Space Force careers in cyber and IT

Cybersecurity and information technology careers abound in the military's newest branch. Here's how Space Force jobs support America's armed forces.
Written by Nate Delesline III, Staff Writer

One of the Space Force's first missions is growing its ranks. Space Force members are responsible for supporting the armed forces through space operations. Doing this work requires people with skills in cybersecurity and information technology. 

"We are competing for the same cyber talent with the civilian sector, but we are looking for people who are qualified to serve in the military as well, so that makes it particularly challenging," said Leslie Brown, chief of public affairs for the Air Force Recruiting Service (which oversees recruitment for the Air Force and Space Force).

The Space Force mission

The Space Force's mission is to support national objectives through global space operations. Its members, called Guardians, protect people and interests through ground- and space-based operations. 

The Space Force's capabilities include space vehicle launches, satellite operations, communications, and surveillance. 

Founded in 2019, the Space Force is the U.S. armed forces' sixth branch. It is organized under the Department of the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps is organized under the Department of the Navy.

How to join the Space Force

Your educational background determines your military job opportunities, and the Space Force is no exception. 

The Space Force has enlisted and officer positions. Enlisted positions are entry-level positions available to people with a high school diploma or GED. Officer positions typically require a four-year degree and are leadership roles.

Whether you wish to enlist or serve as an officer, you must meet specific age, education, health, and citizenship standards. The Air Force provides detailed information on these criteria.

Enlisted candidates must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). Next, you must complete Air Force basic training. After that, you begin job-specific training.

Officer candidates must pass the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test. There are three ways to become a Space Force officer: 

  • Graduation from the Air Force Academy
  • Completing a college-level reserve officer training corps program
  • Completing the Air Force's training candidate school after earning a four-year degree

Enlisted military members can also pursue a career as an officer while serving.

Cyber and IT jobs in the Space Force

Here's a look at two Space Force jobs in the military's cybersecurity and IT sectors:

Cyberspace effects operations

This space force officer operates cyberspace weapons systems. They command crews to accomplish cyberspace, training, and other missions connected to space warfare interests. They also plan and supervise networks.

Cyber operations

In this enlisted role, Guardians oversee cybersecurity for information systems, networks, or radiofrequency systems. They also manage, evaluate, and support documentation, validation, assessment, and authorization processes, assuring existing and new information technology systems meet the organization's cybersecurity and risk requirements.

What roles are the Space Force focused on filling right now?

As the newest branch of the military, the Space Force wants to grow its ranks. For officers, Brown said electrical engineering, aerospace and aeronautical engineering, and computer engineering are in high demand. Enlisted intelligence, cyber operations, and space systems operations professionals are also desired.

Space Force offers many civilian positions. People with backgrounds in aerospace, science, technology, and engineering are encouraged to apply. Consider this option if you aren't interested in or don't qualify for a military career.

This article was reviewed by Dr. Michael J. Kirchner

michael kirchner, a white man with brown hair and a beard, smiles at the camera

Dr. Michael J. Kirchner is an assistant professor of organizational leadership at Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he teaches courses in leadership and human resource development. Dr. Kirchner also serves as the campus' veteran resource center director. 

From 2013-16, Kirchner oversaw the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Military and Veterans Resource Center, where he guided programming for the campus's 1,500+ military-affiliated student population. 

Kirchner earned his Ph.D. in human resource development from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research on career transitions and leadership development has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Kirchner is the founder and president of Time for Development LLC. He served 2004-05 in Baghdad, Iraq as part of the U.S. Army National Guard.

Kirchner is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network. 

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