Space Studies Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities for Graduates:

When developing this program, government and space-related agencies and corporations involved with NASA and space science were contacted to get feedback on industry interests and workforce needs.

The Space Studies program targets:

  • Employees within aerospace industries, such as NASA, and related organizations, intend to broaden their knowledge and skill base.
  • Employees in space-related industries, government agencies, and possibly foreign markets who seek career advancement within their industries,
  • Science students interested in working in related positions in the space industry, non-profit space-related organizations, government organizations, and academic institutions.

Space Studies graduates can pursue careers in a variety of different areas in space-related occupations, for example, as space technicians, payload specialists, etc., or find positions in the commercial space sector with NASA contractors, national laboratories, science/research organizations, law firms, medical centers, education, military, and public relations.

International Students can face challenges in finding internships and jobs in the US. There are limited opportunities for U.S. internships and jobs in the space industry as many companies require US citizenship.

Below are some suggestions on how to overcome this challenge:

  • Choose the Engineering Focus area and solidify your engineering background
  • Seek out multi-national companies – to find placement in your country
  • Skills in data science & software engineering are in high demand in the space industry; add these to your skill set
  • Choose smaller companies on a non-traditional path – one student worked for a NY fashion designer who designed space suits.
  • Work in basic industry disciplines
  • Connect with the Technology Collaboration Center (TCC) or a national research center
  • Small projects are funded by some of the companies of our board members
  • Seek internships with subsidiary companies in other countries, or contractors not involved with government contracts
  • Policy- related and law firms such as Winstead have hired our students in the past

Companies that have offered positions are

NASA Internship Programs

NASA Pathway Program: This program is open to U.S. Citizens, and applicants must meet specific STEM requirements focusing on engineering.

Many of our students have also secured internships at NASA via direct program contacts, alumni, and/or board members. But other internship programs at NASA and their contractors are open for Space Studies students.

Air Force Research Laboratory Scholars Program

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Scholars Program offers stipend-paid internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate-level university students pursuing STEM degrees and upper-level high school students; select locations also offer internships to university students pursuing education-related degrees and K–12 professional educators. The selected interns gain valuable hands-on experiences working with full-time AFRL scientists and engineers on cutting-edge research and technology and can contribute to unique, research-based projects. Graduate interns can collaborate with AFRL on current research and incorporate the research into their graduate work.

The Horizons Fellowship: the Horizon's Fellowship is a full-funded opportunity that supports outstanding graduate students in their pursuit of combining technology into their existing course of study. The Horizon's Fellowship allows students to learn about real-world technology and build advanced software products.

PSM Board of Affiliates for Space Studies Program:

Julie Mertzman Quinn - Jacobs Engineering
Jim Burch - Space Science and Engineering Div. Southwest Research Inst.
Franklin Chang Diaz - Ad Astra Rocket
Laurence Price - Lockheed Martin
Steve Deiker - Kairo Aerospace
Kamlesh Lulla - NASA, University Collaboration and Partnership Office
Steve Mackwell - Lunar and Planetary Institute
John Scott - NASA, JSC Energy Conversion Branch
Kevin Foley - Boeing
Heather Cowardin - NASA Johnson Space Center
Ed Harris - Edge of Space
Michael Hawes - Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.
Steve Altemus, Intuitive Machines
Arturo Machuca - Houston Airport Systems
Padraig Moloney - BAE Systems
Larry Strader - Deloitte
Marisa Covington - NASA

Lauren Merkle - KBR/Wyle

Amanda Botti - Barrios Technology/NASA