How Can I Become An Astronomer In India?

India's space agency, Indian Space and Research organisation (ISRO) has been in the news over the years for its achievements. One of the most remembered is Chandrayaan-1, which detected the lunar water and surprised the USA space agency, NASA. India even managed to enter the list of elite countries because of its satellite launching stations and innovations. This is all because of the great minds, whom we call with various designations - astronomer, astronaut, astrophysicist and scientist - that all evolved from the study of astronomy.


A career in astronomy is one amongst the lucrative ones specifically in the elite countries such as the USA and India. There is a great demand for astronomers in these countries to handle, maintain and store necessary data. If you are looking to take up a study in this unique profession, you should not miss this article. Let's explore all about career options in the field of astronomy!

How Can I Become An Astronomer In India?

Who Is An Astronomer?

Astronomer is one who studies about the solar system and universe and that includes studying about the comets, meteors, galaxies, etc. The study beyond the earth's atmosphere is called astronomy. In order to start your journey to reach the stars, you should pursue courses related to astronomy.

How To Become An Astronomer?

One should possess 10+2 with physics, chemistry and mathematics as the main subjects. To become an astronomer, one has to choose either instrumentation/experimental and/or observational/theoretical astronomy. To pursue courses related to observational/theoretical astronomy, one should opt for science subjects. However, engineering subjects are required to pursue instrumentation/experimental astronomy.

To pursue courses in instrumentation/experimental astronomy, one should have BTech in electrical/electronics/electrical communication or any other branch. While coming to theoretical astronomy, one can take up PhD after completing their postgraduate degree in physics or astronomy.

In order to pursue PhD, one should appear for the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST), which is conducted annually in the month of February. Candidates can even take up PhD by cracking the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), which enables them for admission at institutes such as IITs and IISc.

One can also take up the one-year joint astronomy program at Indian Institute of Science (IISc). The selection will be made only through an interview which will be conducted annually in the month of July.

Best Courses In Astronomy

  • MSc in astronomy
  • MSc in astrophysics
  • MSc in meteorology
  • PhD in astronomy
  • PhD in astronomy and astrophysics
  • PhD in astrophysics
  • PhD in atmospheric science and astrophysics

Skills Required To Become An Astronomer

  • Computing skills
  • Writing skills
  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking ability
  • Logical thinking
  • Meticulous
  • Scientific interest
  • Mathematical skills
  • Ability to understand complicated data

Top Institutes That Offer Courses In Astronomy

  • Indian Institute Of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Bangalore
  • Tata Institute Of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai
  • Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bangalore
  • National Centre For Radio Astrophysics, Pune
  • Inter-University Centre For Astronomy And Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune
  • Institute of Physics (IOP), Bhubaneswar
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore

Career Opportunities & Scope Of Astronomy

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