Astronomy is a field of study that most people do not really understand. But what the general public does recognize is that astronomers are doing some of the most exciting and vital work on the planet today. So why consider a career in astronomy? Here are 10 great reasons!
Reason 1: You get to tell people you are an astrophysicist.
Today, both astronomers and astrophysicists use physics, which means the lines between the two careers are now heavily blurred. If you are not sure what you want to do yet, but you know you have the skills to learn advanced math, physics and computer technology, the sky is literally not the limit when it comes to charting your individual career path in this field.
Reason 2: You get paid to research and publish on all your big questions.
Do you stay up nights wondering whether there is life on other planets? Or are you obsessed with studying planets and moons in other galaxies? A career in astronomy will give you the education, training, and tools to pursue these big questions and maybe even find the answers you are seeking. This is especially true if you choose to work in academia, where there is a strong emphasis on conducting research and submitting your findings to respected scientific journals.
Reason 3: Everyone you work with is a rocket scientist – literally.
Your colleagues may be quirky, intellectual, data-driven big thinkers, but one thing they won’t ever be is boring. You will be working with an elite group of professionals who have advanced education and training and lots of interesting research to pursue. This is definitely a thing to be taken into consideration, as the work environment is very important when choosing a job nowadays.
Reason 4: Space is such a great place
When you were little, did you ever look up at the sky and feel so small as you viewed the vast array of twinkling stars? Did you beg your parents for a telescope and then beg them again for lessons in how to use a telescope to see the planets and stars?
Space is such a compelling area of interest that is can draw whole countries together that would otherwise be perpetually at odds (if you need proof, just look at the collaboration between the United States and Russia with the space station). As an astronomer, you would be one of the lucky few who does more than just look up at the night sky and marvel…. you actually get to study it.
Reason 5: High Salary
As a post-doctoral student, your annual income might not look so glamorous. But once you graduate and begin working in the field, the average annual pay tops six figures, which is a great answer to the question “why consider a career in astronomy?”
Reason 6: You have the chance to work for organizations like NASA.
If you want to be an astronaut, or support astronauts as they travel into space, a career in astronomy is a great choice. Imagine you are going to work with one of the biggest organizations on the planet. How much will that enrich your education and culture?
Reason 7: You can teach the next generation of astronomers.
As an astronomy professor, you have the chance to teach a whole new generation of astronomers about the astronomy of the past, present, and future. Passing the information to new a generation will definitely make you feel like doing something big for the world (and you are) and will help others ease their way into this career too.
Reason 8: If you like computers, you will love astronomy.
Today, astronomy is heavily computer-driven, to the point where astronomers often have both human and machine assistants. If you enjoy working with computers, learning to code and analyzing data, you will love this career too, as it is very much related to technology.
Reason 9: You might be part of helping humanity colonize other planets.
As of 2017, current projections estimate humanity might reach Mars by 2030, which is not that far away. As an astronomer, you could be a part of helping the human race establish colonies on other planets.
Reason 10: Very few people can do what you do.
The truth is, there are very few people in the world who have the unique set of skills required to be an astronomer. It requires a talent for math, science, and computers as well as the ability to integrate the three.
All things considered, a career in astronomy is definitely something worth thinking about, if you are passionate about this field. Try to take into consideration some of the reasons mentioned above and you will know for sure if this path suits your expectations.
Written by Lauren Ray