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Expertise and Development

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ESA / About Us / Careers at ESA

As ESA is a leading space science and technology organisation, the vast majority of its jobs lie within engineering and scientific disciplines. However, high quality business and administration services are also essential to ESA's success, as are leadership skills in management.

ESA Job Families

In ESA, a job community is defined a group of job families belonging to the same professional field. Those are Science, Engineering, Business and Administration Services and Management. A job familyat ESA is defined as a group of jobs that handle similar types of work, requiring similar types of knowledge, experience and competencies.
In ESA, the job families are categorized as follows:

  • Mission Science
  • Space Operations
  • Operations Engineering
  • Expert Engineering
  • Project Engineering
  • Business & Administration Services
  • Management

This framework intends to clarify the career paths that one expect within ESA. It is still being developed, and more detailed information will be provided soon. The job families are intended as a clarifying tool for recruitment, workforce planning, career planning and learning and development. It is not intended to limit ESA staff to a set career path, but should be used as a guide in career development.

Learning and development

Space related technologies evolve rapidly. This is why we are particularly committed to the continuous development of our staff members to help them develop their full professional potential and allow them to achieve their personal career goals. ESAs Learning and Development Service offers a vast range of professional training and development opportunities in the areas of engineering, management techniques and leadership, information technology, personal development, administration and safety, in addition to language training in a number of European languages. All these training programmes are designed to take into account the needs of individual staff members while addressing the Agency's priorities.

One of the key ways in which ESA expresses its commitment to your development is through the Internal University. It is not an institution in the traditional sense — an academy with fixed premises — but rather an innovative forum for learning and development that will help you enhance knowledge and skills essential to the success of ESA as a single but multifaceted entity.

Training activities are complemented by ESA's cost-sharing approach to higher education. Staff interested in acquiring post-graduate qualifications of direct relevance to their current or future career aspirations at ESA, can apply for tuition assistance. In addition, there are some limited opportunities for scholarships to specific space-related university programmes. These training activities do not automatically constitute a guarantee or an entitlement to a change in terms of grading.

Career management within ESA does however permit upward progression and also supports lateral job movements and changes in responsibility.