and energy, while the latter involves testing models and theories against practical experiments. Associate's and bachelor’s degrees in physics can lead to entry-level positions in the space industry, but completing a master’s degree allows students to specialize within the discipline and choose something like astrophysics. A physics degree can lead to a variety of science-related careers in the space industry.
Students interested in the aerospace and defense industries can earn an aerospace engineering degree. This degree teaches students how to design and maintain things like commercial aircraft, jets, and missiles and the equipment needed for the space industry, such as spacecraft, rockets, and satellites. Completing an aerospace engineering degree provides students with working knowledge of thermodynamics, solid and fluid mechanics, gas dynamics, control system design, and aerodynamics, to name just a few. A lot of the most difficult challenges in space exploration require the knowledge of aerospace engineering experts to solve. In addition to working with aerospace and aeronautical companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and The Boeing Company, many aerospace engineering graduates also find employment with NASA.
Computer Engineering is a great degree choice for students who want to work in the space industry. A lot of the technology used in the space industry is either autonomous or relies heavily on computer systems for operation. A computer engineering degree teaches students the skills that are in demand in the aerospace, aviation, military, and commercial industries. This degree has valuable applications in embedded systems, uncrewed aerial vehicles, and robotics, which are all used in the space industry. Common career paths include network engineers, computer engineers, and IT architects. Computer engineers are also responsible for analyzing space projects' computational tasks and recommending the software and instruments needed to fulfill those.
A lot of the skills needed for the aerospace industry are also useful for the space industry. This makes an avionics technology degree useful for students who are interested in becoming avionics technicians. Working as an avionics technician involves keeping aircraft or spacecraft in top shape. Avionic technicians can work as bench technicians who specialize in repairing broken equipment or system troubleshooters, overseeing how functional components fit together in the larger machine. In addition, avionic technicians can work as line technicians who ensure that everything related to the aircraft or spacecraft is assembled correctly to ensure sake takeoffs.
While it is true that jobs related to astronomy and space science are limited, there are also not many people with the drive and determination to qualify for these positions. While the degrees listed above can prepare students for jobs in the space industry, the knowledge and skills they attain can be used in a variety of other industries. There are also plenty of other degrees that can lead to careers in the space industry as it employs everyone from accountants and technicians to project managers, scientists, and much more. In addition, as the industry continues to grow and mature, there will be more room for visionaries and entrepreneurs to spearhead their own companies that deal with space exploration.