Astronomy academic/research jobs:Really that hard to get?

In summary, the conversation discusses the difficulty of obtaining tenure or government-funded research positions in the field of astronomy. It is noted that there are approximately 6,000 astronomers in the USA and only a small number of job opportunities available, as each professor typically only graduates one student who can replace them. Additionally, it is mentioned that many individuals who study astronomy end up finding work in other fields such as engineering or programming.
  • #1
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I have read lots of comments talking about how hard is to get tenure or goverment-funding research positions. Okay, but how hard is it? Perhaps some statistical info about it? From what I've heard, there are around 6k astronomers in the usa. Let's asume half of them are working in the industry. That leaves quite a small job environment for astronomy
 
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  • #2
A professor will graduate maybe 10 students in his career, only one of whom is needed to replace him. That's the starting point.
 
  • #3
Vanadium 50 said:
A professor will graduate maybe 10 students in his career, only one of whom is needed to replace him. That's the starting point.
It is actually worse than this since 10 would be around the minimum. Some professors with large research groups graduate much more.
 
  • #4
And some graduate fewer. The point is not that the odds are 10.00000%.
 
  • #5
Most people who study astronomy end up as engineers or programmers. At our company we hire a lot of University cast offs.
 

1. What qualifications do I need to have to apply for an astronomy academic/research job?

To apply for an astronomy academic/research job, you typically need to have a PhD in Astronomy or a related field, such as Astrophysics or Physics. Some positions may also require postdoctoral experience and a strong publication record.

2. Are there any specific skills or experience that are highly valued in astronomy academic/research jobs?

In addition to having a strong academic background, skills such as programming, data analysis, and experience with telescopes and observatories are highly valued in astronomy academic/research jobs. Excellent communication and teamwork skills are also important for collaborating with other researchers and presenting findings.

3. How competitive are astronomy academic/research jobs?

Astronomy academic/research jobs can be very competitive, as there are often a limited number of positions available compared to the number of qualified applicants. It is important to have a strong academic background and relevant experience to increase your chances of securing a job in this field.

4. Is it necessary to have a certain level of mathematical proficiency for astronomy academic/research jobs?

While a strong understanding of mathematics is important in astronomy, it is not always necessary to have a specific level of proficiency. Some positions may require advanced mathematical skills, while others may not. It is important to carefully read the job requirements to determine the level of mathematical proficiency needed for a specific position.

5. Are there opportunities for advancement in astronomy academic/research jobs?

Yes, there are opportunities for advancement in astronomy academic/research jobs. With a strong publication record and experience leading research projects, you may have the opportunity to move into more senior positions, such as professorships or research team leader roles.

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