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Sterrenkunde

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Every year we are pleased to be able to report that Astronomy graduates have no problem finding a job. They find jobs in astronomy, but just as easily in the business sector – both within and outside the Netherlands. Depending on which Master's specialization you choose, - Research, technology, advising - there are many career paths open to you!

Continue with astronomy research

As a PhD student you will spend four years carrying out research with professors in a particular field. You then write a thesis, which will earn you the title of Doctor.

Interested in the technology of astronomy?

The degree will qualify you for positions in companies that develop advanced technologies for satellites and telescopes. Many of the techniques you learn as an astronomer are also very useful in other disciplines. The newest medical scanners for example, contain technical advancements originally developed for telescopes.

Excellent career opportunities in the business sector

Astronomers have strong analytical abilities, and are able to solve complicated problems. You will therefore be highly employable in areas where strategy, risk assessment and models are important. A large number of graduates therefore find work with large international companies, software firms and large financial institutions.

Elk jaar blijkt weer dat sterrenkundigen moeiteloos een baan vinden. Je kunt aan de slag als onderzoeker, maar je bent ook aantrekkelijk voor het bedrijfsleven. Onze afgestudeerden werken in binnen- en buitenland. Ongeveer de helft van de masterstudenten gaat na het behalen van het diploma verder met een promotieonderzoek. De andere helft vindt een baan buiten de astronomie: in het bedrijfsleven of in beleidsfuncties. Je kunt ook werken als natuurkundedocent of wetenschapsjournalist!

Onderzoek

Wil je verder in het onderzoek, dan kun je solliciteren naar een 'promotieplaats' bij een instituut in het binnen- of buitenland. Als promovendus doe je vier jaar samen met professoren onderzoek binnen een bepaald gebied. Dit onderzoek sluit je af met een proefschrift, waarna je jezelf doctor mag noemen.

Techniek

Meer geïnteresseerd in de technische kant van sterrenkunde? Dan kun je aan de slag bij bedrijven die hightechtechnieken voor satellieten en telescopen ontwikkelen. Veel van die technieken zijn ook uitstekend bruikbaar in andere vakgebieden. Zo worden technieken die oorspronkelijk zijn ontwikkeld voor telescopen ook in de nieuwste medische scanners toegepast.

Bedrijfsleven

Je vindt sterrenkundigen ook regelmatig bij grote internationale bedrijven, grote en kleine softwarebedrijven, en grote financiële instellingen. Dat lijkt raar, maar dat is het absoluut niet. Als sterrenkundige ben jij in staat complexe rekenmodellen te maken en ingewikkelde berekeningen uit te voeren. Die kennis kunnen bedrijven en organisaties bijvoorbeeld gebruiken om het gevolg van een strategische verandering te berekenen of voor het analyseren van de omzetcijfers.

Potentiële beroepen

  • Onderzoeker
  • Adviseur
  • Technisch innovateur
  • Testimonial van Pieter van Dokkum

    The work I do now isn't vastly different from the studies I did at Groningen

    After my Bachelor's degree I worked for my PhD at Groningen and went on to a postdoc position in Los Angeles. I am now Professor of Astronomy at Yale University. I research the formation and evolution of galaxies. My degree prepared me perfectly for this job. The basic set-up of the work I do now isn't vastly different from the studies I did at Groningen.

    Sluiten
    – Pieter van Dokkum
  • Testimonial van Boudewijn Hut

    Practical work for hard science

    'I've been working as Junior Commissioning Engineer for ASTRON, a radio astronomy institute, for about a year now. I did my final project here as part of my Master's programme in Instrumentation & Informatics, and they offered me a job.

    This job ties in perfectly with my degree programme, although team meetings and project-based work were new for me. As a Commissioning Engineer my job is to make sure that the systems and equipment are ready for use. I test subsystems and check that they continue to function correctly when used in tandem, for example.

    I am currently working on a receiver for the Westerbork Radio Synthesis Telescope. My work involves analysing data from behind my computer, but also taking measurements on location together with the system developers. This combination of concrete and practical work combined with the development of systems for hard science suits me perfectly!’

    Boudewijn Hut - Junior Commissioning Engineer

    Sluiten
    – Boudewijn Hut
  • Opleidingsvideo

    Flashing stars: how fast are they?

    – Opleidingsvideo
  • Opleidingsvideo

    Sophie van Mierlo, student Astronomy

    – Opleidingsvideo
  • Testimonial van Michael Zuravlovs

    The best advice I could give to anyone wanting to study here is to just do it. I'm sure they won't regret it

    I'm from Riga, the capital of Latvia in Eastern Europe. Although it's a large city and there are some good universities, I didn't feel challenged enough in my studies. I wanted to broaden my horizon and really dig into a subject in order to stay motivated. Riga couldn't offer me that. That's why I decided to go abroad.

    When I looked for places to study, I wanted to make sure that I would go to a 'top 100' university that offered interesting degree programmes in English. That way, I would be challenged studying, but I would also be able to improve my language skills. English is essential, and I didn't get a chance to speak, read or write it much at home.

    When I found the University of  Groningen, they were very helpful with the application process. There is a lot of stuff to fill in and sort out, and it is important to get it right. Fortunately, I could always get in touch with any questions. The only thing I wish I'd known then was to start looking for rooms straight away. It's not hard to find one, as long as you take the time to look.

    The programme was exactly what I was looking for: tough, but interesting. I like being busy and putting a bit of pressure on motivates me. The lecturers all speak English and are really engaging. I particularly like the tutors that are students themselves, as they are able to explain things on our level, from our point of view. There's always someone to ask for help or advice.

    The Netherlands did not disappoint either: it is a cool country, and although I was excited about being able to learn more about my study subject, I also enjoyed discovering a new city. It really broadens the mind. It's a very compact, beautiful city, so it's easy to get around and find your way. There are lots of busses and of course you can get anywhere on a bike.

    It's a real student city: over 25% of the population are students, and there are lots of things to do to entertain yourself and meet people. There are over 4000 other international students from all over the world, and it's nice to hang out with them and share similar experiences. The Dutch students are really easy to talk to and are always up for a chat or helping out. And although everyone speaks English – even in the supermarket - the Dutch spirit is contagious.

    The best advice I could give to anyone wanting to study here is to just do it. I'm sure they won't regret it. Oh, and they can drop by my place any time they like.

    Sluiten
    – Michael Zuravlovs
  • Testimonial van Willeke Mulder

    Sometimes I can't stop going on about the latest discovery in space

    'The stars and the universe have fascinated me since I was a child. There are so many questions, but not always an answer. I like the idea that I might be able to help find some of these answers.

    Alongside studying I’m also an active member of the study association and a student association, and I help with the Discovery Truck. It’s great to get to know lots of different people. Sometimes I’ve had enough of talking about physics, but other times I can’t stop going on about the latest discovery in space! I’m a member of various association committees, where you learn to organize at a different level. You learn to manage money, make schedules and, most importantly, to work in a team. I have also benefited from the analytical and logical way of thinking you learn in Astronomy to find the solution to a problem. Whether I’m organizing a members’ weekend or a study excursion, it always comes in handy. I also participate actively in sports, which is a great way to take your mind off things after a busy day and it also keeps your brain fit!’

    Willeke Mulder

    Sluiten
    – Willeke Mulder
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