Programs PhD in Cosmology = life in academia?

  1. May 26, 2008 #1
    I find myself very interested in Cosmology and would consider doing a PhD in the field, however I am not sure if I would like to be an academic or not.

    Given the relatively few technical applications of Cosmology, would it be wiser for me to enter a field with greater possibilities for entering industry?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2008 #2
    I am an engineer that works in a place with a bunch of astronomers. Although I have a childhood interest in astronomy and I very much enjoy working on designing the machines they need, I can tell you that I would not actually want to become an astronomer. They use the telescope like 2 weeks in a year and the rest of the time they are on a computer analyzing their data. But I suppose you can also take your PhD and go work for a space agency or an astrophysics institute.
  4. May 26, 2008 #3
    The defense industry uses a lot of astronomers. Not as astronomers of course, but the skills they learn in grad school are very useful to the industry.
  5. May 26, 2008 #4
    If you want to do cosmology, I don't think there's a lot of people who do it professionally outside of universities. If you want to study cosmology, and get a degree that shows you have technical ability (as I understand it, cosmologists do a lot of programming and data analysis; these are highly transferable skills) then research it for a Ph.D.
  6. May 27, 2008 #5
    would cosmology fall under the realm of astronomy or high energy particles? a mix of both I would assume?
  7. May 28, 2008 #6
    Hi and thanks for all the responses. Will C that's exactly what I want as I think that will leave my options open. Wildman unfortunately I'd prefer not to work in defence but thanks for pointing that out.
  8. May 29, 2008 #7
    My tutor (a professor in extragalactic cosmology) mentioned a past PhD student of his now works for an oil company. Somewhere Zapper has put a link to an article about how PhD students generally don't realise just how employable their training has made them- not in general for their knowledge, but for the skills of working independently, advanced problem solving, etc.
  9. May 29, 2008 #8
    That's quite interesting, I'll try and find that link.
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