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Completed my b.tech in computer science

  1. Nov 23, 2010 #1
    hi physicsts

    I had completed my b.tech in computer science and engineering and want to pursue a career as a good astrophysicst. Now in India there is an intergrated Msc-PhD programme at indian institute of astroastrphysics
    and they allow b.tech grads to do astrophysics if they have good knowledge in physics and they clear the JEST entrance. Currently I can do MS in Computer science with a specialisation in geospatial.
    But I am changing to physics. I wan to do research and become a sceintist and i want to learn astrophysics. Can I have other opnion of changing to physis from computer science.

    What about jobs in Astrophysics?
    how about salary of astrophysicst? I am not changing to physics for high salary but i just wanted to know.
    Can astrophysicst have a good career?

    Is astrophysicst one of the best branches of physics? if not which is the best branch in physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2010 #2


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    Re: Astrophysics

    There is no "best" branch of physics. You cannot compare subjective traits with objective criteria.
  4. Nov 23, 2010 #3
    Re: Astrophysics

    with 'best' I mean branch of physics which is giving high salary. someone told me that astrophysicst have very attractive salary and vast openings after phD. Is that true
  5. Nov 23, 2010 #4


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    Re: Astrophysics

    Depends on what you mean by "very high." I don't think any job these days have "vast openings."

    Be more specific and you might start getting more helpful answers.
  6. Nov 23, 2010 #5
    Re: Astrophysics

    The life of an astrophysicist is that of being nocturnal and spending the majority of your life studying a narrow-narrow sub-field like gamma ray radiation from galactic bulges. If this appeals to you compound it with the fact that you will have an extremely low-salary unless you manage to get a tenure-track professorship at an ivy league school which is literally impossible considering you intend to study at a considerably unknown institution outside of the so called, "Elite American, Canadian, or European Institutions".

    Employment (excluding finance) is extremely hard to come by and even if you graduated from a "prestigious" institution in the United States, there are far more freshly minted PhD's coming out of those schools each year than there are research positions for them.

    Not to discourage you, but considering the credentials you would graduate with, your chances of succeeding in meaningful research are almost nil.
  7. Nov 23, 2010 #6
    Re: Astrophysics

    dear Caramon,

    So you are saying that its better to study MS in computerscience with a specialization in geospatial that to go for astrophysics?

    In your opinion which branch of physics should I do?
  8. Nov 23, 2010 #7


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    Gold Member

    Re: Astrophysics

    You should do the one you would happily do anyway, even if had to be for free.
  9. Nov 23, 2010 #8
    Re: Astrophysics

    Well, I am not necessarily saying that. Computer Science is definitely an easier credential to be employed with, but does it interest you the most? Would you be happier working with computers on programming or would you want to study the Universe and all of it's interesting facets?

    If you REALLY want to study astrophysics and it feels like a calling for you, you can make it work and you can be successful. But, just because it is something you think is interesting doesn't necessarily mean you have to turn it into a career and study it full-time. You may get the need you were looking for in understanding the awe-inspiring beauty of the Universe by purchasing an amateur telescope such as this one: [http://www.telescope.com/control/te...ion-skyquest-xt8-classic-dobsonian-telescope] and experiencing the observational beauty of the stars, planets, nebulae, and galaxies.

    Maybe THAT is what you are looking for, not the nitty gritty, mathematical modeling and theoretical computations that consume your life and allow for no (small exaggeration) free-time.

    You really need to asses your motives for choosing a particular area of study and why it is that you are interested in it. I'm not going to be one to say that money is not important, because it does play a large role in your life, but certainly do not base a career around money and always remember to live in the present moment and enjoy what it is that you love. If you love astrophysics and have a deep-rooted passion for it, then by all means, PLEASE STUDY ASTROPHYSICS! But if you don't think you would be that interested in all of the mathematics and not willing to push through the mundane study of the dynamics of interstellar dust grains then I would suggest to pursue something else.
  10. Nov 30, 2010 #9
    Re: Astrophysics

    Wow thanks Dr Buzzkill, that's exactly what an aspiring physics major wants to hear
  11. Nov 30, 2010 #10
    Re: Astrophysics

    Also realize that past experience is no guarantee of future performance. Wall Street did hire pretty large numbers of astrophysicists in 2005. Whether this will be true in 2015, I don't know, and neither does anyone else. If you get a Ph.D. in astrophysics, then do it for the love of astrophysics, that way if the market collapses, then you can say "we'll I'm poor but at least I have a Ph.D. in astrophysics."
  12. Nov 30, 2010 #11
    Re: Astrophysics

    It depends on what you mean by "meaningful research." The stuff that I work on keeps the world financial system from imploding, and that's "meaningful" to me. Whether it's meaningful to you depends on you.
  13. Nov 30, 2010 #12
    Re: Astrophysics

    Go through the syllabus of the MSc-PhD programme in Astrophysics at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. If you think the curricula is within your reach given your background in Computer Science, then by all means appear for the entrance exam (JEST). It will also help you gauge your abilities in Physics.
    If you are looking for a career outside the academia, there are research labs run by Indian organisations like ISRO which do hire physicists. Then there are institutes like Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) which is also involved in astrophysics research.

    Like I said, there is absolutely nothing wrong in appearing for the entrance exam. But weigh your options carefully before making a career decision. Good luck!
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