Author Topic: Can I get a space-related job with a Geography degree?  (Read 5959 times)

Offline robbiesqp

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Hi I just joined the forum for the purpose of asking this question, but I hope to get more involved in other topics as well!

I just graduated this past May (2012) with a B.S. degree in Geography. In two weeks, I begin graduate school to obtain my M.S. in Geography. More specifically, I deal with GIS (geographic information systems, ArcGIS).

I've always had a keen interest in outer space, spaceflight, etc. Are there any jobs with NASA or other related space agencies to which my degree is applicable?

Side note: I am a U.S. citizen, but I also speak Spanish and Russian. I'm not sure if such skills would aid in getting a space-related job, but I assume since we deal with Russia so much for space, it couldn't hurt. I've also looked into joining the Navy or Air Force Officer Reserve.

Thank you for your time and help!

Offline Anu

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Re: Can I get a space-related job with a Geography degree?
« Reply #1 on: 08/06/2012 12:10 PM »
Here in the UK, Infoterra (Astrium Geo-information Services - http://www.astrium-geo.com/uk/) recruits lots of graduate geographers. GIS specialism would be really beneficial for several UK space sector companies. Not sure to what degree the downstream sector/upstream sector balance is outside Europe - but please feel free to PM me if you'd like further info on the above (my company is co-developing the UK's new Higher Apprenticeship programme for Space Engineering and am working closely with several space sector companies as well as the UK Space Agency)
« Last Edit: 08/06/2012 02:10 PM by Anu »

Offline Dawud Beale

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Re: Can I get a space-related job with a Geography degree?
« Reply #2 on: 08/10/2012 08:14 PM »
I'm new to this my field so this is only a guess, but I myself am an electronic engineer and robotics is heavily my field. I would love to work on the projects like the science laboratory on mars. However I don't know much about the landscape of mars, so I'm guessing if I was to ever work on something like that there would be geography specialists present.

For example, the experiments on the rocks and earth on mars, I would know how to build the robot but would not really know what I would need to do to actually test the earth.  So presumably geographic academics would be needed for that type of thing. Someone with more knowledge can probabily give you a more definite answer though

Offline Brian Copp

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Re: Can I get a space-related job with a Geography degree?
« Reply #3 on: 08/10/2012 09:17 PM »
I suppose it's possible, but geology would seem like a better field. Lots of JPL/NASA scientists have a geology or geophysics background.

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Can I get a space-related job with a Geography degree?
« Reply #4 on: 08/10/2012 10:34 PM »
Hi Robbiesqp good to know there are some fellow GIS people around here. I got my M.S. in GIS a couple of years ago. GIS is used for space related things. I was at the ESRI User conference and there were booths there from JPL, Langley, and Landsat. Since my career is in another sector I can't really offer you much advice on getting a job working in the space field. However, I may be able to offer you some more general advice. Take as many classes on geodatabases or databases in general, python scripting, and remote sensing. There are not many GIS people comfortable or knowledgeable about those subjects and it will really make you stand out no matter what job you are applying for. If you can get an internship related to space that would give you a major leg up. There are opportunities to present posters or papers at conferences like the ESRI US or AAG. You are likely going to have a few project that with a small amount of extra work could be shown. Its a rewarding experience. Oh and feel free to ask me any questions!

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