Get your dream job: how do you get a job at NASA? - Hitecher
Get your dream job: how do you get a job at NASA?

Get your dream job: how do you get a job at NASA?

by James B. Hutcherson

Who has never dreamed about flying into space at least once?

Who has never dreamed about flying into space at least once?

Unfortunately, this remains an impossible dream for many people, although many professionals can participate in space exploration. At the very least, anyone can get a job at NASA, and you do not have to be an astronaut to achieve it!

NASA needs pilots, programs, researchers, managers, and even writers! However, NASA's professional standards are incredibly high. You must at least write and speak English impeccably. If you are certain you are qualified, or at least willing to take the risk, here are some proven ways to get a "space" job.

Method 1. Respond to an ad

All vacancies open at NASA are published on the government website USAJobs. Here, everyone can discover what professionals are required in this federal agency and what requirements they have to meet. The advantage of this job search is obvious: to apply for a vacancy, you just have to click on it. However, this job search also has a disadvantage: the prospective candidate has to attract attention to their candidacy and prove they and no one else is worthy of the job. NASA received over 18,000 CVs from applicants in 2017, so your CV must be hugely impressive. Applicants should also write a strong motivational letter and attach references from reputable companies.

Someone without a good reputation within the scientific community is unlikely to get an offer from NASA. The task is also much more complicated if you do not have US citizenship. However, you can use USAJobs to gather information about job vacancies and better understand the space market to realize what they are looking for and how to succeed.

Method 2. Get into a reputable university

Large companies are literally on the hunt for talented university graduates. Specifically, graduates from Oxford or Cambridge have a far better chance of receiving an offer from NASA than the average applicant because of the reputation of these institutions. Furthermore, sometimes graduates do not have to go through an interview generally and are employed immediately so no one else can do it (professionals having such a substantial degree are always worth their weight in gold!)

However, you can also get a job at NASA as a graduate of any other university. For example, a graduate student at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute got into NASA on the recommendation of his supervisor. The young man accepted the offer because he could not secure a level of income that would allow him to engage exclusively in science in his homeland. Although the graduate student's university was not even located in America, he got an offer from NASA thanks to his talent, hard work, and inter-university interaction.

This is fantastic news for students who have already got a bachelor's degree in a different country: students from other countries can also conduct research for NASA if they get their Ph.D. in America. For example, an anonymous Quora user claims he got a position at NASA precisely in this way. Moreover, his research became so valuable for NASA that the department started cooperating permanently with Quora users.

Some technical universities collaborate with NASA on special research programs and will let their students know when NASA launches certain projects that accept students. As a result, graduates of postgraduate or master's programs from world-famous universities have an exceptionally high chance of getting a job at NASA, regardless of their citizenship and nationality. However, if this is still not the way to make your dreams come true! There is another way…

Method 3. Do an internship

Students from NASA partner universities are also the first to learn about internships at the company, which means that the chances of getting a job are much higher because, after an internship, they are often offered permanent employment (if the student has shown remarkable results.)

Other students also have a chance to get an internship at NASA. To do this, you only need to meet some of the requirements:

  • Be a US citizen. However, citizens of other countries, such as Brazil and the United Arab Emirates, can also participate in international internships. The full list is on the official website.
  • The student's average score must be at least 3.0 on a four-point grading system.
  • The applicant must be a full-time student.
  • An applicant must be at least 16 years of age.

To increase their chances of getting an internship, students can also search for a mentor at NASA in advance. Another crucial tip: the department is more inclined to prefer applicants who regularly demonstrate research initiative throughout their university studies.

Of course, the ways to get a job at NASA are quite tricky because the crème de la crème work there: brave astronauts, talented researchers, and wise managers. Applicants must become like this to eventually get the job of their dreams. Although, the most important thing is not giving up because nothing is impossible in the world if you have the desire.

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