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Best education path to work for NASA

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Best education path to work for NASA

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Old 12-11-09, 07:11 PM
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Best education path to work for NASA

Since I'm probably switching majors (again), I'd like to hear from the True Believers out there.
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Old 12-11-09, 07:12 PM
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Go to grad school at CU-Boulder in Aeronautical Engineering with an emphasis on satellites.
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Old 12-11-09, 07:15 PM
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Allen
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Become a photographer.



But if you want to earn an income, major in math--advanced degrees in physics.
And join the airforce.

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Old 12-11-09, 07:29 PM
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^Yeah, about that...math ain't my best area, and I'm 38 with glaucoma.
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Old 12-11-09, 07:35 PM
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UnsafeAlpine
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
^Yeah, about that...math ain't my best area, and I'm 38 with glaucoma.
You have two options. Study the hell out of math and become extremely proficient, or become a photographer.
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Old 12-11-09, 07:41 PM
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Except for the photographers and custodians nearly everyone at the Cape has a PhD. Math is king there.

Study wildlife preservation. That's the other thing that goes on there.
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Old 12-11-09, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
You have two options. Study the hell out of math and become extremely proficient, or become a photographer.
Ah, study time! Got any ideas on where to bone up for a college proficiency exam, so that I don't have to waste time/money (neither of which I really have) on a remedial, non-credit earning course?
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Old 12-11-09, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Ah, study time! Got any ideas on where to bone up for a college proficiency exam, so that I don't have to waste time/money (neither of which I really have) on a remedial, non-credit earning course?
The internets. That's where I studied. Got me up to College Algebra. But it really does depend on how proficient you were in the past. If you sucked at it back in the day, you probably won't do very well even studying that high of math but look up "college placement tests" or something similar.
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Old 12-11-09, 07:51 PM
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Study languages and you can work with the Cape's tourist trade.
English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Chinese, French.
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Old 12-11-09, 07:53 PM
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The internet helps with math. http://justmathtutoring.com is a godsend and will teach you all about basic calculus. A lot of professors post their notes online, so you can find this easily.
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Old 12-11-09, 07:56 PM
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I was decent in math back in the day...until the hormones really kicked in. Haven't had a math class in 20 years, this ought to be interesting.

Now to just convince my Voc Rehab counselor that this would be a better 'fit' than social worker.
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Old 12-11-09, 08:05 PM
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Okay, well make sure you're proficient -- not necessarily excellent -- with algebra before beginning calculus. You need to be able to factor, distribute, and generally recognize how to solve equations, including trig equations. I know nobody (except NASA guys maybe) likes logs, but you'll need to remember properties of logarithms. You'll get really good at algebra while studying calc, which is why I say you don't need to be excellent before starting; I learned more about algebra in my calc courses than algebra courses. Precalc is a waste of a course. In fact, it hinders you on many levels, including opportunity cost. Math isn't something that comes easily to me, but I study it anyways (it's my minor in college). I can't stress how effective it is to find examples from multiple sources, especially youtube, while trying to understand something. Sometimes my textbook doesn't explain it in a way that makes sense to me, but some other site does.
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Old 12-11-09, 10:11 PM
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I don't get it. Why are people suggesting photography? NASA has relatively few photographers.

First of all, WHY do you want to work for NASA? Prestige of the title? You're interested in space? You want to work on rockets? Cushy government job? The reason and more particularly, the sort of work you want to do for them is going to determine your path.

Second, what do you currently do? You might already have some relevant qualifications.

As a large organization, NASA has employees covering just about every profession out there. Engineers and scientists, naturally. They also have a lot (too many) of management personnel, HR folks, administrative assistants, etc. The NASA centers are kept running by mechanics, technicians, truck drivers, janitors, etc. NASA's tasks include research, teaching, coordinating contracts and grants.

If you go to USAjobs.gov and find NASA listings, the first five currently are:

Electronics Engineer
Security Guard
Secretary
Historian
Educator

http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/search....ler=basic.aspx *

That's a really diverse mix of jobs. Now keep in mind, a couple of these are really high level positions, but that diversity extends through the ranks.

So you'll be a lot better served by approaching from the standpoint of why you want to work there and what you want to do. You'll also do a lot better at convincing your vocational rehab counselor whatever move you make if is a good one if you know the answers to these questions, plus you'll set yourself up for other opportunities outside of NASA should circumstances necessitate it.

* The 59 listings currently up there is relatively few. I think that's partially because it's the end of the year and partially because hiring will be slow during the transition from the Shuttle program to Constellation. Also, a lot of NASA's work is done under contract by companies like Boeing, Lockheed, ATK, and United Space Alliance. Similar opportunities often exist in all those companies.
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Last edited by iamlucky13; 12-11-09 at 10:17 PM.
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