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eri Said,
January 9th, 2011 @6:50 pm  

You should be majoring in physics and taking classes in math, astronomy, and computer science. You don’t really need a double major. Don’t skimp on English or public speaking classes either; scientists need to read, write, and communicate well. They publish often and have to apply for grants and give talks to get a job. Spend your college summers doing research at your school and others (look up REU programs) to make sure you really like doing research and to get experience (and publications) for grad school. Keep your college GPA high (well over 3.0) so you have a shot at a good grad program in whatever subfield you’re interested in.

A PhD in physics is the best way to go; it’s very employable outside of astronomy as well as in astronomy, and there aren’t a lot of jobs in astronomy so having a backup plan is a good idea. It’s very hard to get a job as a professor, and NASA doesn’t hire a lot of full-time scientists (but does pay a lot of students).

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