1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

PHD Astrophysics and the alternative

  1. Aug 12, 2013 #1
    PHD Astrophysics.... and the alternative

    Hi guys,

    I'm starting school in Columbia in like 3 weeks (!!! ), and am very excited to be finally be able to buckle down and study Astrophysics, which is my passion. My plan is to go all the way to a PhD, because I have so many unanswered questions about the universe ( I really want to get into cosmology ).

    However, I thought that I find out now about the job prospects for someone with a PHD in Astrophysics. Ideally, of course, I would like to conduct research, be it in an institution like NASA or within Academic. From what I heard, astrophysics jobs are limited, and the situation is not likely to improve much by the time I graduate.

    I would like to know from you guys, whether through personal experience or observing the experience of others, what are the job prospects for someone with a PHD in Astrophysics are, be it working in academia, industry, or even not directly working with Astrophysics after getting a Phd.

    Please let me know as I would be most interested in planning for my future, as well as preparing for any set backs .

    Thanks !
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2013 #2
    Plenty of posts on the subject here. Search. Your query is quite generic.

    The tl;dr is oil and gas, finance and defence. Computational and statistical work in general. For these, look up posts by twofish-quant, daveyrocket (he made a very, very relevant thread) and ParticleGrl. chiro, Locrian, and StatGuy2000 have also posted regularly on related subjects here.

    A minority become professors or research scientists. If you're not in astrophysics, and a field that has more "current relevance" by the time you get your PhD ~10 years from now, then maybe you can keep working in the same field. According to ZapperZ, these days, one such field is accelerator physics.

    You can also try looking through websites like Quora for the opinions of *more* people. You even have professors who are regularly writing answers, Jay Wacker over at SLAC for one. I am just an incoming freshman myself. One who spent more time worrying about physics as opposed to doing actual physics...sigh.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook