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Physics Fascinated by Astrophysics

  1. Jun 13, 2005 #1


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    Hello everyone!

    I've been fascinated by Astrophysics, astronomy and indeed astrophotography for quite a while now. Even though my knowledge is in its infancy, my dilemma as a student is not knowing where the three categories listed above can lead me up to.

    What type of careers is one looking at when he or she takes a degree in Astrophysics and Astronomy?

    Are the types of careers aboundant in number? or is Astrophysics and Astronomy considered as a hobby and hence not a lot of careers are available?

    Many thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2005 #2


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    Hi DM! Are you at university now, or are you about to go? If you are already there what course are you studying?

    There are plenty of good courses in astronomy & astrophysics, the names will vary from institution to institution, astrophysics tends to be more 'hard science' - literally the 'physics of the stars', but you cannot be sure. Decide whether you want to study observational astrophysics or theoretical. If theoretical you will have to have good mathematical skills, indeed you will need maths for both.

    It is a quickly changing field of study and therefore continues to be fascinating even after years of study.

    At the other end as a graduate/postgraduate there are plenty of opportunities to continue in research as a post doc. However, to be frank, the permanent jobs are few and far between and you have to be very good to land one of those.

    However all is not lost, you will have had not only a very fascinating training but also a very marketable one. You will be a 'hard scientist' skilled in mathematics, computers, statistics, data handling and used to handling expensive scientific equipment, maybe space technology as well. Many businesses will want those skills and experience.

    I hope this helps and I am sure others will give you the benefit of their thoughts as well!

  4. Jun 13, 2005 #3


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    First of all I'd like to thank you for the quick reply. At the moment I'm at a level equivalent to A-Levels in Physics and Maths. My fear is finding myself undecisive in Uni when considering Astrophysics and yet not knowing what kind of careers there are available.

    Really tough because I adore both! I regard Astronomy as observational while Astrophysics as the studying of these observations, obviously not entirely true as we're unable to observe certain things that Astrophysics addresses in its calculations.
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