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what career options would lead to working with NASA?

since childhood I always wanted to work at NASA and earn big bucks disregarding the job I get.....now I completed my 10 n am confused what to choose either IT , comp eng , electronics and telecom or electrical eng which will lead the way to my dream. I aslo want to know its difficulty levels and chnces of getting..would be grateful to u if u help. electrical-engineering information-technology electronics telecommunications

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Jim’s Answer

Hi Sarah,


I would recommend any of those fields of study, with Electrical Engineering probably being the best choice.


As for the difficulty, I would say it is extremely difficult if you are not an American citizen. I think every single job application I've filled out related to NASA had asked about my citizenship and required that I be American. This is because NASA owns a lot of sensitive technical information and there has been a history of foreign governments trying to steal this information.


Even if you are American it is competitive. The best way to get involved with working for NASA directly is to apply for their Co-op program. Typically, you do that during your first or second university years. This will get you in the door. Then if you do good work during your time as a Co-op student, you can probably get a full-time offer after you graduate. If you aren't able to get a co-op with NASA directly, it is possible to work for one of their contractors in an internship position. If you get neither a co-op or an internship, it will be very difficult to find work in the NASA environment unless you happen to have a very specific skill AND no one else has that skill AND that skill is desperately needed by NASA.


Hope this helps!


This is on point from my experience, too. M. A. Rafe Biswas

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Jeff’s Answer

Hi Sarah.

I want to be candid for a moment. Is your dream to work for NASA? Be an Astronaut? Work on the aircraft? Or is it to make copious amounts of money? A dream job does not always equate to big bucks, but can be one of the most satisfying things you do in your life. First, you should be clear about what your dreams and aspirations are. If you really do want to pursue a career in space exploration, the advice that everyone is giving is quite helpful. Anything in STEM applies to this field of work. But before you can get true advice, you may want to further research or clarify your goal.

There is a level of pride and glory that comes from this work. Its an amazing thing to see the human race pursue space exploration. I too, dreamt of flying in the space shuttle. As I grew older, I started to realize some of my true passions and that was to help people through my ability to develop professional skills. I feel tremendously rewarded from my job. I am no where close to getting to NASA, but I am happy and am financially secure.

Overall, a career at NASA is absolutely possible. But dont limit your perspective on the career path in front of you. As you may know, NASA isnt the only space exploration company. There are more opportunities in this line of work than ever before and people are definitely making great incomes. This industry is competing for the top minds to build the most efficient and effective launch systems. To truly get a job in these businesses, you will need to commit yourself to education, sciences and always be curious about the world/universe...for the rest of your life. Not a bad thing, I think its a great way to ensure your mind stays sharp as you grow older. This work could give you all you desire, but focus on the point of the job and not making the "big bucks". I hope to see your name in a space program in the near future.

Best of luck to you.
Jeff
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Jon’s Answer

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If your goal is to work for NASA (or any specific company, for that matter), that can actually open up a lot of doors. Larger companies and government agencies often have needs for all sorts of positions, and not just the expected ones... as an example, NASA isn't just "rocket scientists". Even if we just look at technical or scientific positions, there is a wide variety of positions at NASA, ranging from physical and civil engineering in their facilities group, telecommunications and networking within their infrastructure group, and physical and biological sciences in their research groups.


So, if you want to get in at a specific company in any position, that's comparatively easier than looking for a specific role at that company.


However, for the long-term, the bigger question to ask yourself is "What would I like to be doing at NASA?" It's easy to imagine yourself at the company or organization; but doing what? If you're not excited or engaged in what you're doing, the glamour of "I made it here" may wear off... you should like what you're doing.


Take a look at NASA's site, specifically their careers page (http://www.nasa.gov/about/career/index.html#.U8lXg7GVr3U). They will list any open positions there, along with the qualifications they're looking for to get that role. This can give you a good idea of what you may be interested in, and how you can qualify and prepare for such a role.


They also do a good job of explaining that NASA is "more than (just) astronauts", in addition to having information on internships and summer employment. This can help you narrow down what you may want to do there, and also check out opportunities for getting a taste of the organization.

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Grant’s Answer

Hello Sarah, getting into NASA is very competitive and they are part of a government scheme where they have to bring in American employees first, you'll need a tier 1 visa to apply to enter the USA.

The best subjects to study for this career path would be chemistry or mechanical engineering and materials science, also software development.

I have a friend that works for NASA in the US and designs atmosphere purification systems, air supply units and has an involvement in the nutrition selection for the space station, I can ask her if you would like?



Grant, Scotland.

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Sammy’s Answer

The best career option would be STEM related field (Science, Technology, Engineer, Math). If you know a few computer languages will certainly be a plus. On top of these basic hard skills, the soft skill could be more critical since the working environment at NASA is always teamwork. So the traits like positive attitude, open minded, team player, etc. will definitely lead you to NASA.
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Ashwath’s Answer

Build your core astrophysics fundamentals. Check out courses with autonomous institutes like TIFR, Mumbai. They offer a wide range of courses. You may also opt for making a career with ISRO. Space agencies use pretty much every field of science and engineering. Robotics, fabrications, nanotechnology , cryogenics, image processing, radar and communications, instrumentation, miniature designing, satellite as rocket technologies etc.

Wish you all the very best.


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karthik’s Answer

The fact is NASA needs workers that have a wide variety of knowledge and skills. NASA isn't just astronauts and scientists. NASA has engineers, mathematicians, accountants, historians, writers, computer support technicians, project managers, artists, educators, human resource personnel, public relations managers, physicians, lawyers -- and more. The most important thing for preparing to find a job at NASA is that you study what you like and work hard to achieve your goals.
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karthik’s Answer

The fact is NASA needs workers that have a wide variety of knowledge and skills. NASA isn't just astronauts and scientists. NASA has engineers, mathematicians, accountants, historians, writers, computer support technicians, project managers, artists, educators, human resource personnel, public relations managers, physicians, lawyers -- and more. The most important thing for preparing to find a job at NASA is that you study what you like and work hard to achieve your goals.
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Sammy’s Answer

That is a great and broad question. There are two parts to it. NASA’s research could solve many issues in our daily lives. If you are focusing on business issues, you may start career in business analysis area. If you are more interested in research, start in STEM field might be a good choice. Hope this answers your question.

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Sammy’s Answer

The best career option would be STEM related field (Science, Technology, Engineer, Math). If you know a few computer languages will certainly be a plus. On top of these basic hard skills, the soft skill could be more critical since the working environment at NASA is always teamwork. So the traits like positive attitude, open minded, team player, etc. will definitely lead you to NASA.
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Laura’s Answer

The best chance or career choice are going to be thing in the engineering field (Electrical, chemical, etc). Taking these course are pretty much land you some time of opportunity to snag a good career opportunity with them. Also it is good to check into which college recruit allow of graduate into NASA. This could help you as well to look in to their programs a possibly attend to better your chances of getting the job.

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Elisabeth’s Answer

Have a read at Stephen Baxter's novel "Voyage" (it's in English, no worries) - it'll give you some ideas

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