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Value or what one can do with astronomy or astrophysics education

  1. Sep 16, 2016 #1

    symbolipoint

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    Title field did not accept all of title: Value or what one can do with astronomy or astrophysics education

    What is the real-world, employment value and meaning of a degree in Physics if a student concentrates on astronomy or astrophysics, meaning his employment value? What about such a degree (undergraduate) would make the person employable in the working world?
     
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  3. Sep 17, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Define your terms. How would you measure "real world meaning" or "real world employment value"?
     
  4. Sep 17, 2016 #3

    symbolipoint

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    Simon Bridge,
    Not about measurement. About WHAT will potential employers recognize about the applicant's education that employer understands as meaningful, and which kinds of employers can recognize meaningfulness of such an education of a candidate. Some answers exist, but I am just too short of knowing how to specify those answers. I will not try to define terms about this. Let any willing responding member use his own meanings of what I asked.
     
  5. Sep 17, 2016 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    OK - then, for example, I once got a job as a supporting actor in a commercial because of the astrophysics in my paper qualifications. The role itself had nothing to do with astrophysics, but the producer happened to be a cosmology buff and he wanted someone to talk to between takes.

    Generally, employers are looking for degrees which are specific to their conception of the job they are hiring you for - so if you apply for a job as a telescope operator then the guy who applies with the degree Bachelor of Telescope Operation will get the job, all else remaining equal, over someone with a degree of any kind in general astronomy. Where a science degree tends to help, outside of jobs in science, is as an addition to the regular qualifications - especially where there is no direct vocational degree for the job.
    For instance, it used to be anyone with a hard science degree could find themselves hired as a business manager before MBA's were common ... and Law Firms tend to prefer science degrees of any kind, to the usual arts and commerce that everyone comes in with, for the second degree in new hires. If they have no astrophysicists yet then the firm may give priority to someone with an astrophysics degree.
    [This goes to you comment about which employers can recognise value in an astronomy/astrophysics degree ... law firms will sometimes do that.]

    See the range: unless you can narrow things down what you are basically doing is asking people to talk without clear purpose about their experiences in the workplace. Perhaps if you were to talk about what you hope to be able to do with the information? The forum choice suggests you are thinking about where to direct your career, or how to advise someone else. If that is the case, then you are better served by talking about your hopes and aspirations and interests.
    If you are hoping a science degree will help you get rich then the answer is "no".

    But whatever - maybe it will be an interesting discussion.
     
  6. Sep 18, 2016 #5

    symbolipoint

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    Interest is about the general discussion. The emphasis seems to go toward engineering and vocational skills or training. I never studied astrophysics and have no strong desire for an astrophysics or astronomy degree. I'm curious what such graduates actually do, if they find work outside of astrophysics. Some graduates with such astrophysics degrees are very smart and very well educated . They can do many great technical things and not just stay restricted to studying the main topics but I only had met one; who was a university professor with a great amount of meteoric research accomplished. The person must have dealt with equipment operation and related engineering decisions. The person also taught Electricity And Magnetism for scientist & engineering students.

    One would have to be very interested in stars, distant objects, far-away objects intereacting with other far-away objects, planets, meteors, meteorites, whatever else,... to take-up steering a physics education toward astronomy or astrophysics. But then, most of these graduates will one day need to find a job. Maybe some overlap for the knowledge and use of optical equipment for light sensing, light intensity measurement, spectroscopy, spectrophotometers, which may be related to fields outside of astrophysics. Maybe, how to collect and manage gigantic quantities of data?

    I really don't know better how to be more specific about the question.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2016 #6

    vela

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    At the bachelor's degree level, I don't think there'd be much of a difference as far as employment goes between a regular physics major and one who graduates with an emphasis in astronomy/astrophysics.
     
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