Career in Astrophysics?

  • #1
Hello, I'm new to this forum and I've never posted a thread, but everyone on here seems very friendly so I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask a question that's been on my mind lately.

I'm interested in becoming an astrophysicist, but I've heard that it's very hard to get a job. Is this true or just a myth?

Blunt and honest answers are very much appreciated.
 

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  • #2
Orodruin
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I suggeset reading through this text from our academic guidance forum https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/so-you-want-to-be-a-physicist.240792/
Apart from that, what is your current level of education? The path to becoming a physicist is long and there are many branches. The job market is quite competitive and you should know that if you essentially go the fastest way possible, you will be well on your way to 40 before getting a permanent position of any sort.
 
  • #3
Choppy
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It is difficult to get a job as an astrophysicist.

The issue is that such jobs are genererally limited to academia - professors in universities or perhaps a handful of jobs at national laboratories. On average, any given professor will mentor about ten graduate students over his or her career. One of those will replace the professor eventually at retirment. But what happens to the other nine? Maybe one will get a job that's primarily focussed on teaching. Another might get lucky if there happens to be a lot of growth in the specific field.

The majority of those students eventually find ways to use their education (to varying degrees) in professions that there are bigger demands for. Examples range from financial modeling, to actuarial work, to programming, to engineering
 
  • #4
It is difficult to get a job as an astrophysicist.

The issue is that such jobs are genererally limited to academia - professors in universities or perhaps a handful of jobs at national laboratories. On average, any given professor will mentor about ten graduate students over his or her career. One of those will replace the professor eventually at retirment. But what happens to the other nine? Maybe one will get a job that's primarily focussed on teaching. Another might get lucky if there happens to be a lot of growth in the specific field.

The majority of those students eventually find ways to use their education (to varying degrees) in professions that there are bigger demands for. Examples range from financial modeling, to actuarial work, to programming, to engineering

I suggeset reading through this text from our academic guidance forum https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/so-you-want-to-be-a-physicist.240792/
Apart from that, what is your current level of education? The path to becoming a physicist is long and there are many branches. The job market is quite competitive and you should know that if you essentially go the fastest way possible, you will be well on your way to 40 before getting a permanent position of any sort.

Thank you very much for the link and the information you gave me. To answer your question regarding my current level of education, I'm attending my first year of college this fall.
 
  • #5
Orodruin
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But what happens to the other nine?
And what happens to all the people that were not selected in the PhD admission process?
I'm attending my first year of college this fall.
Then you still have some time before you have to commit to anything. As Choppy said, there are also alternative careers and you might want to consider whether these are something that you could imagine doing as well before jumping into it. The thing to remember is that doing an academic career will require quite a lot of sacrifices in terms of early life job security etc, so this is something you should be aware of if you go for it.
 
  • #6
Chronos
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The first step in becoming an astrophysicist is to become a physicist, and the job prospects for a physicist are not gloomy. I would encourage you to follow your heart and see where it takes you. Only a lucky few end up as astrophysicists, but, not a single one started out with less than a dream.
 
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