career in astronomy

Astronomy Career Option for Indian Students

Yashwant Kale Career Guidance Leave a Comment

It is said that Astronomy is more of observational and less of experimental science. The various discussions and interpretations are done on the basis of mathematical analysis about the celestial bodies and environment. These physical and mathematical theories are thus stretched to provide explanations of what we observe.

The career in Astronomy is a vast profession and has unlimited access, depends on one’s excellence and skills. Today, with the modern era, Modern Astronomy is implemented with most modern and advanced tools and techniques. If you wish to pursue Astronomy as your profession, keep reading!


Astronomers deal with the study of universe applying the principles of physics and mathematics. They specialize in celestial bodies and gather information about planets, moons, stars using telescopes and computer programming. They also study about the events like black holes. The career in astronomy typically allows one to develop and test scientific theories and prepare writing proposals.

Usually, it is teamwork and requires full-time efforts. According to the reports of U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the majority of astronomers are hired by universities in 2015, and others are employed by the federal government or any other private research departments.


Astronomy is a field which demands a Ph.D. degree and requires 5-7 years to complete the same. The courses in this field are astrophysics, stellar & planetary physics, cosmology, galaxies and much more. The career in astronomy emphasizes on mathematics and computer as well.

The next stage of the Ph.D. program is acquiring postdoctoral research positions usually taking 2-3 years to complete. Aspiring astronomers assist senior astronomers before moving on to complex projects. The astronomers employed by the federal government needs to have a check on proper security clearance.


1. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB)
2. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Banglore
3. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai
3. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD)
4. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM)
5. University of Delhi
6. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK)
7. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP)
8. Banaras Hindu University
9. University of Hyderabad


According to the BLS report of 2015, the median salary of astronomers was noted as $104,100. However, the projected growth of employment for astronomers was 3% during the years 2014-2024, which was below the national average of all professions.
The sad part is federal spending for astronomy varies every year, that is actually the low amount of funding and hence limits the jobs in this field. This results in excessive competition for permanent jobs.


A career in astronomy demands the ability to solve complex problems, conduct and perform various researches and analyze data accurately.
The job requires excellent math and science skills and also the skill to work within a team. Candidates having special knowledge in software programs are recognized well within this job.


There isn’t any doubt that an acute need for young scientists is stable in the field of astronomy. The possibility of pursuing a career in astronomy is carried out by a graduate in physics/mathematics/engineering with Ph.D. in astronomy or Astrophysics.

Some of the jobs associated with career in astronomy are:
1. Research Scientist
2. University faculty
3. Industry


1. Astronomy careers in universities
Universities based jobs include research associate or as lecturers in astronomy. You are given various laboratories, libraries and other facilities to carry out research. This includes teaching job giving you a larger pace to share your knowledge with enthusiasts of next generation.

2. Astronomy careers in observatories
This being a typical research-based function requires collecting, analyzing and interpreting data. You may also be an astronomer partner or a telescope operator and be responsible for all the telescopes and other equipment, which require mechanical and optical skills.

3. Astronomy career in planetariums and museums
This job deals with the development and delivery of planetarium and also the communication and coordination of its programming, and maintenance of its technology and content.

4. Astronomy careers in Governmental research organizations
If you are the one who fancy a job in NASA, the career in astronomy might be the perfect suit for you. It should be kept in mind that, the National and Research organizations all over the world offer jobs for specific goals and interests. You need to have a Ph.D. and some extra research experience to get into NASA or INSU, France.

5. Astronomy careers in aerospace sector
This sector involves commitment in researching, designing, manufacturing, and then operating and maintaining air craft’s or spacecraft. They may be for commercial, industrial or military purposes.


If you wish to pursue something unique and challenging, astronomy may be the one for you! Astronomy degree is in high demand and useful ranging from media and communications to accounting and finance.
However, this profession is extremely challenging and requires high excellence and Ph.D. or masters degree in astronomy. Also, the competition is really high in terms of job security.

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