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Career as an astrophysicist?

  1. Oct 26, 2013 #1
    Hi there! Im new in this forum; i have a big question: can i easily find job as a researcher in astrophysics? I read that if you choose astrophysics, you might find a job as professor (after postodocs), and i also read that job in private or national lab are difficult to find and very competitive. Is this true? Im in university and i would like to get a degree ( Ph.D) in astrophysics, because i love study planets, galaxies. since i was a kid, i was very interested in study things that are very big and very far from us, because the mistery behind galaxies, planets etc make me excited. I also would like to study particle physics, but i prefer astrophysics. My dream, since i was kid, its to be a research, like the one who analyzes data in the day and in the night uses telescopes and stuff. Is it possible to get a job like that? Do i need a postdocs? Is it very competitive?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2013 #2
    That really depends on a lot of factors. In many developed countries it would be very hard, even if you were a great candidate. The competition is huge and is increasing at a rapid pace due to a variety of reasons.

    However one of my Chinese friends has just gotten a tenured research position with great pay straight after his PhD. The area is somewhat related to astrophysics (but not exactly what you describe), and the position is in China. Some other developing countries might also provide nice opportunities.

    Then again, this is the current picture. When you get your PhD (it may take quite a few years), everything will likely be quite different.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  4. Nov 9, 2013 #3
    It is not very easy to find a job, physics as a whole is very competitive a sub-field such as astrophysics is bound to be even more competitive. You might be-able to find a job as a professor. However, if you have a passion for it do it anyways, otherwise you will regret not doing it.
  5. Nov 10, 2013 #4
    It's not an easy field. Many drop out and change majors long before they get close to a PhD. Those who get the degree may have to work in related fields. It is kind of like being an actor. Yes you can be one but you might have to work at some other jobs to pay the bills while you look for acting jobs. Then after a while you "make it". So you might have to teach General Science at a liberal Arts college for a while who knows. But you keep with your field and stay with it.
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