As I interview executives and analysts in the satellite industry, one issue keeps popping up in tangent conversations — the age issue. But there is little agreement on the exact nature of the problem.
The range of issues includes:
1. More than a few executives have noted that they are worried about “carrying over the excitement and enthusiasm” of the satellite industry because a large portion of consultants and executives are either nearing retirement or being pulled out of it.
2. Boeing released a study this year stating that the average age of an aerospace engineer is 54. Even more surprising is that 80 percent of engineers and industry personnel said they would not recommend the industry to their children.
3. Recruiting companies have confirmed in interviews that retired engineers and executives continue to be in demand and that 30-plus years of experience is becoming a prerequisite for a majority of senior positions.
4. I have heard the phrase “the space industry isn’t sexy anymore,” at least a dozen times by more than a handful of people.
Is there a lack of youth in the satellite industry? If so, how will the age gap affect the industry and what can it do to fix this problem?