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How to Become an Astronomer?

Learn how to become an astronomer in India with our comprehensive guide on eligibility, education, and career prospects.

Published By Team SetMyCareer
Last Updated: 12 July 2024
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In this Career Outline


Introduction to Astronomer

"Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another." – Plato

Astronomy is one of the oldest natural sciences, allowing us to study the universe without direct contact. The invention of telescopes transformed it from a hobby into modern science. Astronomers spend their time analyzing data, publishing papers, and developing computer programs for data collection. There are many fields of astronomy, such as solar science, celestial science, cosmic astrophysics, interstellar astrophysics, interplanetary astronomy, and metaphysics. Each field is further divided into experimental and theoretical research, with the analytical branch focusing on data collection and interpretation using fundamental physics concepts.

Steps to Become an Astronomer:


Cultivate a strong interest in astronomy and space science from an early age. Stay curious about the universe and explore related topics.


Prioritize studying Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry during high school. Aim for at least 50% aggregate in your 12th-grade exams from a recognized board (PUC/CBSE/ICSE/ISC).


Prepare and score well in Entrance exams after 12th like JEE-MAINS, CET, VITEEE, or JEE-Advanced. These scores are crucial for admission into reputable undergraduate programs.


Pursue a B.Sc. degree in Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, or a related discipline. This foundational degree is essential for a career in astronomy.


Participate in internships, research projects, and astronomy clubs during your undergraduate studies to gain practical experience and enhance your resume.


Pursue an M.Sc. in Astronomy, Astrophysics, or a related field. Higher education deepens your knowledge and opens up advanced research opportunities.


Consider earning a Ph.D. in a specialized area of astronomy. Specialization and advanced research are key to becoming an expert and advancing your career in this field.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Criteria Description
Eligibility Strong foundation in Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry in high school. Must possess at least 50% aggregate from a recognized institution in 12th, from any board
Educational Background Strong foundation in Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry in high school.
Undergraduate Degree B.Sc. in Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, or a related field. One must earn a degree in B.Sc/B. Tech or a Diploma to become an astronomer.
Postgraduate Degree M.Sc. in Astronomy, Astrophysics, or related fields. An M.Sc/M.Tech in Astronomy
Entrance Exams JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) for undergraduate programs, GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) and NET (National Eligibility Test) for postgraduate programs.

  • Must have at least 50% aggregate in 12th grade from a recognized board (PUC/CBSE/ICSE/ISC). The cut-off varies by college.
  • Should score well in entrance exams like JEE-MAINS, CET, VITEEE, JEE-Advanced, etc. Some colleges have their own entrance exams, such as NMIMS, Symbiosis, XUB, Andhra University, LPU, and others. States also offer their own exams.
  • You must earn a B.Sc/B. Tech degree or a Diploma to qualify as an astronomer.
  • An M.Sc/M. Tech in Astronomy is beneficial for advanced learning and higher qualifications.

Not eligible to pursue this career?

Find out different career options based on your current academic accomplishments. Enquire with our career experts and build a roadmap to your career success!

Tasks to perform as an Astronomer:

Develop hypotheses based on own discoveries or other astronomers' measurements and conclusions.

Utilize a variety of ground-based and space-based telescopes and analytical methods to investigate astronomical phenomena.

Address scientific studies at science conventions and in academic journal articles.

Evaluate the proportions, forms, illumination, and movements of various heavenly objects by calculating orbits.

Interstellar source materials' microwave, ultraviolet, light, and x-ray emissions are measured.

Knowledge & Skills Required

Astronomers need a diverse skill set to succeed in their roles. Here are the key knowledge areas and skills needed to excel in this field:

Knowledge Required
Understand the fundamental laws that govern the universe Proficiency in calculus, algebra, and statistics for data analysis and modeling.
In-depth knowledge of celestial objects, phenomena, and the structure of the universe. Skills in programming and using software for simulations, data analysis, and research.
Ability to interpret complex data from telescopes and other observational instruments Basic understanding of chemical compositions and reactions, especially related to celestial bodies.
Skills Required
Analytical Thinking Research Proficiency
Communication Skills Technical Proficiency
Teamwork Adaptability
Time Management Problem-Solving

The Knowlegde and Skills don't intrigue you?

The reason is that your interests don't align with this career. Identify your interests and match them with careers that require those skills. This alignment will help you grow and succeed in your career faster than you might expect!

Job roles offered for an Astronomer:

Once you procure the required qualifications for becoming an Astronomer, a myriad of options are open to you. There are multiple projects you can undertake throughout this line of work, and there are many other fields you can branch out to as well.


Conducts research using telescopes to analyze celestial data, focusing on the physics and mathematics of galaxies, stars, and other cosmic phenomena. Astronomers are often employed in educational institutions and research laboratories.

Life Sciences Manager:

Oversees teams of specialists in life sciences projects, communicating project results to stakeholders. Manages human resources, finances, and technical aspects of research and development.


Trained to fly spacecraft, conduct experiments in microgravity, and participate in human spaceflight missions. Requires extensive training and specialization in space operations.


Studies climate patterns, conducts field experiments, and analyzes environmental data to understand climate change and its impacts. Presents findings at conferences and advises on environmental policies.


Investigates the possibility of life on other planets, studying extremophiles on Earth and exploring planetary bodies for signs of habitability. Requires expertise in biology, astronomy, and planetary science.

Not sure where you fit in?

With the wide variety of careers and job roles available, pinpointing the best option for you can be challenging. Thorough analysis and dedicated sessions can provide clarity on what to study, which industry and role to pursue, and the most suitable career path to follow.

Career Opportunities for an Astronomer:

Astronomer can opt for various fields of work in the companies listed below:

Broward College Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore Ashoka University
Universitat Frankfurt Indian Space Research Organization Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Defense Research and Development Organization Space Applications Centre Satish Dhawan Space Centre
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

Colleges offering courses in Astronomers :

Here is the list of colleges offering the Best courses after 12th:

Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore Indian Institute of Science Education and Research
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram National Centre for Radio Astronomy, Pune
Raman Research Institute, Bangalore Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
University of Delhi, New Delhi Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur Andhra University, Visakhapatnam

End Note

Becoming an astronomer is a journey filled with wonder and discovery. With the right education and skills, you can explore the universe and contribute to our understanding of the cosmos. Connect with our experts at SetMyCareer for Career counselling after graduation to guide you along your career goals and start your stellar journey today!