What do I need to do to become an astronomer? (Beginner)

I'm in grade/middle/high school. What do I need to do to become an astronomer?

I advise you to take as much math as you can. Having high school calculus under your belt will make your first physics classes much easier. Physics and other sciences should be a priority, too, but don't neglect other classes. Astronomers still need to be good writers and communicators, and good grades across the board are necessary for college admission and scholarships.

Increasingly, computer programming skills are a key ingredient to success in astronomy -- and they open up other career paths, too. Working with robotics kits or doing free online coding projects, like those offered through CodeAcademy, can be a great introduction even if your school doesn't offer programming classes.

This page was last updated on June 19, 2015 by Ann Martin.

About the Author

Britt Scharringhausen

Britt studies the rings of Saturn. She got her PhD from Cornell in 2006 and is now a Professor at Beloit College in Wisconson.

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