The answer is two-fold. First, modern-day astronomy is a fast-moving and exciting field which addresses such fundamental questions as “How old is the Universe” and “Is there life out there among the stars?” Majoring in Astronomy & Astrophysics will have you routinely thinking about such things as black holes, galaxies, and extra-solar planets and will add new depth and richness to your view of the nighttime sky. Second, an undergraduate degree in Astronomy & Astrophysics will have you poised for a successful leap into the next important stage of your life, whether it be a continuation of your education in graduate school or entry into the job market.
A recent study by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce reveals that the current unemployment rate for those whose undergraduate major was Astronomy & Astrophysics is 0% (that’s zero percent)! An earlier study by the Georgetown Center also showed that science and engineering graduates generally have significantly higher earnings over the course of their working careers than those with other majors.
So what do Astronomy & Astrophysics majors do after they receive their degrees? A survey of Villanova’s own Astronomy & Astrophysics alumni shows them to be placed in all areas of the business sector (technical and non-technical), in education, working for government agencies (military and civilian), and working as professional astronomers. The attributes of an Astronomy & Astrophysics education that makes majors so employable are several: the work ethic developed through completion of a challenging major, strong problem-solving skills, mathematical literacy, computer programming skills, and a broad base of knowledge that results from completion of a technical major in a Liberal Arts university like Villanova. In brief, the successful completion of a major in Astronomy & Astrophysics assures that many doors will be open upon graduation.
The results of the Georgetown Center study can be found here.