Career Options with an Astronomy PhD
August 4, 2008 10:20 PM Subscribe
I have a PhD in astronomy, and am considering careers outside of academia or NASA. What other careers could I most naturally transition to? So far I have come up with Patent Agent/Lawyer or researcher at a think-tank like RAND. What are these jobs like, and how do you get them?
posted by pizzazz to Work & Money (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I have a PhD in astronomy, have completed one postdoc, and am currently working as a staff scientist at a non-academic (no teaching) institute. I like my job, but current funding trends mean it lacks stability. I am considering a career change, but after being on a narrow track for so long, I need help discovering what my options are. I would love to make use of my analytical skills and I need to live in Los Angeles. I am willing to go back to school for something like a law degree or MBA if that opens up any particularly exciting doors. I am not interested in management consulting. Any suggestions?
I currently have two ideas that I would love to learn more about:
1. Patent agent/lawyer.
2. Researcher at RAND. (The job ad for Applied Math and Physical Sciences Researcher at this site
looks very appealing!)
If you have one of these jobs, I would love to know how you like it. What are the hours like? How high is the stress level? How would my background be perceived by recruiters? (Do I have a shot?) What is the job market like? What is the entry-level pay? How does one get in the door?