A student with aspirations of a career in outer space has taken a giant step in helping educate his peers about the range of jobs available within the industry.
Year 10 student Felix Gatfield has long had his head way above the clouds, dreaming about a career in space. Felix – who hopes to work in aeronautical engineering and aerospace – recognised that trawling the internet for information on the kinds of jobs available within the industry can be as murky and confusing as entering the Dagobah system…
So he decided to do something about it to help clarify the matter for his schoolmates.
Having reached out to lunar and deep space satellite operator Goonhilly Earth Station, from Cornwall, Felix was able to secure the help of the company’s Director of Space Engineering, Matt Cosby, who was only too happy to accompany Felix on his lunchtime mission…
On Tuesday 7 February, Felix and Matt touched down their stem/space booth in a wild and uncertain territory – the cafeteria at lunchtime. Armed with literature, bags and pens, and ready to answer questions, the pair were soon surrounded by UTC Reading students eager to know more.
“I really wanted young people like me to know all about the variety of careers of available in the space industry,” said Felix, “as it’s not something that immediately springs to mind when you’re thinking about jobs. I’ve always been into space – that’s why I came to this UTC actually, so I could study engineering.”
Felix was in Cornwall last month, where he went to see Virgin Orbit’s unsuccessful satellite launch into space. It sadly ended in failure when the rocket ‘suffered an anomaly that prevented it from reaching orbit.’
For people like Felix, this will only encourage them to try, try and try again… a trait most engineers hold in common and one of those transferrable skills that Matt Cosby says is in demand.
“There’s a perception that space is all about astronauts or that you have to be an A* genius to work in the industry,” said Matt, “but that’s not true. The UK space industry is a big employer – we need people in all sorts of roles from programmers to electronics to designers to comms… And people come from all backgrounds as there’s so many transferrable skills that we need.”
“I really encourage the students to look further into it – hopefully they will realise space isn’t out of reach, as far as jobs go,” he said.
The space industry is growing fast and new jobs are being created every day. In the last four years the sector has grown at a rate of 6.6% compared to 1.7% for the rest of the economy.
30,000 new jobs will be created in the sector by 2030.
From engineers, to meteorologists to data scientists, even medics and lawyers, there is a growing list of careers options.
To find out more about the types of jobs available visit Space Careers here
For upcoming events and information visit The UK’s Student Space Charity here