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View Diary: I am Back from Iraq (301 comments)

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  •  Welcome home (10+ / 0-)

    Thank you for your service and I'm sorry to hear about the loss of a good soldier.

    Regarding your degree.  Have you considered becoming a science teacher?  We need all of them that we can get in the schools.  Also, I had friends who taught and then did lab research in the summer.  The best of both worlds.  

    Finally, there are a lot of programs out there that fast track vets into the teaching profession.  I know that there is such a program in Virginia for example  Combine that with science and you would have districts fighting to have you come work for them.  

    Last bit of promotion - you can live almost anywhere in the country.  You don't have to be stuck commuting 2 hours each way into your job.

    Now I know that there will be naysayers about how teachers are being laid off and such but the fact is that science teachers are a scarce commodity unlike say - social studies/football coaches.

    Good luck!

    •  A LT I worked with suggested that (19+ / 0-)

      My real interest is in astronomy but I get the impression you need more than a four year degree to earn a living at it. He suggested starting out teaching astronomy, and that's something I'm strongly considering. I do love to teach and share knowledge.

      •  Career choice (9+ / 0-)

        I helped develop something a long time ago that helps people determine their best career choice based on what they enjoy doing.  I'd be happy to sling you a free report if you want to email me on andrewinscotland at

        -7.75 -6.46 grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. ~ Carl Sagan

        by andrewinscotland on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 07:58:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Welcome back (7+ / 0-)

        Sorry to read about your loss.

        Yes, if you want to do astronomical research, you almost certainly need a doctoral degree. If you want to teach at the community college level, a masters degree is just fine. A masters degree and sometimes a bachelors degree is sufficient for working in educational outreach. For more information about working in astronomy the following may be useful:

        If you have additional questions, contact the educational officer at the American Astronomical Society whose email address can be found on their website at

        The only thing I would add is that it would be a very good idea if possible while a student to get a summer job in astronomy or astronomy education, say between your second and third year or third year and fourth year because doing a job is very different than taking courses in it. Various national observatories and planetariums have such programs which typically last 10 or 12 weeks.

        Good luck !

        H.L. Mencken: "A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves"

        by igneous on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 08:39:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's probably true for astronomy... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, eastmt, signals, Lujane, Norbrook

        need more than a four year degree to earn a living at it

        and many of the other pure sciences I would add. Engineers can do well with a four year degree and make practical use of math and science so that might be an option for you. One thing about astronomy is that you can pursue it as a serious hobby - a surprising number of discoveries are made by amateurs.

        So best of luck to you. We do appreciate your service and hope you can pursue your dreams after your contract is up.

        Just another socialist fuckstick homosinner!

        by Ian S on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:39:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Astronomy requires a Ph.D., and there's not a (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, expatyank, eastmt, Lujane, Norbrook

        lot of jobs out there, but don't let that discourage you if you really love the field.  You can get financial support (teaching and research assistantships, rather than loans) while you are in graduate school, and the scientific, mathematic, and computer skills you learn are readily transferable to more lucrative careers.  My best academic and career advice to you is to study what you love.  Take a variety of courses in your first year or two, and go with the one that really grabs you.  (By the way, an undergrad degree in math or physics is more flexible than an undergrad degree in astronomy.  You can get into an astronomy grad program as well as many other science grad programs with a math or physics degree, while an astronomy undergrad degree limits you more to astronomy grad programs.)  Grad school can be wonderful, if you pick your program (and your advisor!) carefully.

        Welcome home, and condolences on the loss of your friend.

      •  Very good programming skills helps in Astronomy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        A PhD is needed for Astronomy research, but you can do other things if you have the right skills. I know someone with a Masters in Astronomy and very good programming skills who ended up working on the Mars Rover project as a programmer.

        I wanted to be an astronomer when I was a teen, but my mother discouraged me because she had read in the newspaper that there were few jobs to be had. She was trying to look out for me, but part of me died when I gave up that dream. Being practical has its points, but it doesn't take into account the drive that propels some to excel. The math and science you take for Astronomy will serve you well in many ways.

        Take care.
        Per aspera ad astra

        "Let's remember, we should care about people even AFTER they are born." - Rep. Alan Grayson

        by Sand Hill Crane on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 08:54:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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