Carrer Option in Astronomy

A.Field description

Text Box:  Astronomy is the oldest science, but also the newest science since discoveries and new insights continue to make astronomers revise their understanding of the universe. The astronomy major is under the umbrella of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

B.Education Guide
Education Details & Eligibility

A doctoral degree is the usual  education requirement to become an astronomer, since most of the work tends to be related to research and development. 
Those who opt for this field should pass their plus two examination under the science stream, especially in physics and maths. For pursuing a career in theoretical or observational astronomy, one may go through the science stream after plus two. Since universities offering undergraduate program in Astronomy are rarely found, one can join for a major/ honors in Physics with Mathematics as a subsidiary subject. Thereafter, take a master's degree in Physics or Astronomy. After the successful completion of M.Sc, one can do specialization in astronomy leading to PhD, which enables one to become an astronomer/ astronaut/ astrophysicist or a scientist/ research officer etc. in the field of space research. 

For doing PhD, which is mandatory to do research, one should appear for the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST) examination. For pursuing a career in Instrumentation/ Experimental Astronomy, after plus two, one can go for Bachelor of Engineering ( B.E) in Electrical / Electronics/ Electrical Communications. An engineer with a B.Tech orB.E degree could also enter the field as a research scholar.

Course Duration

The course duration for Astronomy differs in various countries.
In India:
PhD in Astronomy is done as a 3 to 4 year program.
M.Sc. Astrophysics is a four-semester program involving 2 years

Approximate Education Expenses

The Total expense for doing Post graduates in Astronomy is as follows
PhD - Rs.75, 000/ per year - (1 Years)
M.Sc - Rs.50, 000/ per year - (2 Years)

Bank loans and private loans can be easily arranged by directly contacting the banks through the college administrative.

Additional Courses

For being an astronomer, you must be observant and capable of understanding what you see. Astronomers are typically good at math, very analytical, logical, and capable of sound reasoning (about science, anyway). Computer literacy has become a necessity. While not all astronomers are skilled computer programmers, all should be comfortable using a computer for editing files, transferring data across networks, and analyzing their astronomical data and images. Other valuable traits are patience and determination for sticking to a difficult problem or theory until you've seen it through - which can take years.

The final product of scientific research is the dissemination of the knowledge gained, so don't overlook the importance of communication skills like effective public speaking at professional meetings and the ability to publish well written articles in scientific journals. As the field becomes more competitive, these communication skills are becoming increasingly important.

C.Institutions that offer this Education

Almost all the Indian and foreign deemed and generaluniversity offer Astronomy inPhD and masters level.
For further information on colleges please visit

D.Job Opportunities and Job Roles

A beginner in the field of astronomy may be selected as a research worker into a team that would be already working on a project.PhD holders begin their careers in a postdoctoral research position, in which they may work with experienced physicists, which enables them to learn about their specialty and develop ideas and results to be used in later work. Initial work may be under the close supervision of senior scientists.

An astronomer may work for the government, defense and space research organizations, electrical and electronic equipment manufacturers etc. They may work for commercial/non-commercial research, development and testing laboratories, observatories, planetarium, Science Park etc. Degree/ Diploma/ Doctorate holder in these disciplines can find job opportunities in major establishments like the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Space Physics Laboratories, Space Applications Centers, etc. One can also join non-profit organizations like the Association of Bangalore Amateur Astronomers (ABAA) which is involved in telescope making, organizing observation sessions for the public and popularization of Astronomy.

E.Approximate Salary Range

The remuneration depends on the aspects of work, kind of organization and experience in the field.

A junior can earn a monthly stipend of approximately Rs.10, 000 per month. Government bodies and research institutes employ astronomers who are paid high salaries with other perks and allowances

F.Related Links

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America
  Web site link:

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), U.K., founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science.

Web site link:

Other Geography/Astronomy/Geology Career Option Archive