What can you do with a degree in astronomy?

The AAS Committee on Employment is pleased to roll out a new resource for career-seeking astronomers. A degree in the astronomical sciences comes with the benefit of opening up a wide range of career options.

The committee received permission to repurpose a workforce infographic created by the American Geosciences Institute. Our goal is to find astronomer alumni who are working in the areas listed below and share their career profile, describing their skill set, providing advice, and retracing the journey they took to get to where they are today.

Hover over some of the work titles to explore different career paths.

Jon Arenberg Anonymous Joseph Pesce Melissa Nysewander Andy Cantrell Agnes Kim Patrik Jonsson Alicia Oshlack Stephanie Gogarten Ashlee Wilkins Josh Shiode James Marshall

Open the infographic in a new tab

The AAS Committee on Employment thanks the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) for permission to use and adapt their Workforce Infographic for the astronomical sciences. The AGI team: Kathleen Cantner, illustrator; Heather Houlton and Abigail Seadler, content. The illustrator for the AAS: Gregg Dinderman.

New career profiles requested.

We’d like to hear from you! Please share lessons learned as you advanced and pivoted during your career journey. On our new career profile form, you can complete your own profile, provide feedback on the infographic, and/or share the name of a person who we should invite to participate. Thanks!


  • Space science mission engineer
  • Space strategy consultant
  • Systems engineer


  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Science communicator
  • Sculptor / 3D modelling



  • Astronomy education researcher
  • Curriculum developer
  • Editor of a scientific journal
  • Grant coordinator
  • Informal educator
  • K-12 teacher
  • Lecturer / Community college professor
  • Outreach specialist
  • Professor


  • Instrument engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Optical engineer
  • Software engineer
  • Systems engineer



  • Congressional staffer
  • Congressperson
  • Elected official
  • Foreign affairs specialist
  • Government affairs specialist
  • Legislative director
  • Lobbyist
  • NSF / NASA program officer
  • Science advisor
  • Space lawyer
  • Tax administration


  • Astronomer
  • Astrophysicist
  • Cosmologist
  • Planetary scientist
  • Observatory staff / tech
  • Staff scientist


  • Data scientist
  • Database manager
  • Software developer
  • User-experience designer
  • Website designer


  • Communications specialist
  • Novelist
  • Science journalist
  • Screenwriter
  • STEM consultant