Press Release

First space skills taxonomy published

The Space Skills Alliance today released the first competencies taxonomy to be developed specifically for the space sector.

The taxonomy comprises just over 250 competencies across five categories:

  • Traits - features of a person’s character or personality, embodied by certain behaviours
  • Knowledge - facts or information about a given topic
  • Technical skills - skills which is specific to a sector or job
  • Transferable skills - skills which can be applied in a similar way to most jobs
  • Qualifications - formal recognition of certain knowledge or skills following an assessment process by a relevant body

The taxonomy has a hierarchical structure with up to five levels. Each item has a specific code representing the hierarchical levels. For example, the code ‘3.2.1.1.1’ represents the following:

3.2.1.1.1
3 - Technical skills
  2 - Programming & Computer Science
    1 - Process and analyse data
      1 - Geospatial data
        1 - GNSS data	

It was constructed through analysis of the language used by employers in space job adverts, which allows it to be used to identify and measure the demand for particular skills.

The Alliance created the taxonomy with the goal of supporting the process of recruitment, upskilling, and reskilling.

Heidi Thiemann, Director of the Space Skills Alliance said:

A specialised taxonomy helps ensure that the specific workforce needs of the sector can be properly addressed. Our taxonomy supports the process of recruitment, and facilitates upskilling and reskilling. It provides a common vocabulary for alignment between education providers, employers, and employees, and a common frame of reference against which we can measure demand for competencies, what competencies the space workforce already has, and the impact that new training courses might have.


Notes to editors

  • The Space Skills Alliance is a think-tank working to address the skills shortage in the space sector.
  • It was set up in September 2019 by Joseph Dudley and Heidi Thiemann, who previously created SpaceCareers.uk, an award-winning early careers jobs and advice website for the sector.