Choose specialized astrobiology program for your bright future

There are countless mysteries about planets and moons, solar systems, galaxies, and the space between them. And experts have been trying for ages to get the answers for this curiosity. We are too curious about Aliens and UFOs, Asteroids and Black holes, time gapping, and mapping. So can there be a possibility of other Solar systems like ours? If you want to relish the company of heavenly bodies and research on its various unlimited aspects, then a Degree in Astrobiology will feed your interest well.

What is Astrobiology? 

Astrobiology is a relatively new stream that studies the origin of life, early evolution, distribution, and future of experience in the Universe. Additionally, it deals with questions related to the existence of Extraterrestrial life. In other words, it requires a comprehensive, integrated understanding of biological, planetary, and cosmic phenomena. Astrobiology program explores the experience of the students in planetary Science, extrasolar planets, and the origin of life. At the same time, students take a solid core of mathematics, physics, and biology courses, allowing them to pursue a wide range of interests.

Career Scope

Taking a program with no hopes of securing a job is downright frustrating. And with the increased rate of unemployment in many countries, students will be more reluctant to pursue their interests unless they are guaranteed employment. The good news is that the Astrobiology program can lead you into several career ventures, and you have the freedom to choose any between any of these I'll mention. That said, students with a degree in Astrobiology can look forward to for careers such as:

1. Astronomy

If you have always loved listening to scientific theories, you won't be listening to such theories anymore. Instead, you will be developing these theories and justifying them if you happen to pursue this program. Additionally, your role will be to analyze scientific data and write scientific proposals. 

2. Geology

Once you have studied the physical composition of earth, you will use that knowledge to explore and discover where oil can be mined. Additionally, you will take part in exploring gas and other minerals and coming up with ways to extract these minerals as a scientist. 

3. Space Sciences Research

You'll be responsible for knowing how the earth and other planets work. You will also participate in research, collect, and analyze scientific data while also doing lab tests for the collected data samples to see the outcomes and decide on what should be done. Space scientists and geoscientists almost have the same roles. What differentiates them is that the space scientists look up while geoscientists look down. 

4. Biomedical Research

This also involves research, as you have seen with other careers. That said, Biomedical research requires research, testing, and analyzing samples in the medical industry. When you happen to go this route in your career, your primary role will be to test samples in the lab using modern technology equipment. 

5. Environment Research

If you have always been cautious about the environment, this career will suit you well. It involves conducting research, identifying, and controlling some of the hazards to the environment, such as pollutants. Additionally, you will be responsible for conducting research about air pollutants and coming up with ways to control them.

6. Post-Secondary Teaching

Usually, some people love passing the knowledge they have to others, and this is wonderful. If you take this program, the chances are that you can pass the knowledge you have accumulated to your juniors. Post-secondary teachers are responsible for teaching courses in their subject area. So, if you love teaching, this career is for you. 

7. University-based Research

You must love researching a lot to fit into this role. In other words, this career is for those who love exploring, are curious, and love spending their time with scientific books or journals. And look, I'm not saying this to discourage you. University-based research is relied upon by nearly every institution across the world. As such, it needs to be perfect or near-perfect. 

Preparation for an astrobiology career, you will be required to take part in Seminars and internships with local and national companies. Some of these companies include;

  • NASA
  • The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • Sandia National Labs
  • The American Institute of Physics

These internship opportunities allow you to gather the necessary experience and put them ahead of the competition when searching for an astrobiology career.

Education Required

  • To be a NASA scientist, you must have a bachelor's degree in physics, astrophysics, astronomy, geology, space science, or a similar field.
  • If you want to pursue this degree after 10+2 level, there are few colleges like Florida Institute of Technology (https://www.fit.edu/programs/astrobiology-bs/) that offer the Astrobiology Program for Undergraduates. That said, if you are applying for an undergraduate from this field, you must be from the science stream and must have some mathematics basics.
  • For Masters in Astrobiology, the minimum qualification required is the Bachelor's degree in any Science, Astronomy, Space Science, Geology, Chemistry, Biology, or related field from a recognized university.
  • Candidates with their Bachelor in subjects like Biogeochemistry, Microbiology, Geological Science, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, etc. also have the option of pursuing a specialized course in Astrobiology.
  • There are even online courses (https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/education/online-courses/), which can help you to become an Astrobiologist.

Salary

It is a new stream, and it is difficult to range the salary for astrobiology jobs.Taking California as the location (NAI headquarters), the salary-comparison website Vault.com estimates that astrobiologists can earn anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 and above per year, depending on your experience. 

BiologySalary says $50,000 to $110,000, with an average of about $60,000 to $95,000. CareerBuilder has $90,000 as the average.

NASA considers the level of work and the responsibility you handle, in determining and increasing salaries. The median wage stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and those advertised by NASA, as shown in the education section, is over $100,000, which is level GS-14 and above.

The Future of Astrobiology

Opportunities for physicists, astrophysicists, and astronomers are expected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is significantly faster than employment in general. Entry-level jobs are always tough to break. A high GPA, an advanced degree, and internships or work experience involving unusual or cutting-edge research could be a plus that sets you apart from other candidates.

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