How to become an Astrophysicist

Everyone has at least once in their lifetime wondered how the universe came into existence and who the creator was. Astrophysicists are the scientist who finds answers to these questions.

This article provides answers to “How to become an Astrophysicist in India?”, their responsibilities, education, top colleges, salary, and many more.

Check out the career prospects of an Astrophysicist and the impact they can make on the scientific community. 

What is Astrophysics?

Astrophysics is a branch of science that deals with the study of the birth, life, and death of astronomical bodies like stars, planets, galaxies, black holes, and nebulae along with other planetary objects present in the Universe.

They play a key role in decoding the vast amount of information stored in the celestial objects that can open up a lot of answers to the existence of the universe.

Astrophysics is further divided into cosmology and astronomy. Cosmology is the study of the origin and evolution of the universe whereas Astronomy is the study of celestial bodies. 

Who is an Astrophysicist?

An Astrophysicist is a scientist whose core area of study is the physical properties and processes of celestial objects like the Earth, the Moon, the Sun, planets in our solar system, and distant bodies that are part of the universe.

They try to understand the origin and evolution of the universe and predict events that might happen in the future.

Astrophysicists study space using the knowledge of physics to explore events and history such as black holes, dark matter, superclusters, stellar evolution, and neutron stars.

What Does an Astrophysicist Do?

An Astrophysicist evaluates and analyzes the physics of astronomical bodies and observations. As part of their job profile, they contribute to the progress of science and their responsibilities include:

      • Develop astronomical theories based on telescopic and data-based observations.

      • Implement research techniques to test the theories and derive conclusions.

      • Contribute to space research through data and research.

      • Facilitate scientific experiments to explore the secrets of the universe and find answers to the many questions concerning the origin of the universe.

      • Develop programs and software to efficiently analyze and improve research capability. 

      • Stay up-to-date on the developments in the field and collaborate with associated fields to deduce experiments.

    Skills Required to Become an Astrophysicist

    Like every other field of science, Astrophysicists require certain unique skills to excel in their field of study. They are

        • Communication and Interpersonal skills

        • Research abilities

        • Scientific curiosity

        • Computer and software skills

        • Data Analysis and Interpretation

        • Problem-solving skills

        • Critical analysis skills

        • Learning and applying advanced mathematical concepts

      Eligibility to Become an Astrophysicist 

      The are certain academic qualifications to become an Astrophysicist in India. They are:

          • +2/12th standard – Must have completed +2 with  Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as main subjects.

          • Undergraduate Program – Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics 

          • Masters Program – Master of Science in Astrophysics

          • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

        Undergraduate Programs in India for Astrophysicists 

            • B.Sc Physics with Astrophysics and Physics

            • B.Sc Astrophysics

            • B.Sc Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology 

            • B.Sc Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics 

            • B.Sc Astrophysics and Chemistry

            • B.Sc Astrophysics and Environmental Science

            • B.Sc Astrophysics and Forensic Science

            • B.Sc Astrophysics and Mathematics 

            • B.Sc Astrophysics and Computer Science

            • B.Sc Astrophysics and Education

            • B.Sc Astrophysics and Medicinal Chemistry

          Post Graduate or Masters Programs in India for Astrophysicists

              • M.Sc in Astrophysics

              • M.Sc Observational Astrophysics

              • M.Sc in Data-Intensive Astrophysics

              • M.Sc in Physics with Astrophysics 

              • M.Sc Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology 

            Doctorate Courses

                • Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics

                • Ph.D. in Astrophysics

              Competitive Exams to Become an Astrophysicist

                  • JEST – Joint Entrance Screening Test

                  • GATE – Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering

                  • JEE – Joint Entrance Examination

                  • BITSAT – Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test, etc

                How To Become An Astrophysicist In India? A Step-by-Step Guide

                Here is a step-by-step guide to become an Astrophysicist in India.

                    1. Take the Science stream in +2 or 12th standard with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as main subjects. 
                    2. Complete 12th standard with good percentile and take up Undergraduate courses with a specialization in Astrophysics. 
                    3. Depending upon the institution, there are entrance exams like JEE/BITSAT, etc., that need to be cleared to secure admission.
                    4. After completion of the Bachelor’s program in Astrophysics, an entrance exam like GATE/BITSAT, etc., for a Master’s program needs to be cleared for further academics.
                    5. Take up Astrophysics as a specialization in the Master’s program to get one step closer to becoming an Astrophysicist. 
                    6. Register and clear the JEST (Joint Entrance Screening Test) examination for securing admission to Ph.D. in Astrophysics. 
                    7. Once the Ph.D. is completed, one can be called an Astrophysicist and find career opportunities in different fields.

                  Top Colleges to Become an Astrophysicist in India

                  Many Public and Private Universities in India offer Astrophysics as a specialization in Bachelor’s and Masters’s programs. Some of the top institutions in India are

                      • Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru

                      • Punjabi University, Patiala

                      • Osmania University, Hyderabad 

                      • Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Allahabad

                      • Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

                      • Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai

                      • Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam

                      • Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla University, Roorkee

                      • Swami Ramanand Teerth University, Nanded

                    Astrophysicist Salary

                    The average salary of an Astrophysicist in India is Rs.8L/annum. Depending upon the subject’s expertise and experience, the pay range can go up to Rs.24L/annum.

                    The salary of an Astrophysicist is high compared to other professions since the time period for completion of academics is long. 

                    An Astrophysicist can assume different roles after completion of their academic qualifications such as research, teaching, observation, etc.

                    Reputed space institutions like NASA, ISRO, JAXA, ESA, etc employ Astrophysicists to anticipate events for space study.

                    With Space Industry opening up for private investments, the demand for Astrophysicists is growing in the private sector as well.

                    Astrophysicist Career scope

                    Depending upon the specialization taken along with Astrophysics, one can find different job prospects in different industries.

                    The demand for Astrophysicists is rigging since the opening up of the space industry to private investments. The following career options are available for Astrophysicists in India. 

                        • Research Scientist

                        • University Faculty

                        • Industry profile

                      Pros and Cons

                      The pros of becoming an Astrophysicist:

                          • Exciting career

                          • Contribute to science

                          • Discovery of new celestial bodies

                          • High salary 

                        The cons of becoming an Astrophysicist:

                            • Long academic period

                            • Stressful at times

                            • Irregular work hours in research

                          Summary

                              • Astrophysics is a field of science that deals with the study of the origin and evolution of the universe and celestial bodies. It is divided into Astronomy (study of celestial bodies) and Cosmology (study of the origin and evolution of the universe).

                              • The academic route to becoming an Astrophysicist is straightforward and needs Ph.D. in Astrophysics or Astronomy. 

                              • Being an Astrophysicist is an exciting career and pays high compared to other professions.

                            Frequently Asked Questions

                            A career in Astrophysics is promising, challenging, and a good career option.

                            It takes 9 – 12 years to become an Astrophysicist after completing the 12th standard.

                            Yes, it is hard to become an Astrophysicist and it is worth the effort to be in an exciting field.

                            After completing the 12th standard, one must complete Bachelor’s and Master’s program along with a Ph.D. in Astrophysics.

                            A Ph.D. is a must to become an Astrophysicist. However, it is not mandatory to find employment opportunities in the space industry.

                            Depending upon research capabilities and the time is taken to secure Ph.D., one can become an Astrophysicist at the age of 25 to 30.

                            Yes, being an Astrophysicist can turn out to be stressful at times. But it can be rewarding too at the same time.

                            Read the article above to know more about how to become an astrophysicist in India.

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