Astronomy: Going Beyond The Stars

Nidhi updated on : 12 Sep 2016

Are you interested in the field of astronomy? Here’s your chance to know all about it ! 

Astronomy, Astronomer

From professional qualifications to job opportunities, career counsellor Usha Albuquerque explains all that it takes to become an astronomer.


What is it about?

Astronomy is the science of the heavenly bodies in the sky and their patterns. It is one of the oldest sciences and now involves the use of very sophisticated methods of detecting and interpreting information on planets, stars and galaxies and their relative motions.


Skills required

A high level of intelligence, mathematical ability, research skill and computer proficiency are some of the personal qualities required for a career in space sciences/research.


Educational Qualifications

For the study of astronomy, you need to take physics and maths in Class 11 and Class 12. To get into fields related to astronomy, astrophysics or space science, you can follow any of two routes. You can take up BSc in physics or maths and then MSc and PhD in astronomy, astrophysics or space sciences. Alternatively, you can do a BE/B.Tech in aeronautical or aerospace engineering followed by an M.Tech and PhD in aerospace engineering or a related field.

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) now offers an integrated B.Sc/M.Sc programmes in different fields of science with scholarships to budding young scientists. The programme is designed as a balanced blend of core science and interdisciplinary topics, to serve as a launch pad for research and doctoral studies in cutting-edge areas in science and technology. The admission is based on an entrance test and interview. The admission notification is expected during January/February every year.

Alternatively, after finishing your degree in physics, you could take up an MSc and research leading to PhD which enables one to become an astronomer/astrophysicist or a scientist/research officer, etc in the field of space research.



Astronomy and astrophysics are taught as special M.Sc programmes in the physics or mathematics departments in a number of universities including:


Jobs Opportunities

The Indian Space Research Organisation, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Space Physics Laboratories, Space Applications Centres, etc. are some of the major establishments providing job opportunities to those holding higher degrees/doctorates in these disciplines.


Source: HT Education


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