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Why space is the UK’s tech job sub-sector of the future



Why space is the UK’s tech job sub-sector of the future

Staying ahead of the curve is essential if you want a long and fruitful career in tech.

Often what’s relevant when you’re first starting out is completely laughable, and sometimes totally obsolete, just a short 20 years later.

Remember, there were once developers working on what was deemed cutting-edge WAP gateways, allowing mobile phones to access the internet. This wasn’t that long ago.

Here we’re taking a closer look at space tech jobs, one of the most promising tech sub-sectors of the near future.

3 UK space tech jobs hiring now

Stellar stats

Would you be surprised to know the UK ranks in second place for space tech funding in Europe?

With overall funding of $204.7m, although down 24% from 2022’s $268.5bn, this still places the UK behind Germany’s top place (with $291m funding), according to research from space tech fund Seraphim Space.

And while you may immediately think of Hollywood missions to drill into asteroids, billionaires quaffing Romulan Ale on holiday, and note that Sweden has the only spaceport in Europe, it’s actually satellites that drive the most space tech investment.

Space satellites are essential tools for communication, weather forecasting, navigation, Earth observation, scientific research, and military operations, and these are giving rise to a growing group of space tech innovators who are leveraging this technology for advancements across all industries.

Not only do global satellite services underpin at least 18% of UK GDP (£370bn), the UK space tech industry already employs 48,800 people, and this is set to grow.

Following the release of the Space Industrial Plan earlier this year, the UK government’s ambition to drive industrial growth, and enhance military operations through space tech is abundantly clear.

And while there’s been a lot of fuss about US-based Slingshot Aerospace expanding its operations to picturesque Cornwall this year, there are plenty of other space tech players, including collaborative partnerships to watch out for too.

Data, data everywhere

Take Eutelsat OneWeb, for example. Headquartered in London, it is working to provide global internet coverage through a constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, and is monetising collected data in the process.

These satellites move at 27,000 kilometres an hour, and data is sent to engineers in seconds through its partner Snowflake, which ingests it. This data is then sold by Eutelsat OneWeb’s parent company to third-party partners.

Plus, there’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), one of the top producers of satellites in the country. It is one of six projects awarded funds by the UK Space Agency’s flagship Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) this year.

This means a £250,000 public investment in SSTL will be matched by the company to support the development of cutting-edge, space-based imaging technology.

Other projects that received funding are Space North, which unites Space Hub Yorkshire, the North West Space Cluster and Space North East England, to boost research and collaboration.

Unlocking Space for Agriculture also nabbed funds and is bringing together regional space and agricultural sectors in Scotland and the East of England. And there’s also the South West Space Partnership, a pan-regional partnership that aims to promote international investment and develop strategic collaborations.

Lastly, there’s Power4Space, which aims to strengthen ties between the North West Space Cluster and Midlands Space Cluster, allowing them to improve supply chains and to better seize commercial opportunities.

3 UK software jobs hiring right now

Also in the news is Inmarsat, which was the dominant satellite communications provider for the shipping industry for decades. Until Elon Musk’s Starlink came along, that is.

Now with many commercial and cruise ships signed up to its U.S. rival, Inmarsat has released NexusWave, a new high-speed networking offering unlimited data and global coverage. It no doubt aims to win many of those customers back, and Inmarsat will need to continually innovate to compete.

As space tech continues to grow, so will career opportunities. This sector not only offers innovative and fulfilling careers, but also presents job opportunities to take a giant leap and contribute to some of the most critical challenges of our time.

Seeking a stellar tech career? Discover your perfect role in the vast galaxy of opportunities on the UKTN Job Board today

This article is part of a paid partnership with careers marketplace Jobbio to share the most exciting UK tech jobs with UKTN readers.

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