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Physics Opportunities in astrophysics

  1. Nov 5, 2017 #1
    Well, I am aiming for a scientific career now, and one area I would like to be involved in is astrophysics.So, is there enough opportunities there, especially in India? I know a lot is mystery like GUT,black holes,worm holes and so on.What I want to know is that can I really do something, support my family? I am pretty good at problem solving,physics,maths, but I may even enter bio-sciences due to the vast opportunities there.
    I really love astrophysics, more than discovery I want to know the vacuum of space, but the question of earning remains and so guys, please help.
     
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  3. Nov 5, 2017 #2

    Choppy

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    Astrophysics isn't really the best area to plan a career in, at least not without a solid backup plan.

    Astrophysics is more or less an entirely academic field. By that I mean that there isn't much in the way of industrial applications - there aren't any independent companies out there that stand to earn any money through you studying black holes. And there are roughly an order of magnitude more PhDs trained than there are academic positions in that area. That means that if you complete a PhD in astrophysics, the odds are that you'll end up leaving the field and doing something else for a career.

    That's not to say that people who do that are unhappy. Many of them go on to have quite successful careers, using their skills in programming, problem-solving, modelling, statistics, to get well-paying positions. But they aren't typically doing astrophysics.

    I don't know what the situation is like in India specifically, but I don't imagine it's any better there.
     
  4. Nov 6, 2017 #3
    Do you think that astrobiology would be better?
    In India,it seems that there are a few positions in astronomy but not in astrophysics.
     
  5. Nov 6, 2017 #4
    Most colleges and universities need a steady supply of astronomy and physics teachers. A lot of PhDs in astro and physics end up teaching at these schools where the focus is on teaching rather than research. In the US, there are probably 20 teaching-focused faculty jobs for every research-focused job. I don't know what that ratio is in India, but I'd give teaching due consideration as either a primary or back-up plan with an astrophysics PhD.
     
  6. Nov 6, 2017 #5

    Choppy

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    Astrobiology? In terms of planning for a stable career on which to support a family - no not any better really. It's still academic.

    One exercise that I've found to be helpful is to imagine that you're in a crowd of people and you need to ask people for money in exchange for something that you do for them. Not too many of them are going to just give you their money to study black holes or the conditions under which bacteria might thrive on Mars. Some of them will of course - because such things are inherently interesting and most people will see at least some value in academic pursuits. But remember their money is important to them and they also need it to do all the other things they need and want to do in life. Academic pursuits usually fall far behind things like food or otherwise taking care of themselves, and often beyond frivolous entertainment as well.

    A lot more of them will give you money to program their computers, design and fabricate new materials they can use to make money themselves, cure their diseases, improve their bridges, etc.
     
  7. Nov 7, 2017 #6
    So you say if I go to astrophysics then teaching should be a plan?
    So theoretical physics in a sense means teaching?
    Ok,let's see.
     
  8. Nov 7, 2017 #7

    symbolipoint

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    Choppy, your discussion as post #5 is very good.

    "I have some knowledge and skills. Can we trade in some way?"
     
  9. Nov 7, 2017 #8

    symbolipoint

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    What he was saying is that you want to be able to make a good business exchange. Ask yourself if your education will mean that someone will want to hire you to do some important work so that someone and his company can at least maintain itself and better, to make profits.
     
  10. Nov 8, 2017 #9
    That I can understand and I really liked that analogy.It is cool,innovative!
    Can you guys tell me if Indian Institute of Science is good? It is in Bangalore and people say it boasts international facilities.I will be giving the entrance next year,so can it help? There are a few research facilities like the Homi Bhaba Research Institute out here and I could prepare then and think about the future.
    Thanks for your help
     
  11. Nov 8, 2017 #10

    symbolipoint

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    Not really cool, and not really innovative. The way you have been thinking, your focus is to something in science but not something for engineering nor of other practical aspects of sciences. You might like to and study astronomy or astrophysics, but after doing so, you should have included other courses and experiences which could make you PRACTICAL, SKILLFUL, KNOWLEDGEABLE, and HIRE-ABLE. Maybe a more dependable choice of education is to study for a degree in Engineering, so that you will be hire-able and have skills and experience which many companies want.
     
  12. Nov 9, 2017 #11
    I have considered that choice also.
    In here engineering and medical are the professions most in demand.Everyone wants to be an engineer or a doctor and earn a lot of money.
    I actually am not very fond of these areas especially engineering and that's why I want to do something else,something different and unconventional.Since I am really interested in astrophysics,I thought about it as a probable profession.
    I understand what you are saying,that I need to make myself useful to big companies.But to me, science is both a practicality and a philosophy and perhaps I am a bit biased towards that philosophical side.
    I am very much grateful for your help but I want to be different from the world even though I would not be worth very much in the practical world.
    Thanks.
     
  13. Nov 10, 2017 #12
    In your profile it says you're 15? Without sounding mean or anything you dont really know if you're interested in astrophysics yet, if your educational system is similar to the one in the UK then you're 3-4 years away from studying any proper physics, let alone astrophysics. There is a massive difference between reading about it and actually getting stuck into it for real imo

    Though with that being said, if you choose to do physics at university level then just make sure you develop some employable skills as well (teaching, programming etc) just in case you either change your mind on going into academia or can't due to the super high level of competition
     
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