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Advice Please!
1 Posts

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do after my degree, and I really need some help! (the univeristy careers service is a no-go, they don't know enough about the space industry)

ok, so here's the deal - I've *always* known I wanted to do something physics related, I came to uni and chose a degree in astrophysics. I have been enjoying it, but I really don't want to spend the rest of my life being an academic. I hope to work for ESA, doing something in the planetary missions/ earth observation programs. (after extensive googling this evening I've come up with 'planetary probe mission design and analysis')

So here's this big question - do I continue with astrophysics or switch over to physics? (I need to choose my degree concentration by the end of this year)
My uni seems to specialise in large scale stuff (galactic astro, cosmology, etc) and there are only one or two small-scale modules on offer for honours students (I have no interest in the big stuff! I really enjoy planetary, atmospheric, etc)
After completing my undergrad degree I'd like to do postgrad in the US (am thinking about some form of astronautical engineering, something technical at least), so would it be better to come out with a physics degree?

Sorry for the long post guys, this problem has been going round in circles in my head for ages!

Thanks :-)

Replies to Advice Please!

Re: Advice Please! -
Lyle Avatar
Norman, OK
151 Posts

Hi Katie,

Maybe you would like to ask a physicist in the field?  If you go to, you can login with your Nucleus account.  If you'd like to browse through the directory, you may be able to find an astrophysicist to pose your question to.

Re: Advice Please! -
Steve James
2 Posts

you should utilize the caree center at your campus...they were very helpful to me!

Re: Re: Advice Please! -
jakson mith
2 Posts

I totally agree with you and we already know that taking a professional training can add actual value to your experience and will let you make your theoretical understanding come alive in the world outside university. This experience won't only be important when you graduate, but will also help you get the most from the final year of your undergraduate degree.

Thank you.

Re: Advice Please! -
Felix Lin
24 Posts

The last APS newsletter had statistics on where physics undergraduates go after getting their bachelor's degrees.  A surprising number of them don't work in physics at all, instead working in fields such as computer science.

You might want to look up statistics on where most astrophysics majors go and compare that to physics major statistics.

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