Studying Astronomy after Engineering?

In summary, it seems that getting an Physics + Astronomy degree after engineering might not be a good career choice.
  • #1
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Do you folks suppose its wise to get an Physics + Astronomy degree after engineering? Would it be a good career choice?

I'm currently about to finish my first year in electronic engineering. Due to a lot of factors, I was unable to choose Astronomy when I enrolled. However, I've been interested in Astronomy ever since I can remember. I don't want to stop engineering and go study Astronomy, I honestly do enjoy what I'm doing... but just feel that I was born to do Astronomy.

Opinions, advice?
 
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  • #2
This is a fun predicament to experience. I am toying with the same notion as well, except I am in Mechanical Engineering then to Aero. I don't think having it on your resume would pose adverse consequences, but rather the opposite. The more certified knowledge you can present, the better. Maybe get a minor is Astro... This is what I am contimplating. But this is not only for my love of Astronomy, but it will be a golden ticket to have with an Aerospace degree. Another option would be listening to Astronomy lectures online to at least get a taste for what's to come. This is what I did anyway. If you type in Astronomy 161 & Astronomy 162 Ohio State to your preffered search engine, a great proffesor their has uploaded both of his sections on iTunes and such. I listened to them in my leisure as they were VERY informative, but not to heavy on math. At any rate check them out or not, I wish you luck in your career.

Joe
 
  • #3
If you can, you should see if you can participate in some REUs. The UT Austin REU for the McDonald Observatory is a great place to get a feel for what astronomy/astrophysicists might do in the real world, as you will be living with them, working with them, and learning various skills/information as you go along. Great experience.
 
  • #4
Keep up your interest by reading and get into REUs if possible. Your education in electronics will be an asset if you intend to work in radio astronomy or any other form of experimental astronomy. And it will not hurt if you want to get into theory, since a lot of astronomical data analysis will draw on some of the things you learn in electronics engineering. Finally, it is certainly not unwise.

(If you're worried about future prospects, there will be many, and frankly, even if you don't intend to be in a scientific establishment eventually, it doesn't hurt your job prospects by having an extra specialization.)

PS -- Look at things like the LIGO program as well.
 
  • #5
I'm a undergrad student in India, and I'm in the exact same spot- considering an astronomy degree for postgraduation while studying to be an electronics engineer. Could someone suggest REU programs similar to the one at McDonald Univ, which accepts international students as well? Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • #6
Maverick what's your justification for saying there are many opportunities? I took an MSc in astronomy and had to move into computing research through lack of opportunities. The guy on the desk next to me had performed research with the astronomer royal and still had to look elsewhere! The research fellows I talked to while doing my MSc (with first class degrees and PhDs from oxbridge) were having great difficulty finding anything -- in fact i only know one who ended up in astronomy -- and he was a really smooth political operator. The main lecturer on my MSc left the field, the only way he could find advancement was to become a nuclear safety officer. I don't know any guys who took the MSc who ended up in Astronomy. I recommend keeping it as a hobby and finding a lucrative job in Engineering rather than do an MSc in Astronomy. (The MSc course wasn't great shakes either! Almost destroyed my interest in the subject.)
 
  • #7
i'd still like to test the waters by being part of a short term research program, and would appreciate information regarding the same.
 

1. What is the benefit of studying astronomy after engineering?

Studying astronomy after engineering can provide a unique perspective and skill set that can be applied to a variety of fields, such as space exploration, satellite technology, and astrophysics. It can also open up job opportunities in both the engineering and astronomy industries.

2. Is it necessary to have a background in engineering before studying astronomy?

While having a background in engineering can be beneficial, it is not necessary to study astronomy. Many universities offer introductory courses for students with no prior engineering experience.

3. Can I specialize in a specific area of astronomy after studying engineering?

Yes, there are many areas of astronomy that require engineering skills, such as instrumentation, spacecraft design, and data analysis. By studying both engineering and astronomy, you can develop a specialized skill set in a particular area of interest.

4. How long does it take to complete a degree in astronomy after engineering?

The length of time to complete a degree in astronomy after engineering can vary depending on the program and course load. On average, it can take an additional 2-3 years to complete a master's degree in astronomy after obtaining an engineering degree.

5. What are the job prospects for someone with a degree in astronomy after engineering?

The job prospects for someone with a degree in astronomy after engineering are diverse and growing. There is a high demand for engineers in the space industry, and having a background in astronomy can also open up opportunities in research and academia.

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