From education to employment

65% of UK children want to work in space as the UK industry booms

  • Two thirds (65%) of young people would pursue a career in space
  • Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos revered as inspirational role models, beating Kylie Jenner and Justin Bieber
  • UK children rank maths top in list of favourite school subjects

The STEM skills shortage[2]could be a thing of the past thanks to UK children’s growing interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, according to new research released today by satellite technology provider Avanti Communications (“Avanti”).

The insights, gathered from more than 2,000 children aged 10-18, highlight the role that the next generation could play in making the UK a world leader in space.[3]

With the UK space sector adding a £7 billion boost to the economy in 2022[4], more young people than ever before are prioritising STEM pathways and considering a career in the cosmos.

A career in space now seen as a viable option for young people

Thenumber of space organisations across the UK rose from 1,293 to 1,590 in 2022[5]. The space sector now employs just under 48,800 people and supports an estimated 126,800 UK jobs.

As the number of jobs across industry continue to grow, young people are poised to fill these vacancies thanks to a desire to work in a space-based career. In total, 65% of UK children would consider a career in space.

But the interest doesn’t stop at work. With space tourism back in the news, many young people are excited to explore beyond earth:

  • 75% of children aged 10-18 would consider going to space if they had the opportunity
  • Children from London (81%), Wales (80%) and Northern Ireland (85%) would most like to jet off in a spaceship[6]

Maths and science more popular than PE and English

Young people are now favouring fractions, times tables and equations over swimming and rounders.

When asked about their favourite school subjects, UK children favoured STEM subjects, putting maths and science top, followed by PE:

  • Maths (36%)
  • Science (29%)
  • PE (26%)

The age group with the biggest penchant for numeracy was 10-year-olds and 11-year-olds with over 2 in 5 (both 46%) citing maths as their favourite lesson.

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos ‘more inspirational’ than a-list celebrities

UK children are no longer just inspired by celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Justin Bieber but many revere some of the world’s most impressive space entrepreneurs.

Just under 3 in 10 of young people surveyed (29%) said the celebrity they find most inspirational is Elon Musk, with Jeff Bezos also making the top 3 at 14%

Top five most inspirational public figures for UK children:

1.Elon Musk (29%)

2.Lewis Hamilton (15%)

3.Jeff Bezos (14%)

4.Rhianna (13%)

5.Richard Branson (12%)

Commenting on the research, Debbie Mavis, Group HR Director at Avanti Communications, said:

“It is so exciting to hear that so many young people are showing an interest in Space and the wider STEM industries. The UK STEM skills gap has been a long running HR issue across the science and technology sectors that I have seen first-hand during my time working across SatCom andTelecoms.

2023 has been an incredible year so far for our industry and to have the UK at the forefront of this has created a real buzz. We at Avanti are very proud to be a part of the UK industry and to be able to offer young people a first step in their space careers.”

[1](65%) of children surveyed would consider a career in the Space industry, (I would definitely consider this, I would maybe consider this, I would consider this if it felt right at the time answers are combined)


[3] The research was conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 2001 Children in the UK, aged 10-18. The data was collected between 05.06.2023 – 09.06.2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.



[6] I would definitely go’ and ‘I would consider going although I’d be a little scared’ answers have been combined

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