October 23rd, 2013, 09:29 PM
Programming careers related to astronomy
I am currently a math major and I have one more year before graduating with a bachelors degree. Since there aren't many career paths with a math degree I am going to go back to school and obtain a computer software/programming related degree. My question is, is there any programming or software engineer jobs related to astronomy? For example, building/programming cameras (ccd cameras) for astronomers or programming an optical system. If there is, is it in high demand? And what field of study should I concentrate: computer engineer, software, computer science, etc?
Thank you for your time!
October 24th, 2013, 04:13 AM
Yes, of course there is non-zero demand in programmers for building instruments used in astronomy, but these are usually not very close to astronomy itself. And programming for complex washing-machine or microwave oven will not be much different.
Of course, astronomers are interested not only in instruments, but in modelling experiments and processing scientific data etc, which may require good programming and math skills at once.
On the other hand there is of course demand for programmers with strong math skills - companies like google hire them for building new approaches for searching data, extracting information, performing calculations for real-time bidding advertising etc.
So the most important thing is to become really tough specialist in the branch you selected. There are not too much branches which are "completely useless".