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6 Tips for an Astronomical Career

How to start on your path to a career in Space Science

6 Tips for an Astronomical Career

Earlier this month the first ever image of a black hole was captured. This made breaking news across the globe as Einstein’s theory was proven. Capturing this significant photograph was the equivalent to “locating an apple on the surface of the moon.” 

Did this event lead you to google ‘black holes’ and lose yourself down your own rabbit hole of cosmic knowledge and trivia? If this event grabbed your attention you may  like to consider a career in Space Science.


Space Sector in Ireland

The “space” sector in Ireland is quite varied and covers a wide range of specialisations: mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, communications and systems engineers. 

Mechanical and materials engineers develop the 'hardware' required for space science and exploration. This would include the equipment and technology needed. Electronic or systems engineers develop the 'software' that is essential to run this equipment and ensure that they are working correctly. 

Maths is at the core of a number of these roles, especially in the analysis of the large amounts of data produced by space instruments and in calculating the orbits of space vehicles. Explore some of these occupations in Space Science and Technology: Aerospace Engineer,Astronomer/AstrophysicistAtmospheric Scientist, Particle Physicist.

 Ireland has been a member of ESA since 1975 and participates in a range of ESA Programmes including;

  • Scientific Programmes
  • Earth Observation Programmes
  • Satellite Navigation Programmes (GALILEO)
  • Space Transportation Programmes (Ariane V) 
  • Future Launchers programme (FLPP)
  • Satellite Communications Programme, (ARTES)
  • Space Science Experiments (PRODEX)
  • European Life and Physical Sciences Programme (ELIPS)
  • General Support Technology Programme (GSTP)

The industry addresses a range of markets in addition to the space market, for example, aerospace, telecommunications, and medical devices, etc. 


Here are 6 Tips to Launch Your Space Career

1. Study STEM Subjects

Physics provides the foundation for the many careers in the space industry. Taking physics for Leaving Cert would be a great place to start. If you enjoy the subject and your heart is still set on studying the universe then it would be a good idea to study Physics at third level. There are several Physics related courses such as Physics and Astrophysics, Applied Physics and Theoretical Physics. For a full list click here.

A good complimentary Leaving Cert subject to Physics is Applied Maths, there is a quite a bit of overlap between these courses. Other good options include Computer Science, Engineering and Technology.

2. Work Hard at Maths

Those working in the Space Industry tend to be curious. They are problem solvers, logical thinkers and have good reasoning ability. In order to succeed in space science you need to have strong numerical ability. Physics and Space Science is deeply rooted in mathematics.

3. Find a Field that you Love

A good place to start is finding an area that you are interested in, from here you can specialise in something that really fascinates you. Many fields would allow you to access the space industry such as engineering, science or even medicine. The key is to find the area that interests you most – that way you are more likely to succeed in your ambition.

4. Join Astronomy Ireland

Astronomy Ireland is the most popular astronomy club in the world. They hold regular events nationwide, some of these events are free or have a small fee. They are a great way to learn about space and meet likeminded people. For more information click here. 

5. Research Courses

Take the time to research courses at Further and Higher Education to find the right one for you. Attend college open days and get advice from people who are already working or studying in your preferred field.

6. Work hard and believe in 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!

 

The CareersPortal Team 

 



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