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Need career guidance

  1. May 5, 2005 #1
    Hey... I'm currently a high school student studying Science and hoping to do an undergraduate course in Physics and Astronomy or Space sciences. However, I'm not clear on the career opportunities available and the future stability if I choose to pursue this field. I would appreciate if anyone could enlighten me on this subject.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2005 #2


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    It depends, how are you doing in your math classes? Unfortunately, there aren't many career opportunities for astronomers without a strong quantitative background, so if you want it, you're going to have to either work really hard or be gifted...or both, in some cases. If you can cut it, however, then you will be hirable in a wide variety of jobs, as astrophysicists are viewed by the business world as great thinkers. Of course, if you're that good, chances are you'll enjoy the field enough to want to become a professor. It's not a very lucrative job, but most of the people doing it aren't so concerned about money. :wink:
  4. May 6, 2005 #3
    More questions than answers!!!

    Thanks for the reply, Spacetiger.... But I have a few more questions which I hope you will be able to answer... What is the difference between the courses Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences... I have applied for an undergraduate course in Space Sciences... What do you think the career opportunities are if I choose to be a graduate in this field?
  5. May 6, 2005 #4
    space sciences studies- planets, space exploration(robotics...ie yorku), rocks, space habitation

    Astronomy -is more experimental, ie using large telescopes collecting and interpreting data
    Astrophysics- more theoretical though of course you usually never see astronomy without astrophysics(usually). Its more intense in physics, and amth and you study
    cosmology and stellar and galactic evolution...if you do astrophysics your more than likely going to aim for MSc Phd...and in that case I say learn programming now when your young...either in Matlab or Fortran or C/C++

    There should be alot of job opportunities as long as your willing to work for it.
    I suggest Applying for summer volunteer work in a lab at a university to see if its really for you..if your CDN make sure your 1st year marks are high and then apply for NSERC summer internship. Then as you proceed further in your academics make sure you get a few more projects(papers will definitely help).

    The one thing you gotta make sure is that the lifestyles are for you.(some places are intense in workhours)
  6. May 6, 2005 #5


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    I'd think neurocomp2003 summed it up very well. Just keep in mind, however, that there is no definitive definitions for the above terms and it has been known to vary from school to school. You'll need to know some physics for all of them.

    As for career opportunities, it depends on what you do. If you're well trained in astrophysics, you're hirable for a lot of technical positions, particularly when it comes to modelling systems (like, say, the stock market). If you do instrumentation (common in both astronomy and the space sciences), you'll be a sort of specialized engineer and probably hirable in a lot of aerospace jobs. There are very few non-academic job opportunities in astronomy itself, so the more general your knowledge, the better.
  7. May 6, 2005 #6
    also i suggest learning programming/math because the field is more open to you when your an undergrad with those 2 skills.

    now can someone get me into grad school!! OR rather I need 2 references...any takers =] I burned my bridges along time ago...****
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