There are several reasons that WW2 Naval / Aerial style combat isn't likely in a sci-fi space setting. There are a number of per-requisites that are necessary or likely before space travel is commonplace that would cause combat to be long periods of waiting followed by burst of action too fast for humans to comprehend.
Space combat would take place at ranges and speeds that make human interaction almost irrelevant, and humans become little more than payload.
Additionally, with the amount of kinetic energy projectiles traveling at orbital (much less near-relativistic) velocities armor is mostly meaningless and a larger ship just means a larger target.
So let's break down each of the things that make space combat happen this fast, and ways to ignore or invalidate them.
Sensors / Stealth - One key to any space combat is that, in space, there's nowhere to hide. It's a big empty place that making it hard for a camouflaged ship to hide itself and ambush another ship or fleet of ships.
While a ship could possibly mask itself behind the other side of a planet, as soon as it comes into view it'll be quickly detected by the heat it gives off relative to the emptiness of space. Complicating matters even more is the potential for surveillance drones that scout ahead and around possible terrain - something we'll need to address later.
Pretty much right off the bat you'll need to find some reason to make ships invisible to one another until they are in close proximity. Some sort of countermeasures like ECM that makes radar / lidar / other active sensors ineffective, and some sort of 'cloaking device' (which could be as simple as coolant that lowers the temperature of ships skin to the cold of space) that makes passive IR sensors ineffective.
One additional thing is you can crib from submarine warfare where using active sensors gives away your own position. Of course, there's again little reason that drones / scout ship pickets couldn't do the sensing / jamming rather than the bulk of the combat fleet.
Distance Space is vast. It could be days, weeks, months, even years after detection where two combat fleets would jockey for position in interplanetary combat. Cutting this down would require vastly improved propulsion systems - some sort of jump / warp / relativistic drive to cover large distances quickly. This becomes less of an issue if you're talking about combat around a single planet, but it still takes days for the most powerful rockets even get from the earth to the moon.
Of course, if you're using vastly more powerful drives, you need a way to slow combat back down when the fleets close. I'd suggest jump drives aren't accurate enough (possibly imprecise, sensors blinded while jumping, etc) that forces fleets to jump near each other but regroup rather than jump directly into combat using slower drives.
Speed - The other side of the distance coin.
Stuff in space moves fast. Super, almost incomprehensibly fast. A spacecraft in earth's orbit is moving an order of magnitude faster than a bullet fired by a powerful gun, making it nearly impossible for a human to identify and react to inbound missiles. Energy weapons move even faster.
Once you've used your jump drives to close into 'combat' range, you are still going to have fleets closing on one another at thousands of miles an hour. You aren't going to have dogfights, you're going to have bullets blasting past bullets.
The only thing possibly fast enough to react is going to be machines, basically missiles crashing into missiles. There needs to be some incentive to put people in these missiles rather than making them computer controlled fire-and-forget weapons.
Computers - Computers can do everything people can do faster than people can do it. Why bother with people who take up space, need life support, and are little use in combat? There absolutely needs to be a reason that powerful computers don't work in combat, otherwise everything is robots fighting robots. Human reaction speeds need to be meaningful.
Armor - Armor is meaningless when you're talking about the speeds above. A kinetic projectile fired impacting at the closing velocities above will have enough energy to devastate a capital ship. Even more importantly, that capital ship won't have any time or opportunity to maneuver and avoid that projectile.
Gotta have some sort of shield to absorb those projectiles and the high power energy of lasers.
Shields - There needs to be some sort of shielding to dissipate energy weapons. Of course, there can be consequences of this like only large ships can power shields, and powering shields either takes so much power or it renders the shielded ship impossible to maneuver.
So anyway, to sum this up:
Ships can't detect each other at great distance due to jamming / not wanting to reveal their positions. Stealth systems multiply this factor. Ships close to close distance at high speeds, but slow down relative to each other for combat because they can't see each other while warping / jumping (shielding themselves from crashing into debris).
Once combat is engaged the large manned ships engage shields to protect themselves from instant annihilation with the side effect of being unable to maneuver. Shields work two ways, so they can't just fry anything outside the shields without risking the instant annihilation above which gives a reason for fighters / bombers / torpedo bombers.
Large amounts of EM radiation / jamming (possibly from shields?) makes powerful computers useless so targeting needs to be done by EM resistant humans. This prevents fire and forget robotic missiles.
Carriers close, launch fighters, turn on shields, dogfight ensues. Bombers take down capital ship shields. Everything's done at relatively slow speeds with iron sights.
Alternatively, humans don't do the actual fighting - they jockey for position, set their pieces, then the actual combat happens almost instantly. See submarine warfare for an example where - once everyone has gotten into position and the torpedoes are fired it's basically wait to see if you live or die.
Or, as an easy cheat, mutually ensured destruction means combat is restrained with careful rules. Combat basically becomes a ritualized sport based on WW2 in space. Using computers in combat is a war crime, everything needs to happen at human reaction speeds, limits to velocity / destructive power keep everything from getting destroyed immediately.