Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

stargazine_ep33_banner.thumb.jpg.75d09b4b1b4e5bdb1393e57ce45e6a32.jpg

mfrymus

What's my Career Path?

Recommended Posts

Your ambition is admirable, but your goals seem rather wide ranging and ill-defined. That isn't to say that you should have every step of your career mapped out to the day or week right now but:

- The areas you are interested in all require a fairly high level skill in maths. Yet that isn't something you have had an interest in to date (if I read correctly you are 25 now?) I'm not saying that you couldn't get up to speed, but if I was your career counselor I'd certainly ask you whether it was a lack of interest or a lack of aptitude that was behind this?

- If it is just lack of interest, why would you torture yourself by going in to disciplines that are 50% or more higher mathematics? Anything research based, be it physics, astronomy, life science, social science, etc. is fundamentally a combination of the subject matter and a lot of statistics and calculus work.

What I would really advise you to do is sign up at coursea.com and take a few of their free courses. These are mostly undergraduate level modules across a wide variety of subjects including the kinds of things that you will need to do to pursue your various career ambitions, plus maths of course! You'll quickly figure out whether you want to do this stuff for a living or not, and you can get a feel for which areas might be of most interest.

I am sorry if any of the above seems negative or designed to put you off. It isn't, rather these are the kind of hard questions an ambitious person should be asking themself in order to progress towards their goal.

Edited by IanL
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would agree with the other posts, that it is a large subject with many routes into the many areas you’re interested in. It is also very competitive so hard work, determination and a not-insignificant amount of self-promotion will be needed to make an impact.
I started out being advised against studying astronomy at university, instead plumping for electronic engineering (1989) as this has much better career prospects… This is true, but the people advising me didn’t know anything about astronomy, and the options that become available when you’ve studied a good (painful) physics/maths subject.
When the bottom fell out the telecommunications market (~2002), I was left hunting for a job and decided to take an MSc Astrophysics at a London university part-time. Very much enjoyed it, so studied for a PhD at UCL looking at the formation and migration of planets around other stars. It was hard graft, focussed on dynamical and chemical models of collapsing interstellar gas clouds, and planet migration. Lots of maths, lots of modelling, lots of time pouring over data. [While doing PhD had opportunity to work as astronomy researcher for the BBC Sky at Night program … I didn’t see that one coming!] Being married, it was difficult for me to consider jumping around from university to university every three years chasing post-doc positions, so decided to look for an alternative career having satisfied my innate urge to ‘understand’ space.
Now I work in meteorology, looking at climate variability due to the solar cycle, atmospheric  oscillations, and so on. It’s great, although lots of modelling, lot of time pouring over data, lots of statistical analysis, etc… In my spare time I’m involved in the local astronomy society.
Every career is different, every decision you make closes certain doors and opens other sometimes unexpected doors. But ultimately you need to focus on one, possibly two options which will take you in the desired direction. What happens next is too difficult to predict! 
Martin
Edited by cloudnine
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, im not 100% sure what I want to do. I like a lot of things that are space related. Im just working my way on narrowing down the options.

Seeing what I can do, and what courses I should / can take and seeing where it may lead me.

I wasnt the best at math in high school. I didnt have an interest in it, nor did my career choice at the time require it. Therefore, I didn't really study it.

I am actually going over lessons of functions, trig, and calculus. So far, I am finding it to be a lot easier to understand that in high school. Probably because i know that I need math in my career, so im finding it to be a lot more interesting, and I am getting better at it as I progress.

So, I can say that math is not my most interesting subject, but knowing what it is useful for, it is becoming more interesting.... As weird as that may be, coming from me. As i hated math in school. Wanting to avoid it at all costs. Now, I willingly just study and review it on my free time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's good to hear, you can't go wrong with a bit of maths under your belt, and every career path you listed needs it.

Good luck, and let us know what course you decide on :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably the best course to follow would be to get to college/university and study astrophysics or something similar.

If you can get a good first degree in that, go on to do a Ph.D in a more specialised subject area.... you will know what you are interested in by the end of your first degree.

Then, with hard work and a bit of luck you might get on a research team somewhere.

It isn't going to be quick or easy though!  :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What would you say is a good approach to being able to be a part of the Nasa (or any other organization) for their Mars missions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just quickly Googled around and found this:

http://mars.nasa.gov/people/

If you click on the people it sometimes shows you a quick summary of their CV so you can see exactly whats needed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome! Thanks :)

That actually helps a lot! To see what a lot of these scientists studied and to see where they ended up.

Just quickly Googled around and found this:

http://mars.nasa.gov/people/

If you click on the people it sometimes shows you a quick summary of their CV so you can see exactly whats needed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.