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Engineering Astrophysics or Engineering

  1. Sep 3, 2012 #1
    Hey, I need some advice. I am thinking about grad school for astrophysics and trying to decide what I should do. The question I am posing is that given the low availability of PhD astro job would it be better just to become an engineer (electrical) and do astronomy/astrophysics on my own if possible. The next option is get an Astro PhD and if I don't get a job, go to finance then retire early and study Astrophysics. And the last option is a Astro PhD and post docs.

    I am also wondering if it would be possible for me to do Astrophysics if I did go post doc route.
    Also I love space and want to help the make manned space travel a reality, and this sounds like an engineer I think.

    Any advice is welcome, thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2012 #2
    Anyone, any advice here please.
  4. Sep 6, 2012 #3
    A lot of astrophysics jobs are a lot like engineering day-to-day. You'll probably learn to be a good programmer and might (depending on the project) learn some electronics too. I work with some Astrophysicists who write incredibly complex real-time software and some that write FPGA firmware in VHDL.

    You could think of an Astrophysics PhD as a lovely way to spend a few years (as long as you don't need the money) and then you would have top-shelf software skills to market. A lot of Astrophysics software is directly applicable to finance and, more interestingly in my opinion, materials simulations.
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