Astronomy Degrees

The Advantages To Earning An Astronomy Degree

Earning an astronomy degree offers individuals the combination of a versatile, liberal arts based education with specialized knowledge necessary to research, study, and map the many different aspects of the solar system. Students enrolled within an astronomy degree program participate in courses like astronomy, physics, chemistry, astrophysics, mathematics, and computer science. Students also gain the skills necessary to study and understand the mechanisms of celestial planets and other objects as well as the technical aspects of astronomy. Students learn to gather and analyze information as well as present their findings using a variety of equipment and telescopic data. Graduates may advance to a number of scientific careers using the skills learned in degree programs.

Many colleges and universities have extended education to innovative online programs to reach students as they manage work or family obligations which impede attending on-campus instruction. Online programs generally offer virtually the same educational experiences as their traditional, on campus counterparts with several added benefits. Online programs are based in innovative curricula and feature a more personalized degree. Online programs offer students convenience with an increased flexibility in course scheduling. Online courses also provide instruction through smaller classes, with groups of 25 students or less. Online classes also offer increased interactions with professors and other students through one on one Internet chats. Online degree programs are often one of the most affordable, convenient, and effective means for students to propel personal, educational, and professional goals.

What Students Learn Within An Astronomy Degree Program

Students who participate in astronomy degree programs gain knowledge regarding solar systems, galaxies, planets, and stars, acquire theoretical knowledge regarding the creation of the universe, and strengthen observational and research skills. Graduates are generally required to complete a minimum of a bachelor degree to qualify for employment within various scientific or educational facilities.

Many students begin studies within an associate degree program to gain a basic understanding of the sciences as associate level degrees in astronomy do not exist. Courses within an associate level program include: English composition, pluralism and diversity in America, introduction to psychology, geography, U.S. history from 1900 to present, college Algebra, precalculus, introduction to biology, introduction to chemistry, physics, introduction to philosophy, statistics, Western civilization, geometry, general chemistry, geometry and calculus, physics, art history, principles in economics, introduction to astronomy, statistical methods, introduction to climate studies, and an internship. Graduates from associate degree programs may gain employment or continue studies within a bachelor degree program.

Bachelor degree programs offer students an expanded educational background in the field of astronomy. Courses at a bachelor level include: introduction to astronomy; astronomy discover laboratory; celestial observations; astronomical observations; astronomy seminar; search for extraterrestrial life; lives and deaths of starts; astronomy in science fiction; time and the cosmos; galaxies, Quasars, and the universe; the solar system; the Milky Way galaxy, select topics in astronomy, calculus, descriptive anatomy, English composition, general chemistry, physics, introductory modern physics, astronomical techniques, differential equations and matrix algebra, planetary astronomy and space science, introduction to French, intermediate French, mathematics for biomedical physics, methods of theoretical physics, classical mechanics, optics, optics laboratory, electronics and electrical measurements, instrumental analytical chemistry, the scientific revolution, and an internship. Bachelor degree graduates may advance to employment or continue studies within a master’s degree program.

A master’s degree in astronomy offers candidates the ability to specialize skills, training, and knowledge required to advance to a number of employment options. Courses include: origins: the universe, stars, planets, and life; current problems in astronomy; history and philosophy of astronomy, astronomical instrumentation, stellar astronomy; positional, dynamical, and kinematical astronomy; astrophysics; galaxies and the universe; solar system astronomy; methods of astronomy; special topics in advanced astronomy; master’s research; master’s thesis; and an internship experience. Graduates from master’s degree programs may gain employment or continue studies within doctoral degree programs.

A doctoral degree in astronomy qualifies students to be considered experts in the field. Courses at a doctoral level include: astrophysics, radiative processes in astrophysics, mathematical methods, chemistry, quantum mechanics, radiation measurements in astrophysics, electrodynamics and optics, extragalactic studies, fluid dynamics, particle dynamics, cosmology, relativistic astrophysics, statistical methods in astrophysics, interstellar matter, history of astronomy, advanced experimental physics, statistical mechanics, particle physics, general relativity, quantum field theory, dissertation research, dissertation, and a clinical experience. Graduates with doctoral degrees generally advance to employment as instructors or researchers within universities and colleges.

Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Astronomy Degrees

Graduates with astronomy degrees utilize the knowledge gained during educational programs to advance to a number of scientific professions. Most graduates work as technicians, researchers, or instructors within public or private research or scientific organizations dependent upon their qualifications. Most employers require candidates to complete a minimum of a bachelor degree to gain employment as research assistants or technicians. Many graduates who complete associate degree programs often advance to jobs as research assistants within planetariums, museums, or other organizations. Bachelor degree graduates usually gain employment as teacher’s assistants within vocational schools, colleges, or universities or science teachers in middle or high schools with additional training. Many also work as technicians or research assistants in engineering, software development, or other scientific organizations as educators, writers, or scientific managers. Master’s degree graduates often advance to employment as astronomers, science writers, planetarium operators, professors at colleges and universities, or as upper level professionals in scientific management fields. Doctoral degree graduates generally advance as expert researchers or instructors within universities or research facilities. Many graduates may also advance to positions as independent consultants.

Salary Range For Astronomy Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete studies in astronomy programs have earnings based upon factors like level of education, area/s of specialty, and organization of employment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports average earnings for astronomers ranges from $63,610 to $133,630 annually. Graduates who complete associate degree programs and work teacher’s assistants earn $17,610 to $28,180 annually. Bachelor degree graduates who gain employment as teacher’s assistants have salaries of $39,538 to $55,527 annually. Graduates with master’s degrees who work as vocational school instructors earn $42,110 to $64,120 annually. Doctoral degree graduates employed as astronomers earn $63,610 to $133,630 annually.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Astronomy Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete astronomy degree programs gain the technical abilities and knowledge necessary to advance to various levels of employment based upon their qualifications and skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports employment for astronomers is expected to increase by 16 percent through 2018 at a faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations. Competition is expected to be heavy for positions as researchers due to limited funding and volume of qualified applicants. Graduates who complete advanced degrees, gain work experience, continue education, or specialize their training in applied, manufacturing, or software development are expected to find increased employability. Graduates are expected to find the best employment options within private research and development firms due to the decline of Federal funding in scientific research and astronomy fields.

Associate degree graduates often begin within supervised, entry level positions as researchers or technicians and advance to positions with greater responsibilities and higher salaries. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs often begin employment as research assistants working on smaller projects and advance to positions within larger firms working on increasingly complex projects with greater responsibilities and higher salaries. Master’s degree graduates often begin employment within teaching or research positions within smaller firms, educational institutions, or research facilities and advance to positions with greater prestige and higher salaries upon gaining relevant work experience and continuing education. Doctoral degree graduates often begin employment within smaller colleges and universities as instructors and researchers and advance to positions within larger facilities upon gaining experience. Many graduates may also advance to positions as independent consultants upon securing adequate funding and work experience.

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