# Astrophysics; Money matters ?

Astrophysics; Money matters... ??

Hi,

A little intro to help you understand. I'm from India in 12th grade or A-Levels, and was applying to British Uni's for Undergrad studies. I was thinking either B.Sc Physics/Astrophysics (1st Priority) or Engineering preferably Aero

Just to get a clearer picture, do Engineers get significantly more money than Astrophysicist, i'm not overly worried about the pay-grade but I'd be spending something around £25k to £30k on my tution fees for both, so how long would it take for me to earn that kind of money?

Also, other than say NASA and CERN, etc who employs Astrophysicists ? What is there usual starting salaries and how do they compare to Engineers ? (I need to convince my father on this)

Does any Uni is UK have like a double degree/major so I could do both Aero and Astro ? (obviously, if it isnt too much work)

thanks

## Answers and Replies

avpan

you'll find most astrophysicists end up going to grad school because most of them want to pursue research. If you are just looking for what pays better and more quickly than engineers get paid more and can be hired after undergraduate more likely.

Thanks for the reply; would love more opinions..

Also, a few questions

1) If I take a sandwhich year/ placement year do I still have to pay the entire year's tuition fees ?

2) What kind of job could I get after doing B.Sc Physics/Astrophysics ? P'haps after a few years I could do Ph.D and all that or is higher education necessary to get a job after doing physics ?? I mean engineering graduates don't have any problem in it, heck most dont even do Masters ?

thanks

twofish-quant

Also, other than say NASA and CERN, etc who employs Astrophysicists ? What is there usual starting salaries and how do they compare to Engineers ? (I need to convince my father on this)

Ph.d. astrophysicists are very commonly employed by Wall Street. Starting salary for an associate is $100K +$50K bonus. Someone with 3-5 years of experience at VP level can make $200K-$300K. I personally know of people with physics Ph.D.'s that make close to $1M/year. xGAME-OVERx 1) If I take a sandwhich year/ placement year do I still have to pay the entire year's tuition fees ? You must check this with the universities you are looking at, but I did a placement year and I had to pay half fees. I think it works the same way for international students, but as I said, only the universities can tell you for sure. fasterthanjoao 2) What kind of job could I get after doing B.Sc Physics/Astrophysics ? P'haps after a few years I could do Ph.D and all that or is higher education necessary to get a job after doing physics ?? I mean engineering graduates don't have any problem in it, heck most dont even do Masters ? You'll have a good skill set with a BSc degree in physics/astrophysics. If you wanted you could apply to almost all of the same jobs that you could get with an engineering degree, so I wouldn't worry about disparity in the wages if you're willing to have any job. You could apply for graduate programmes with companies that would train you to work as an electrical engineer designing/building satellites for instance. If you want to actually work in astrophysics, there aren't any easy options. Research is conducted almost exclusively in academia, which you'll need a PhD to get in to and even then, it is difficult to land a position. samad.kidwai Ph.d. astrophysicists are very commonly employed by Wall Street. Starting salary for an associate is$100K + $50K bonus. Someone with 3-5 years of experience at VP level can make$200K-$300K. I personally know of people with physics Ph.D.'s that make close to$1M/year.

Thanks a lot for the info, just wondering i'm not entirely sure that in our Astrophysics courses we have anything to do with Finance or Accounts so how come Wall Street is a major employer ?

Wouldn't the work there be given to more suitably qualified accountants and managers ? why would they chose an Astrophysicist ?

You must check this with the universities you are looking at, but I did a placement year and I had to pay half fees. I think it works the same way for international students, but as I said, only the universities can tell you for sure.

Thanks, wondering whether the sandwich year was worth it ? I mean I could do the same job after graduating and then I wouldn't have to pay the half fees which would be like £5k ?

What is the benefit of working while in Uni rather than after graduating ?

You'll have a good skill set with a BSc degree in physics/astrophysics. If you wanted you could apply to almost all of the same jobs that you could get with an engineering degree, so I wouldn't worry about disparity in the wages if you're willing to have any job. You could apply for graduate programmes with companies that would train you to work as an electrical engineer designing/building satellites for instance.

If you want to actually work in astrophysics, there aren't any easy options. Research is conducted almost exclusively in academia, which you'll need a PhD to get in to and even then, it is difficult to land a position.

That is really helpful; doing B.Sc would let me do what I enjoy more and then I could still have an option of going into academia or industry is just awesome :D

Just wondering, so jobs in academia or in observatories or something more related to Astrophysics are only possible after a Ph.D while I could do "normal" similar to engineering jobs after B.Sc ? I guess I could always do a Ph.D when i'm ready for it :)

thanks everyone

xGAME-OVERx

Thanks, wondering whether the sandwich year was worth it ? I mean I could do the same job after graduating and then I wouldn't have to pay the half fees which would be like £5k ?

What is the benefit of working while in Uni rather than after graduating ?

It was very useful for me, but I do see your point about money. To be honest, I didn't think about that at all, I just saw it as an opportunity to broaden my education.

My placement taught me programming which isn't very widely practised at this university, it looks good on my CV, it gave me a year without academic commitments to really work out what I wanted to do after university, and the company actually offered me a job so if I did want to go straight into work after university I could have done - would have started off on about £18,000 too, which isn't terrible.

Thanks
Scott

twofish-quant

Thanks a lot for the info, just wondering i'm not entirely sure that in our Astrophysics courses we have anything to do with Finance or Accounts so how come Wall Street is a major employer ?

Imagine a particle bouncing around as it leaves a star. You write an equation that describes the behavior of said particles. Now imagine that those particles are actually stock prices. Same equations. The magic google keyword is "Black-Scholes equation."

Wouldn't the work there be given to more suitably qualified accountants and managers ? why would they chose an Astrophysicist ?

Because most accountants and managers haven't spent several years modelling radiation flow on supercomputers, and don't find that work particularly interesting. Your typical investment bank has *billions* of dollars of transactions that have to be processed, and there is this massive supercomputer in the back room that needs babysitting.

General_Sax

If you wanted you could apply to almost all of the same jobs that you could get with an engineering degree, so I wouldn't worry about disparity in the wages if you're willing to have any job.

Why would a recruiter hire an Astrophysicist over an Engineer for an engineering position?

Mépris

Imagine a particle bouncing around as it leaves a star. You write an equation that describes the behavior of said particles. Now imagine that those particles are actually stock prices. Same equations. The magic google keyword is "Black-Scholes equation."

Because most accountants and managers haven't spent several years modelling radiation flow on supercomputers, and don't find that work particularly interesting. Your typical investment bank has *billions* of dollars of transactions that have to be processed, and there is this massive supercomputer in the back room that needs babysitting.

Why not somebody who has done Mathematics, hell, why not somebody who has done Computer Science at post-graduate level?

They hire those types of people as well.

twofish-quant

Why would a recruiter hire an Astrophysicist over an Engineer for an engineering position?

Because in some situations they astrophysicist has more relevant experience

twofish-quant

Why not somebody who has done Mathematics, hell, why not somebody who has done Computer Science at post-graduate level?

They do that do. However, someone who has done mathematics or computer science may or may not have done supercomputer programming.

Also it's a matter of numbers. You have maybe a few hundred Ph.D.'s going on the job market each year. So if you happen to need five Ph.D.'s, then you've got yourself a major recruiting challenge. Your typical investment bank has a staff of several hundred Ph.D.'s., and there are probably more physics Ph.D.'s working for Goldman-Sachs than there are in most physics departments.

The other thing is that a lot of finance work is "warm body" work. I.e. you warm bodies to do the work, and there are few enough Ph.D.'s so that you get whatever you can.

One irony and paradox is that physics Ph.D.'s get paid a lot because physics Ph.D.'s aren't motivated by money. If you have a room full of MBA's and put some money on the table, then you are going to get flooded with people. Ph.D.'s are different. You can put a ton of money on the table, and people won't take it, so that someone that does take the money is going to get a lot of it.

One curious thing about the guy I know that makes $1 million/year is that he would have taken a faculty position of someone offered it to him. Mépris They do that do. However, someone who has done mathematics or computer science may or may not have done supercomputer programming. Also it's a matter of numbers. You have maybe a few hundred Ph.D.'s going on the job market each year. So if you happen to need five Ph.D.'s, then you've got yourself a major recruiting challenge. Your typical investment bank has a staff of several hundred Ph.D.'s., and there are probably more physics Ph.D.'s working for Goldman-Sachs than there are in most physics departments. The other thing is that a lot of finance work is "warm body" work. I.e. you warm bodies to do the work, and there are few enough Ph.D.'s so that you get whatever you can. One irony and paradox is that physics Ph.D.'s get paid a lot because physics Ph.D.'s aren't motivated by money. If you have a room full of MBA's and put some money on the table, then you are going to get flooded with people. Ph.D.'s are different. You can put a ton of money on the table, and people won't take it, so that someone that does take the money is going to get a lot of it. One curious thing about the guy I know that makes$1 million/year is that he would have taken a faculty position of someone offered it to him.

True that may be the case but is not more probable that out of Ph.D's who have a working knowledge of supercomputer programming, more of them are Computer Science guys, rather than physicists?

I can see your point and chances are, if I one day, have a choice between a faculty position and that kind of job, I would probably have gone for the faculty position. Then again, it's the "me of now" speaking and that "me" doesn't know much about the mechanics of these jobs. Right now, I'm more concerned with being more practical among other things - I feel erm, what's the word for it (?) ...inadequate in my physics class. Not only am I behind on the work, I also can't seem to think about the right things when designing experiments. I guess different people are more apt at other things.

At any rate, useful info/insight on here. ;)

It was very useful for me, but I do see your point about money. To be honest, I didn't think about that at all, I just saw it as an opportunity to broaden my education.

My placement taught me programming which isn't very widely practised at this university, it looks good on my CV, it gave me a year without academic commitments to really work out what I wanted to do after university, and the company actually offered me a job so if I did want to go straight into work after university I could have done - would have started off on about £18,000 too, which isn't terrible.

Thanks
Scott

So is placement year, like training for a job like internship or do you have like a "proper" job ? How often do students get paid during this year; i understand it all depends on who is recruiting and what you are interested in and everything but just a basic idea of the ratio paid to volunteers is like 1:2 or .. ?

also, thanks everyone for your opinions which are helpful :)

samd

Gold Member

Also, other than say NASA and CERN, etc who employs Astrophysicists ? What is there usual starting salaries and how do they compare to Engineers ? (I need to convince my father on this)

Does NASA really employ that many astrophysicists? Most of its employees are engineers.

xGAME-OVERx

So is placement year, like training for a job like internship or do you have like a "proper" job ? How often do students get paid during this year; i understand it all depends on who is recruiting and what you are interested in and everything but just a basic idea of the ratio paid to volunteers is like 1:2 or .. ?

also, thanks everyone for your opinions which are helpful :)

samd

Hmm, to me it always felt more like the actual job. I'd be set real programming tasks to do for a program that was actually used in 3 or 4 of the company's sites and they proposed to start selling licences to outside organisations. So it was real work, like I would have actually done if I was a full employee there instead of a placement student.

I couldn't possibly comment on the 1:2 ratio, but I personally would never have applied for a placement that didn't pay, for two reasons: 1) There are so many that do pay it would seem pointless, 2) I couldn't possibly have afforded to live for the year without an income.
I'm pretty sure my university expects that all of their students on industrial placements will be paid.

Thanks
Scott

Shaun_W

Hi,

A little intro to help you understand. I'm from India in 12th grade or A-Levels, and was applying to British Uni's for Undergrad studies. I was thinking either B.Sc Physics/Astrophysics (1st Priority) or Engineering preferably Aero

Just to get a clearer picture, do Engineers get significantly more money than Astrophysicist, i'm not overly worried about the pay-grade but I'd be spending something around £25k to £30k on my tution fees for both, so how long would it take for me to earn that kind of money?

Also, other than say NASA and CERN, etc who employs Astrophysicists ? What is there usual starting salaries and how do they compare to Engineers ? (I need to convince my father on this)

Does any Uni is UK have like a double degree/major so I could do both Aero and Astro ? (obviously, if it isnt too much work)

thanks

Who gets the most money depends on who works where. If you are solely interested in money then the two highest paying fields are investment banking and law (if it's a magic circle firm). For a job with one of these firms the degree you study is completely irrelevant: by far the most important factor is the university you study at. It's typically easier to get into engineering than physics so engineering is a safer bet. You can get into some of the "target" universities with fairly low grades for engineering, like Warwick and UCL, whereas some of the universities that are ****-hot for engineering, like Loughborough and Bath and Southampton, ask for higher grades but the name branding of those universities is not strong enough to compete with the elite ones.

I believe that Durham has one of the best astrophysics departments in Europe, so if you are interested in astrophysics check it out. For aeronautical engineering, then Southampton's degree has a lot of space stuff in it, which would also be of interest to you. Although, again, neither of these universities have a strong enough brand name to get you into the highest paying, most competitive jobs in investment banking, so don't go studying at one of these institutions "for the money" as you'll most likely be disappointed when graduates from lower quality departments are the target universities get higher paying (and probably more stressful) jobs than you.

Now you may be wondering why I haven't really mentioned anything more specific to physics and engineering, and that's primarily because there isn't a whole lot of relevant stuff for them to do in Britain. We primarily do financial services, and that's where the majority of graduates from numerate degrees end up*. For an aero-engineer then there are some opportunities in defence companies, though, and from what I've been told by friends doing these degrees, an aero-degree is mandatory. The pay is fairly comfortable - you won't starve, you'll probably be able to run your own car, and maybe own your own property before you're 30 if you're lucky. But it's not usually as good as in banking. The only real money for engineers who want to remain in engineering is in oil & gas, and we don't really hire either aero-engineers or astrophysicists.

Also, do a four year MSci or MEng rather than a three year BSc or BEng.

*Of the ones that find employment. If your university's brand name isn't prestigious enough to get you into banking or finance and you can't land a job in an industry specific to your degree then it's either teaching or Tescos.

mal4mac

you'll find most astrophysicists end up going to grad school because most of them want to pursue research. If you are just looking for what pays better and more quickly than engineers get paid more and can be hired after undergraduate more likely.

This is the American system!

In the UK you choose to do a BSc/MSc course after A levels and (usually after MSc!) do a PhD. You may get hired after BSc/MSc, perhaps in a satellite engineering company?

Leicester, for you, is worth looking at as it is strong in both astrophysics and space science, so you can hesitate for a few more years about specialising in space science/technology or astrophysics:

Physics with Space Science and Technology BSc/MPhys
http://www.le.ac.uk/ugprospectus/courses/physics_astronomy/space.html

Leicester has a large immigrant population from the Indian sub-continent, so the culture clash should not be too great. I remember great Indian restaurants as a highlight of my time there, and some great spice & Pakora shops...

Shaun_W

It's becoming more and more preferable for undergraduates to study the new four year "undergraduate masters" courses rather than just a BSc. These new courses, the somewhat contradictory named "undergraduate masters" ones, were created primarily to address the deficit in knowledge and skills between a three year English/Welsh BSc and the four year European ones.

Leicester might well be excellent for astrophysics or space science/technology. But I don't know what the chances are in finding employment in the something related to space are. It's always good to have a backup plan and I don't think a physics degree from Leicester will give the best options in the widest range of fields. A quick look on Unistats under the "Employment Prospects" tab backs up what I'm saying.

When it comes to graduate employment, the quality of the department or university in a particular area is pretty irrelevant. Most people are unaware of what university is good for what. And even if everyone knew, then it'd still be irrelevant, because you don't need to be a good astrophysicist to be a good office drone. Apart from a few exceptions such as vocational courses like medicine etc., applicants should choose a university firstly by its general prestige, and then by other factors such as whether they like the university, the location, the actual quality of education they will receive, and how nice the department is.

I did the opposite of what I am advising so I may seem a little hypocritical. In hindsight I'd have probably went to a more prestigious university (I had offers) but the people giving advice at schools were primarily teachers, and I'm wondering how much the saying "those who can't do, teach" really applied to them. Certainly, from what I've been told by graduates who are now in the world of work, the name branding of the university matters and awful lot more than what the teachers said. If my first plan doesn't work (and I'm trying extremely hard to make sure it does) then I don't really have a back up. Whereas if I went to the more "prestigious" university then there's a lot more careers I could have an easier time getting into outside of engineering. Now obviously the system is a load of crap but you can't prejudice and snobbery so you've got to play it to your advantage whenever possible. Especially if you are interested in making money.

General_Sax

don't hold anything back now... just let it all out!

twofish-quant

Who gets the most money depends on who works where. If you are solely interested in money then the two highest paying fields are investment banking and law (if it's a magic circle firm).

And astrophysics happens to be one path into investment banking.

For a job with one of these firms the degree you study is completely irrelevant

Not true at all. For the work that I do, we pretty much require some sort of hard core math/engineering/science degree, preferably a Ph.D. Also there are other parts of the firm that do different things, and so the requirements are different.

by far the most important factor is the university you study at.

Sort of, but there are some universities that no one has heard of that have very good placements, and some big name universities that have horrible placement. If you want to figure out what universities are good for career placement, the best people to talk to are alumni, since they aren't going to make more money if you decide to go to the university.

Although, again, neither of these universities have a strong enough brand name to get you into the highest paying, most competitive jobs in investment banking

Ummmmm.... How do you know this? I have the advantage that I actually have worked in investment banking.

The only real money for engineers who want to remain in engineering is in oil & gas, and we don't really hire either aero-engineers or astrophysicists.

Who is "we"? My first job after I got an astrophysics Ph.D. was in a major oil and gas company.

Also, I'm talking about the US market and things might be different in the UK. But you can move....... One thing that is nice about the US is that you have lots of people that ended up here because they didn't have the "pedigree" to make it in their original country.

flyingpig

Ph.d. astrophysicists are very commonly employed by Wall Street. Starting salary for an associate is $100K +$50K bonus. Someone with 3-5 years of experience at VP level can make $200K-$300K. I personally know of people with physics Ph.D.'s that make close to \$1M/year.

Wow must be pretty competitive. They say Wall Street are criminal friends.

twofish-quant

Wow must be pretty competitive.

It's not particularly hard for an astrophysics Ph.D. to get a job as a quant.

They say Wall Street are criminal friends.

Maybe. I don't think so, but I'm not unbiased here.

But if they throw money at physics Ph.D.'s when no one else is willing to, they can't be all bad.

Who gets the most money depends on who works where. If you are solely interested in money then the two highest paying fields are investment banking and law (if it's a magic circle firm).

Now you may be wondering why I haven't really mentioned anything more specific to physics and engineering, and that's primarily because there isn't a whole lot of relevant stuff for them to do in Britain. For an aero-engineer then there are some opportunities in defence companies, though, and from what I've been told by friends doing these degrees, an aero-degree is mandatory. The pay is fairly comfortable - you won't starve, you'll probably be able to run your own car, and maybe own your own property before you're 30 if you're lucky. But it's not usually as good as in banking. The only real money for engineers who want to remain in engineering is in oil & gas, and we don't really hire either aero-engineers or astrophysicists.

Also, do a four year MSci or MEng rather than a three year BSc or BEng.

*Of the ones that find employment. If your university's brand name isn't prestigious enough to get you into banking or finance and you can't land a job in an industry specific to your degree then it's either teaching or Tescos.

I'm not "solely" interested in making money; it has its usefulness so I wondered what kind of jobs we'd be getting .

How is Hertfordshire Uni for Physics/Astro, they've got Sandwich year which means i'd be more employable as i'd have done some work.. ?

Well, I was thinking of doing MEng or MSci later depending on whether I get jobs in Engineering industry or Physics or Reasearch related stuff. I could still do MEng Aerospace after Astrophysics right ?

lol at Tescos :D

Hmm, to me it always felt more like the actual job. I'd be set real programming tasks to do for a program that was actually used in 3 or 4 of the company's sites and they proposed to start selling licences to outside organisations. So it was real work, like I would have actually done if I was a full employee there instead of a placement student.

I couldn't possibly comment on the 1:2 ratio, but I personally would never have applied for a placement that didn't pay, for two reasons: 1) There are so many that do pay it would seem pointless, 2) I couldn't possibly have afforded to live for the year without an income.
I'm pretty sure my university expects that all of their students on industrial placements will be paid.

Thanks
Scott

So, what kind of money do undergrads get during this year (if it isnt too personal); 10-15k ?

Well, Hertfordshire Uni for Physics/Astro, are the only ones that got Sandwich year for Astro, there usual placements are to research insitutes or observatories . I've mailed them asking whether they get paid coz its kinda useless to take a sandwich year if you dont get paid, right ?

This is the American system!

In the UK you choose to do a BSc/MSc course after A levels and (usually after MSc!) do a PhD. You may get hired after BSc/MSc, perhaps in a satellite engineering company?

Leicester, for you, is worth looking at as it is strong in both astrophysics and space science, so you can hesitate for a few more years about specialising in space science/technology or astrophysics:

Physics with Space Science and Technology BSc/MPhys
http://www.le.ac.uk/ugprospectus/courses/physics_astronomy/space.html

Leicester has a large immigrant population from the Indian sub-continent, so the culture clash should not be too great. I remember great Indian restaurants as a highlight of my time there, and some great spice & Pakora shops...

I've stayed in Leicester several times, its a great place. My father's a visiting Professor of English there

the best indian restraunt there imo is Kebabish on Humberstone Rd. (near Toys R Us in town)

It's becoming more and more preferable for undergraduates to study the new four year "undergraduate masters" courses rather than just a BSc. These new courses, the somewhat contradictory named "undergraduate masters" ones, were created primarily to address the deficit in knowledge and skills between a three year English/Welsh BSc and the four year European ones.

Leicester might well be excellent for astrophysics or space science/technology. But I don't know what the chances are in finding employment in the something related to space are. It's always good to have a backup plan and I don't think a physics degree from Leicester will give the best options in the widest range of fields. A quick look on Unistats under the "Employment Prospects" tab backs up what I'm saying.

When it comes to graduate employment, the quality of the department or university in a particular area is pretty irrelevant. Most people are unaware of what university is good for what. And even if everyone knew, then it'd still be irrelevant, because you don't need to be a good astrophysicist to be a good office drone. Apart from a few exceptions such as vocational courses like medicine etc., applicants should choose a university firstly by its general prestige, and then by other factors such as whether they like the university, the location, the actual quality of education they will receive, and how nice the department is.

I did the opposite of what I am advising so I may seem a little hypocritical. In hindsight I'd have probably went to a more prestigious university (I had offers) but the people giving advice at schools were primarily teachers, and I'm wondering how much the saying "those who can't do, teach" really applied to them. Certainly, from what I've been told by graduates who are now in the world of work, the name branding of the university matters and awful lot more than what the teachers said. If my first plan doesn't work (and I'm trying extremely hard to make sure it does) then I don't really have a back up. Whereas if I went to the more "prestigious" university then there's a lot more careers I could have an easier time getting into outside of engineering. Now obviously the system is a load of crap but you can't prejudice and snobbery so you've got to play it to your advantage whenever possible. Especially if you are interested in making money.

Thanks for unistats , great resource :)

What kind of back-up do you suggest ? I could do a dual degree from Keele (is it good) with and Astrophysics and Finance ??

don't hold anything back now... just let it all out!

???

Shaun_W

And astrophysics happens to be one path into investment banking.

It's not the easiest path to take if you want the most amount of money for the least amount of work. I'm doing engineering - a popular degree in investment banking - and it's hard work. Physics is even harder work, because when us engineers are getting a break from the hard stuff by doing the management and finance and ethics stuff, the physicists are doing yet more tough maths.

An easier option would be sociology or something else that's quite easy at a "target" university, with massive emphasis on "target university".

Not true at all. For the work that I do, we pretty much require some sort of hard core math/engineering/science degree, preferably a Ph.D. Also there are other parts of the firm that do different things, and so the requirements are different.

I was referring specifically to entry from an undergraduate background, sorry if I did not make this clear.

Sort of, but there are some universities that no one has heard of that have very good placements, and some big name universities that have horrible placement. If you want to figure out what universities are good for career placement, the best people to talk to are alumni, since they aren't going to make more money if you decide to go to the university.

I don't know of any British universities that have pre-agreed placements with investment banks for their students, which is what I think you are referring to. And even then, a placement is no guarantee of getting recruited as a graduate. If such pre-agreed placements did exist then I'd question why graduates from these universities do not appear on the recruitment lists.

Ummmmm.... How do you know this? I have the advantage that I actually have worked in investment banking.

I know this because data is released each year showing where the investment banks recruit graduates from and only a select few universities appear on that list, and I've never seen anything to suggest anything otherwise.

Who is "we"? My first job after I got an astrophysics Ph.D. was in a major oil and gas company.

We refers to the companies located in Aberdeen, the oil capital of Europe, and this includes all six of the supermajors. I've never came across an astrophysicist during my years here and as such I don't feel comfortable in honestly saying that the oil & gas industry, here, is a route for an astrophysicist. Of course, I haven't met everyone here and there might well be astrophysicists here but if someone wants to make good money from doing a technical job then I'd have to recommend some sort of engineering at a university that is geographically close to the companies that are most likely to need highly skilled engineers.

Also, I'm talking about the US market and things might be different in the UK.

I don't know how things are in Wall Street, and I don't know how things work for experienced and PhD hires in London either.

I do know a little bit about how hiring works for undergraduates in London (mainly from a "what not to do" perspective rather than a "what to do one" since I'm barred from life from an investment bank because of my university choice) though, mainly from people that were "lucky" enough to get these jobs themselves and I've never heard anyone of them ever say that the name branding of the university is anything less than a huge factor in determining whether HR puts your CV in the bin or lets it through to the next stage.

But you can move....... One thing that is nice about the US is that you have lots of people that ended up here because they didn't have the "pedigree" to make it in their original country.

There certainly exists a lot more class prejudice in the UK and as such I'm not surprised that the investment banks recruit almost solely from the universities which have the highest amount of privately educated students (as well as the hardest working most naive Asians).

That's why I'm probably moving to the US or Canada at some point.

Shaun_W

I'm not "solely" interested in making money; it has its usefulness so I wondered what kind of jobs we'd be getting .

How is Hertfordshire Uni for Physics/Astro, they've got Sandwich year which means i'd be more employable as i'd have done some work.. ?

Well, I was thinking of doing MEng or MSci later depending on whether I get jobs in Engineering industry or Physics or Reasearch related stuff. I could still do MEng Aerospace after Astrophysics right ?

lol at Tescos :D

I don't know anything about Hertfordshire, sorry.

You'd be more employable to the industries that you have done your sandwich year in, yes.

An MEng/MSci is an undergraduate degree so if you already have a BSc or a BEng then to top up your qualifications to masters level you'd need to do an MSc. You could probably easily do a masters in aerospace after astrophysics but it'd be best to check out this out for yourself at the universities you'd consider studying at.

So, what kind of money do undergrads get during this year (if it isnt too personal); 10-15k ?

BP pay their interns 18K. 15-18K is fairly normal in the oil & gas, I think, but it's obviously going to be less elsewhere.

Thanks for unistats , great resource :)

It's not the be-all end-all, but yes it's a good resource.

What kind of back-up do you suggest ? I could do a dual degree from Keele (is it good) with and Astrophysics and Finance ??

I suggest that you consider the prestige of the institution before considering what degree you are going to study and how good this institution is at that particular degree. Although that's more for general graduate jobs, i.e. management, paper filling, answering phones, etc.

If you know you want to do something technical then the prestige of the university you study at is irrelevant. So go to Leicester since it's really good for astrophysics. But if you attended a more prestigious university then you'd have an easier time transitioning away from science/technical work into more general graduate work like using the photocopier and making Powerpoint presentations.

You were talking about money so I got the impression that that's what you were primarily after. People don't usually study physics or engineering for the money since it's fairly average paying and not well respected.

But if you know you want to work in a technical field then ignore most of what I'm saying and do your absolute best to network with the people in this field. Make contacts, attend careers fairs, attend any events.

twofish-quant

It's not the easiest path to take if you want the most amount of money for the least amount of work. I'm doing engineering - a popular degree in investment banking - and it's hard work.

If you wanted the easiest path to large amounts of money, you probably wouldn't be reading this group at all. Now if you want to study physics and you don't object to making large amounts of money, then that's something different.

The problem with targeting a university, is that even then it's non-trivial to get in, which blows up the least amount of work part. Also, I question whether investment banking is an easy job. You are looking at 15 hour days if you are an analyst, and you may not make all that money if you are unlucky.

I don't know of any British universities that have pre-agreed placements with investment banks for their students, which is what I think you are referring to.

Investment banks do focus recruitment efforts at some universities, but there are other ways of getting in.

I know this because data is released each year showing where the investment banks recruit graduates from and only a select few universities appear on that list, and I've never seen anything to suggest anything otherwise.

And I work in investment banking. Ph.D. recruitment is very, very different from MBA recruitment, and school connections aren't particularly important for Ph.D. recruitment in US/UK.

I've never came across an astrophysicist during my years here and as such I don't feel comfortable in honestly saying that the oil & gas industry, here, is a route for an astrophysicist.

So move to Texas. I can introduce you to a few people that I used to work with.

There certainly exists a lot more class prejudice in the UK and as such I'm not surprised that the investment banks recruit almost solely from the universities which have the highest amount of privately educated students (as well as the hardest working most naive Asians).

This might be true for undergraduates, but even in London, I *know* it's not true for people with technical degrees, at least for some of the banks there.