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Who can give me some advice?

  1. Sep 20, 2008 #1
    I am a 21 year old female. Last year I got interested in Astronomy. I always hated math, but remember when I got it, I got As in math, but when I didn't understand it, I got Fs. My math record is something like this throughout my HS years. A, A, F, A, A, F ....

    I looked into careers in Astrophysics, and I do not believe I will be able to find a job in this field. The next option is that I go into Aerospace Engineering. After evaluating my personality and working at customer service jobs my whole life, I realized I need to work with an INTELLIGENT, small group of folks who will challenge me daily.

    My problem is.. I just got my AA in Philosophy, which is fine, but I have no physics, no engineering, no computer programming experience. I am only in Pre-Calculus 2. Sad. The big question..should I start over my major and go through the whole Calculus series and take physics/engineering? If not, what are some careers I can study for. I want a stable job, preferably indoor/outdoor mix mode, 5AM-1PM schedule, a week vacation, benefits, challenging, working with a small group of very educated people. (My philosophical nature makes it difficult working with common folk.) No medical careers please.

    Thank you all for your advice!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2008 #2


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    You just need a push in the right (general) direction. You ask:
    "should I start over my major and go through the whole Calculus series and take physics/engineering? If not, what are some careers I can study for. "

    YES, definitely. Aim for a major field of Physics or Engineering. You are in Preccalculus now, which is not bad. Since you have often enough done poorly in some Math courses until you learned the material, you will need to spend extra time studying ahead when you have the opportunity, and restudying already learned material in order to maintain good knowledge. With your possible future development in Mathematics and physical sciences, you can reasonably put some attention later onto Astronomy (or Astrophysics?). You might benefit from a tutor for your Calculus courses; you will still need to study hard and regularly.
  4. Sep 20, 2008 #3
    make sure u consult your career advisor on the aerospace engineering job market
  5. Sep 20, 2008 #4


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    I'm just puzzled as to why you're looking at engineering. Is that really your passion? You said you have AA in philosophy, and I don't know what that means but I'm assuming it's a very good grade, so have you considered law school?

    Your 5AM-1PM preferred working time slot is a little bizarre. It seems only shift workers do those kind of hours.
  6. Sep 20, 2008 #5
    AA means Associates of Arts, 2 year degree, it's not even Bachelors.
  7. Sep 20, 2008 #6
    AE means Aerospace Engineer, isn't it ?
  8. Sep 20, 2008 #7
    Eternity, it's definitely worth it to "start over" if it is something you really feel you will be passionate about. I did not get my AA until I was 26 and it was in Lib Arts. Then I decided I wanted to go the engineering route. So I loaded up on maths and physics at my community college. Even as an engineer or scientist, most schools will require you to take courses outside your major, i.e., humanities, electives, and not to mention your "core requirements." It is probably not a stretch to say that a lot of your AA credits can be applied towards the first two years of a B.S. in engineering or physics or any major for that matter.

    Also, you said that you like the idea of an indoor/outdoor job. Look long and hard into the astronomy bit, as it will probably consist of very, very little observational astronomy.

    Best of luck to you!
  9. Sep 23, 2008 #8
    You'll always wonder what would've happened if you don't.

    Don't hesitate to do it because of the math. I was horrifically bad at math in high school, but caught up - I had to learn all the algebra and trig I'd missed while taking calculus, but it was doable. I just had to get over my fear of failing math - once you're past that, you're in good shape. Good luck!
  10. Sep 23, 2008 #9


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    Eternity, I'm not sure exactly what is in your PreCalculus 2 course, but take the long road to gain as much mathematical development as you can. The short cut might not give you the best development. If you're doing well currently in PreCalulus 2, and if this give you the needed knowledge of Trigonometry and Intermediate Algebra, then you should be ready when you enroll in Calculus 1. The second semester of physics for engineers & assorted majors on Electricity And Magnetism is very tough and uses two semester's worth of Calculus, much Trigonometry, Vectors, and plenty of Algebra.
  11. Sep 23, 2008 #10


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    Have you looked into the Astronomy programs at the University of Arizona? They are affiliated with some very nice telescopes, and they have facilities to build sensors, one-off equipment, etc and to cast and figure very large mirrors. Someone with an interest in astronomy AND engineering could have all the challenges there that they could ever hope for. Who knows? I wouldn't mind having a tech job building this stuff OR configuring and reconfiguring instrumentation on big scopes before and after observing runs, performing calibrations, etc. Just a thought...
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