The term ‘New Space‘ refers to a still-growing ecosystem of companies from the private and commercial aerospace sector, often in the form of start-ups or ventures of corporations. The globally most well-known ‘New Space’ venture might be Elon Musk‘s SpaceX but the ‘New Space’ sector is very vibrant in India too.
India is not only home to one of the most innovative government-funded space research organisations in the world (ISRO) but also hosts some globally competitive start-ups both in upstream (Bellatrix, Dhruva Space, Kawa) and downstream (SatSure Analytics, Numer8).
In India, it is already contributing to more financially sustainable financing and insurance solutions for farmers, allows for optimal resource and water allocations in the agriculture and critical infrastructure sector and will soon change the way disaster relief operations are managed.
Besides the US, India is probably the most attractive country to pursue a career in the ‘New Space’ sector given the availability of high-quality university programmes, business ecosystems and aggregated domestic and international demand for specialized services.
Why does the New Space sector offer interesting career opportunities?
The ‘New Space’ sector is technology-focused but commercially-driven and thus is not solely reliant on engineering and IT talent but also technology-interested, BCom graduates who see value in working in a niche market with huge growth potential.
Job roles for management and engineering/IT graduates in New Space sector
In the technology area, there is a huge need for engineers to work on innovative hardware solutions to make commercial space flight cheaper and safer. The value chain is across the upstream, midstream and downstream in the space vertical, each bringing its own challenges and opportunities.
Let’s take downstream as an example. Not only do ‘new space’ companies require IT-trained professionals who know how to deal with the data big data from space, but they also require non-technical persons who can create and information for decision makers or can combine spatial data.
In particular, the ‘New Space’ sector will quickly change how information and communication networks are operated and managed.
In the commercial functions, there is a special demand for finance professionals that understand the short-term cash flow and long-term financing mechanisms of this sector but also for marketing and sales professionals who are able to explain what the ‘New Space’ sector actually has to offer to the financial sector, agriculture, search and rescue operations, maritime industries, telecom sector and many more.
Here are a few other career options for science stream students apart from engineering and medical.
What does it take to enter the NEW SPACE sector in India?
In the engineering and IT functions there are a few specialized universities and institutions such as the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) that offer programmes and courses to get the required skills for entry level jobs in the ‘New Space’ sector.
In the commercial area, there are no specific programmes available so that young people with a strong self-taught technology background and internships in ‘New Space’ start-ups, e.g. in India‘s first Space Technology Park at Thiruvananthapuram’s Knowledge City, are mostly likely to get an attractive job offer.
– Article by Dr. Roger Moser, Senior Lecturer, Macquarie Business School, Sydney, Australia & Chairman, SatSure Analytics India Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, India.
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