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Astrophysics Questions

  1. Aug 26, 2014 #1
    Hello, I'm currently in my senior year finishing a Finance degree but have come to the realization that I should follow the career path I would actually enjoy rather than simply getting a job and starting a 9-5 life. However I have a few questions on my mind and if anybody could help me it would be greatly appreciated!

    1. How late do Astrophysicists work?
    - One of my goals in life is to be a father and a family man, but I'm uncertain of how late and how often AP work, will this create problems?

    2. Will having a previous degree hurt my eligibility for graduate school admission?

    3. How often do astrophysicists travel for study?
    - I've read forums that say their constantly on the road and all over the world, which I have no problem with. Traveling the world and studying your passion is amazing, but once again may cause some problems if I look to settle down.

    4. How hard is it Financially after completing a Ph.D?
    - I don't come from a family of money by any means so student loans are more than likely, how much am I looking to borrow for a Ph.D and have any of you had problems finding jobs and paying it off post-graduation?

    5. How many graduates actually end up doing astronomy/physics?
    - Another concern I have is seeing that many graduates end up in other jobs anyways, and I would be pretty unhappy if I invested another 8+ years of schooling and a lot of money to end up at a desk doing Finance work anyways.

    I appreciate your time!

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2014 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Let's start from the beginning. If you have a degree in finance, what's your plan for getting accepted into graduate school in physics, astronomy or astrophysics? They expect a BS or equivalent in the field you intend to study.
  4. Aug 26, 2014 #3
    My university offers after degree's, meaning I can obtain another Bachelors outside of my faculty in 2 years, using previous credits. So I could obtain either a BsC with a major in physics or a specialization in Astrophysics.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  5. Aug 26, 2014 #4


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    Some astrophysicists do their best work after dark. It may not be the 9-5 job that finance usually is.
  6. Aug 26, 2014 #5


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    Physics is a cumulative degree; you can't just take 4 classes at a time and expect to pass them all, especially with all the math classes you're probably missing. Do not expect to earn a bachelors in physics in just two years unless you're already halfway through a math major.

    1. It's not a job with set hours. You have stuff that has to get done, and you stay until you do it. If you're not willing to work the hours, someone else will be. There are more astrophysicists than there are jobs. It's a job we love, so working long hours doesn't bother us, but it's certainly not a 9-5 job.

    2. Not if you meet their admissions requirements.

    3. That depends on the type of job you have. As an astrophysicist working for a university, I travel for work internationally 1-2 times per year, domestically maybe 6-8 times per year.

    4. A PhD in the sciences is free. They will pay you to get it (but not much).

    5. Most will get a job in either astronomy or physics. But those physics jobs might not be related to astronomy.
  7. Aug 27, 2014 #6
    Astrophysics is just another job, though one that's difficult to get and not very well paid. To get tenure (i.e., a career) you need to work "all hours" and will still probably not get tenure. The competition, for very few places, is the fiercest of any profession. You'll almost certainly give up and, with relief, drop into a career in finance or IT. After 8 years, at least, you will not feel you *must* do astrophysics because it's *so* wonderful. (I blame Brian Cox...)
  8. Aug 27, 2014 #7
    Thanks for the information! It's appreciated!
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