Ph.D for astronomy....?

How hard is it for one to get a Ph.D in astronomy? What type of benefits could you get out of it? I'm a major space freak, currently attending a college already.. trying to get my Bachelors then Masters but after I finish with this one, I wanted to follow the lines of astronomy. I just want to know what type of path can this lead down to? I've my research with college professors but they don't really tell me much such as what are the fields out there, is it mandatory to get a Ph.D, and what are some great schools.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    I have a PhD in astronomy.

    How hard is it? That's a tough question to answer. It depends on many things. What school did you go to, how devoted are you, what educational background/experience do you have? The list could go on.

    But, if you're really motivated, then it's not too hard.

    What will you do with your degree? Well... If you're not interested in being an academic (ie. a professor or scientist at a university or research institute), not a whole lot. That's because astronomy is not terribly applicable to many forms of industry. However, your education in statistics, physics, and science in general are extremely marketable. I have several friends with either an MS or PhD in astronomy which have left the science to pursue jobs in economics, computer science, forensics, engineering, and the military (albeit closely related to engineering).

    Great schools? Well that depends on what you're interested in. Obviously some great schools like CalTech and Princeton are always good. But if you're interested in certain things like the Hubble Space Telescope, or theoretical astrophysics, or high energy, or ground-based observation, then certain schools will stand out over one another. This might just be a bias, but schools like Johns Hopkins, Univ. of Arizona, Harvard, UC (most of them are good, but notably Santa Cruz, Berkley, LA or Santa Barbara), and U of Hawaii offer great opportunities. Again, the Caltech, Princeton's of the world are outstanding, but I'm sure you already knew that. I can say that I that attending one of these schools will only *help* your chances, it will not ensure success. Also, not attending these schools will not damn your career. What is far more important that *where* you went to grad school is, what you accomplished while you were there. If you went to Princeton and took 5 years to graduate, published no papers, had no grants or awards, and generally struggled to maintain an acceptable average, you will be far worse off than if you went to some no-name school and excelled. So keep that in mind. One thing that you generally can't get at 2nd rate univ is opportunities. 1st rate institutions will have money, projects, professionals, that the smaller schools won't have. But again, if you waste these things, you'll be in big trouble. My advice would be to apply to 10-20 schools from a range of "quality". Apply to the Princeton's of the world, but make sure to apply to schools like UCLA as well and a few smaller schools. I choose grad schools based on available telescope time/opportunity and geographic location.

    It's strange that your professors won't give you advice.

    I will also say, that is very good that you're participating in research young. That will help your admissions and success in grad school. If possible, I would try to publish a paper on the work or at the very least help those who will publish (so you become a co-author).

    Good Luck!

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  • 3 years ago

    maximum astronomers communicate approximately a particular question or part of astronomy: as an occasion, planetary technology, photograph voltaic astronomy, the foundation or evolution of stars, or the formation of galaxies. Observational astronomers layout and carry out watching courses with a telescope or spacecraft to respond to a query or try the predictions of theories. Theorist artwork with complicated computing gadget fashions of a famous man or woman’s indoors, as an occasion, to comprehend the actual methods responsible for the famous man or woman’s visual charm. Astronomers now no longer look by using a watch-piece on the telescopes yet somewhat use state-of-the-artwork digital cameras linked to a telescope, computers to hold mutually and study examine information. the truly time spent at a telescope amassing information for prognosis isonly the beginning up.. maximum of their time is spent in an place of work examining the information, coming up computing gadget courses that enable them to greater effectively seek for the duration of the information, writing examine papers, and ending up different administrative projects like attending conferences. there are various variables that shape an Astronomer’s time, maximum of artwork versatile hours the meet their unique activity environments.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you want to do research, in any science field, the best jobs are for those with Ph. D's. I be heading there now for physical chemistry.

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