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Courses Need to see the light XD

4
2
Good Day, all!

Currently having a semi-half-mid-life crisis xD

I am currently enrolled at the Open University (UK) nearly finished with first year (120credits), though this is distance learning and I would prefer to go to Birkbeck University of London which will be evening classes. Now, comes the dilemma that I have pulling my hair out and causing sleepless nights.

I am currently on a physics/mathematics course at the Open uni, and currently torn between 2 courses at Birkbeck when I transfer this September.

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2018/undergraduate/programmes/UBSCOMPG_C/ COMPUTING (BSC): PART-TIME/FULL-TIME

OR

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2018/undergraduate/programmes/UBSPSAST_C/ PLANETARY SCIENCE WITH ASTRONOMY (BSC): PART-TIME/FULL-TIME

But an interesting point is, I could potentially be able to attend a Masters Program and skip the whole Undergrad route.

The MSc courses I am interested in that I could possibly attend:
Data Science - http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2018/postgraduate/programmes/TMSDATSC_C/
Computer Science - http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2018/postgraduate/programmes/TMSCOSCI_C/

------------------------------------------------------------
Should I apply for both the Masters and skip the undergrad route?
Would Going A computer Science Route get me into an Astronomy/Physics career or PhD?

------------------------------------------------------------

My current interests are:
Astronomy, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Gaming,

My current skills:
Cloud Computing, Scripting, Windows/Linux, Full Stack, python - Currently working for Rackspace as a Systems Administrator and getting exposure to AWS and Google Cloud technologies.

Dream Career areas/Companies:
Astronomy, Physics, ESA, ESO, Google, Improbable, SpaceX, NASA, Robotics, AI, Blockchain

Thanks for anyone taking the time reading this :)
 
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4,448
Mid-life as in living the forties or later?

You are being torn between two divergent fields. The problem with the Astronomy field is the lack of jobs relative to the people interested in working in it. When I graduated in the 1970's I was told that 1 in 10 Astronomy majors ever got a job in Astronomy. I don't think that has changed much. This website shows some US stats circa 2014:

http://www.careeroutlook.us/career.php?id=192011&st=USA

With your experience in computer technology then your question is really one of interest and passion vs practicality. Astronomy is your dream but computer tech is practical. Putting them together to do computer analysis of astronomical data would be something you could pursue but as the stats note you need a PhD to compete with others in the field.

So flip a coin and decide go with your passion or suffer through computer tech. Not an easy choice and one made more difficult if you have a family.

Personally I'd go with passion but realize I still need a day job to live until I found what I was looking for. In the end though, Astronomy may have to be a hobby that you pursue.
 

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