Outer space has always fascinated mankind, and we have considerably progressed in the study of this field over the decades. When one thinks of a career in space, the first thought that springs to the mind is “astronaut.” While being an astronaut can be quite cool, prestigious and interesting as a profession, it is also extremely demanding and tough to get into. Luckily, being an astronaut is not the only career option available to those interested in outer space, and with some planning, focus, hard work and determination, lots of professional avenues can open up to you in the space domain.

Here are a few tips to build a rewarding career in the space industry:

Acquiring educational qualifications

While NASA asks for at least a Bachelors’ degree in the sciences such as in Physics, Biology, Mathematics, and so on, not at all positions in the space domain require one to be an engineer or scientist. NASA and many other private companies in the space sector are looking for candidates specializing in Public Relations, business, filmmaking, and writing. All you may actually need is an extraordinary passion for space, and zeal to work hard.

Understanding diversity

NASA might appear to be the dream workplace for the space-bound mind, but there are many other private sector firms in the space industry who would love to work with talented space enthusiasts. Understand that it’s not the be all and end all if NASA doesn’t have a requirement for your work – many more companies will appreciate your skill set. The European Space Agency, Astrium, and Elon Musk’s venture SpaceX are wonderful opportunities for careers in space.

Researching and getting information

Other than having the requisite degrees and a love for space, it will help if you are well-informed about developments in the space sector, challenges faced by NASA and other organizations, future prospects, and so on. The history of events in space, and how they impacted the future of space, is also important. You can read up, for instance, on the evolving design of shuttles and space-bound travel, on important Challenger Facts, the Columbia disaster, the future of space tourism, and so on.

Opting for element extraction

An up and coming line of professional work in the space domain is element extraction from asteroids. While the merits and demerits of an expensive process like this are being debated as of now, there is tremendous scope and high pay in such a profession in future. It is novel in approach, and a very promising prospect, so you can try for this particular sector if it interests you.

Taking inspiration

Read up on pioneers of the space sector – the founders of NASA, the engineers who made space shuttles work, the astronauts who devoted themselves to space travel; you might find your inspiration in there. A guiding source will keep you motivated, and remind you that struggle ultimately leads to success.

These tips are important, but what will actually help you succeed is your own drive to make your mark in the space industry. When it comes to space, not even the sky is your limit!