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A Career in the Space Industry - Is it wishful thinking?

  1. Sep 20, 2011 #1
    Hi all,

    I'm new here and wanting some advice and this forum came up top in Google when I was hunting around for advice with regards to working in the Space industry.

    I'm 34, dropped out of university when I was 19 in the first year (was doing a Physics with Laser Application course at Salford, Greater Manchester, UK) and never got back into it.

    So now I find myself with father time on my back, wanting to get that degree and get into the business of putting things (or indirectly helping put things) into space.

    Am I being unrealistic? I am realistic when I say I know I can't attend university full-time - have too many other overheads now, but am willing to go the distance learning route.

    Just need to know if it's a feasible thing to do or if there are other routes I should pursue.

    I'm sure you've all been asked this a thousand times lately so apologies for the repetitiveness of the request.

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for reading.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2011 #2
    What exactly do you mean putting things into space? Do you simply want to work on anything that might fly in space eventually - like working for BAE (or similar) on satellite parts, or do you mean you want to work for ESA designing missions?

    In general, anything is possible. I know plenty of people who, at your age or older, went back to school to get a degree (or a different degree), so they could switch fields.

    All aspects of working in the space sector are usually very competitive. I am not even sure what the British aerospace industry looks like, are there opportunities for work? Is distance learning going to be a good enough education to compete for the jobs available? These are some questions I would consider answering before embarking on this effort. I don't know the answers myself, but I am sure a few hours online could at least point you in the right direction to answering them.
  4. Sep 21, 2011 #3
    Well I am always reading in the business sections of newspapers about how successfull the UK space industry is - so in principle there are lots of jobs (no idea how often someone moves and one comes free though). I suspect all the jobs are in the south of the country though - so bear in mind the cost of living there is horrendous compared to elsewhere.

    Two example off the top of my head are Surrey Satellites and EADS.
  5. Sep 22, 2011 #4
    Why wouldn't it be possible? If you don't do it, you could regret it the rest of your life. You seem like you want to do it, so do it. The worst that could happen is that you get a degree and get more educated, which will pay itself off in no time.

    You might also want to do some research into what exactly you want to do. You would probably like aerodynamics, too. Maybe email some professors or get in touch with some physicists who work at Boeing or at a private flight/space research firm or something.

    I would say do some more research, and if you still want to do it, go for it.
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