The Space Industry offers a wide variety of careers and opportunities. You might be surprised at the variety of opportunities across maths, physics, chemistry, engineering and computing.
The Space Science and Technology sector typically employes people with primary degrees (NFQ Levels 7 or 8) and with a relatively high proportion of employees at postgraduate level (NFQ Levels 9 and 10).
The “space” sector in Ireland is quite varied and includes companies from many areas of technology. These include aerospace, structures, electronics, optoelectronics, software and bio-diagnostics.
School leavers should think about continuing their education at third level, before considering a career in the space sector.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
The biggest career milestones for me have centred around education vs. industry experience. As a researcher and entrepreneur, there is a trade-off between jumping into problems and figuring it out as I go along, versus getting a formal education. I usually resolve these difficult decisions by thinking about what I most enjoy doing and following that path. If you are passionate about what you are doing and centre your passion around a good work ethic, success tends to follow.
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
I have been most influenced by people that I have come across that have done extraordinary things whilst achieving balance in their lives. Specific examples include firstly my A Level physics teacher who as a Nuclear Physicist in the United States, had a passion for science that was infectious. Secondly, the Head of Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University where I did my undergrad. Lastly, but not least, my mother for her never-ending advice and support of my crazy ideas.
How did you go about getting your current job?
Describe a typical day?
A day of a CEO in a start-up company is anything but typical. I could be talking to customers, making financial models, discussing stock options with my legal team, hiring new engineers or brainstorming on our algorithms with the technical team. All of which are fascinating and I am learning a lot, every single day.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
My main job is to create an overall company strategy that aligns with the market outlook, customers, shareholders and company policies and ethics. Communicating this strategy to the team is very important, as is making sure that executing the strategy goes to plan. In particular, for a technical company, keeping on top of new breakthroughs is vital.
What are the main challenges?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?