If I am interested in having a career related to space and ideally NASA, what would be the best approach be as a undergraduate rising junior?
I am already pursuing a degree in the health sciences, and I am interested in pursuing another degree, particularly one related to space. I would like some advice on the best way to pursue this interest. #astronomy #space #academic-advisor #college-professor
I worked as a consultant on the space station program for airlock and crew health care software. The company I worked for was Northrop Grumman, they are a major contractor for NASA. I have friends who work directly for NASA, but there are far more jobs with companies that get the contracts the NASA lets. Other companies are Macdonald Douglas, Raytheon, and Boeing. So look at those companies. They all do engineering and information technology for NASA. Good luck.
First let me say that I too have a great love of space and the cosmos. If you really want to pursue this you will need to not just be good at math but exceptional. I mean not just Trig or Calculus but theoretical math. For example I have a friend that was a Civil Engineer in which you need to be excellent at math. He decided to become an aerospace engineer and told me the math was almost beyond him. I don't mean to be negative I just wanted to be realistic.
Your studies aside, here's some other helpful advice:
(1) Vote for (and encourage others to vote for) a President, Senators, and Representatives that supports funding of NASA :-)
(2) If #1 doesn't work out, apply for an internship at the European Space Agency (http://www.esa.int) and an EU work visa.
Sharlene, there are so many career paths open to you if you decide to go into the space industry. Once you figure out your path, you should keep up your math and science grades. Here's more info on NASA's programs, how to apply for them, as well as what skills you'll need. https://nasajobs.nasa.gov/. One of my close friends is an aerospace engineer here at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and he often mentions how rewarding it is to work there.
NASA also has a page that breaks down what percentage of their positions are in each category (for example, Administrative and Management careers account for 24% of their positions), as well as the qualifications needed for those roles: https://nasajobs.nasa.gov/jobs/occupations.htm.
You asked a very good question.
Here some sites that will also provide some helpful information:
Let me know if and how this might be of help. Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.