Unleash Your Inner Space Explorer: A Guide to Becoming a Space Scientist
Are you captivated by the mysteries of science and inspired by ISRO's Chandrayaan 2? This remarkable national achievement left millions of young Indians curious and inspired about the possibilities of space exploration. If you are one of these individuals, a career as a space scientist may be your perfect fit. In this blog, we will explore the steps to become a space scientist, including the necessary courses, eligibility both in India and abroad.
The Path to Becoming a Space Scientist: A Comprehensive Guide
Step 1: Selection of a Science Stream
The first step to becoming a space scientist is selecting the right stream of study following your class 10 studies. To pursue a career in space science, it is crucial to choose a stream of study that includes physics, chemistry, mathematics (preferably MPC subjects). Without these subjects, candidates will not be able to pursue pure science or engineering degrees, which are indispensable to work in a premier space agency. Therefore, students are advised to choose a non-medical or medical stream of study after class 10.
Step 2: Entrance Exams
Having identified the appropriate stream of study, the next step is to take the right entrance exams. Candidates can pursue pure science or engineering, and they must obtain a bachelor's degree first. The degree courses include B.Sc. in physics, chemistry, mathematics, or B.E./B.Tech (engineering). Candidates are advised to pursue a master’s degree in the same or related fields and obtain a Ph.D. in related fields. Popular entrance exams for these courses include JEE Main, JEE Advanced, AIEEE, BITSAT, IIST, and more.
Credits - CourseXpert
Also Read - How to Become an Astronaut?
Step 3: Choosing the Best College/University
Selecting the right college or university is crucial for anyone desiring to be a space scientist in India. This is because ISRO recruits graduates from these institutions for placements. Students from IIT Bombay and IISc have a higher chance of being directly recruited by ISRO. For those aspiring to study abroad, it is important to consider universities that offer courses relevant to their chosen field. To prepare for the entrance exam, it is advised to enroll in a preparatory course. For postgraduates, one needs to obtain a good score in either the GMAT or GRE.
Step 4: Becoming a Space Scientist
If you wish to become a space scientist in India, there are various recruiting organizations such as VSSC, ISRO, and DRDO. Eligibility for employment is based on educational qualifications, professional experience, and academic records. Applicants with outstanding academic records, specifically those with a master's or Ph.D., will be hired at a higher grade. Meanwhile, those with fewer qualifications and experience are recruited at lower grades.
Also Read: Top Astronomy Books You Should Read
How to Become a Space Scientist in ISRO?
Anyone who dreams of working with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) must follow these steps to become a space scientist. To be hired by ISRO, you first need to complete your graduation from IIST and achieve a 7.5 CGPA. ISRO reaches out to eligible candidates on its own. Secondly, you can apply for a job profile through campus placements in top NITs and IITs after clearing personal interviews and group discussions. Lastly, you can take the ICRB ISRO exam by qualifying if you scored 65% or more marks in your graduation. This exam has an objective type syllabus related to your educational background. Admission is limited to students of specific courses. Here is a list of qualifications you will need to become a scientist in ISRO:
B.Sc. B.E./B.Tech (Lateral Entry)
Diploma B.E./B.Tech. (Lateral Entry)
Also Read: 6 Ingenious Engineering Careers
How to Be a Space Scientist in NASA?
NASA is a prestigious space agency in the USA. Unlike ISRO, non-citizens of the USA can't work at NASA. However, these individuals can work with other international space agencies if they meet the required criteria. Eligibility for NASA's space science jobs includes having a master's degree in STEM courses, two years of specialized work experience, and passing NASA's long-duration flight astronauts physical. Additional skills such as leadership, teamwork, and communication boost your chances of selection. The Astronaut Selection Board reviews each application, after which successful candidates are contacted for small-group interviews at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Many applicants are then invited for a second round of interviews, after which the final applicants are chosen.
Courtesy: NASA Johnson
How to Be a Space Scientist After 10th?
To become a space scientist, one should opt for the Science stream immediately after qualifying for class 10th. In this field, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics are compulsory subjects at the class 12th level. After passing class 12th, you will be eligible to pursue courses in space science at your desired institution after qualifying for relevant entrance exams.
Eligibility Criteria for Pursuing Space Science
Just like how journalism graduates cannot become civil engineers, not all courses qualify an individual to become a space scientist. Adequate qualification is necessary to pursue this field. The right course must be selected, such as STEM subjects, engineering, and other related courses. One can pursue a B.Sc, B.Tech, or B.E degree, followed by a Master's and Ph.D., or an integrated course. Some of the popular courses in this area are:
B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering
B.Tech in Avionics Engineering
B.Tech. in Engineering Physics
M.S. in Physics, Astronomy or related fields
M.Tech. in Optical Engineering
M.Tech in Electronics, Electrical, Mechanical, and Computer Science
Ph.D. in relevant disciplines
Also Read: Global Science and Tech Courses
Top Institutes in India for Space Science
India is home to some of the top institutions offering courses that fulfill necessary requirements for becoming a space scientist. Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, for instance, hires graduates with outstanding academics. Regarding ISRO placements, IIT graduates are the best hires. The following is a list of the top 10 institutes in India for space science:
- Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
- Indian Institute of Science Education and Research
- Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Kerala
- University of Hyderabad – Centre for Earth and Space Sciences
- Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Nainital
- Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore
- Bangalore Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics
- National Centre for Radio Astronomy, Pune
- Physical Research Laboratory, Pune
- Radio Astronomy Center, Ahmedabad
Top Institutes for Space Science Abroad
One can also attend top foreign institutions offering courses dedicated to train individuals in the field of space science. The UK, the USA, Australia, and Ireland are some examples. Here is a list of foreign top institutions and their offered courses:
Also Read: How to Become a Rocket Scientist?
Salaries of Space Scientists working with ISRO
Being employed as a space scientist in ISRO comes with suitable salaries averaging at:
Profiles Average Salary Distinguished Scientist INR 75,500 - INR 80,000 Outstanding Scientist
Within the universe of scientific vocations, being a space scientist can be one of the most fascinating and challenging professions. The compensation for your efforts ranges from INR 15,600 to INR 79,000, depending on the category in which you are hired. For instance, if you get hired in the H & G category, you would receive a payment within the bracket of INR 67,000 - INR 79,000, whereas, for SG and SF categories, it would be between INR 37,400 and INR 67,000. Additionally, the SE and SD categories also offer such compensation.
If you aspire to become a space scientist, there are some frequently asked questions that you should know. For instance, you might wonder about the best institution in India for initiating your career as a space scientist, and we would tell you that the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research is just one of the best. Additionally, it is important to clarify that while a PhD degree is not mandatory to become a space scientist, having such a degree would increase your chances of being hired at ISRO.
Moreover, you may wonder if pursuing integrated engineering courses would make you eligible for working at ISRO, and we can confidently say that you are absolutely eligible. Now, if you hold aspirations of becoming a space scientist right after completing the 12th grade, you need to get enrolled in a university that offers courses related to the field and take any qualifying entrance exams as needed. Later, you need to complete a master's degree in association with your undergraduate course.
Finally, you may question how long it would take to become a space scientist and we would say that it would take approximately 5 to 7 years to become one, whether you apply to work for ISRO or NASA. If you find this information helpful, please get in touch with our Leverage Edu experts for more assistance throughout the application process. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
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