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How to Be an Astronomer

We are all under the same sky. But Australians are no mere stargazers when it comes to space.

If anything, Australian astronomers have recently found what could be the oldest star known to humankind. Three times older than the Sun, the as-yet named SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 reportedly formed 13.6 billion years ago, making it barely younger than the universe itself.

This news comes on the heels of the passing of Ray Stalker, an Australian astrophysicist famous for pioneering the scramjet, one of the world’s fastest jet engines.

As you may see, you need not fly to Cape Canaveral or Russia to study space. In Australia or with Australians, the sky is really the limit.

What it takes to be an astronomer

At some point your life you may have had an epiphany to become an astronomer. Or you mayhave dreamed about it all your life. Either way, astronomy is hard science like any other, and you have to lay the foundation early on. If you excel in mathematics and physics in high school, you already have a headstart toward your career objectives.

This foundation will serve you well when you finally take up astronomy courses, which are peppered with the finer branches of mathematics, physics, engineering, and information technology. During your undergraduate degree or earlier, you will have to be acquainted with Unix-like operating systems, which are better equipped than Windows to deal with convoluted calculations associated with celestial bodies.

Don’t forget fluency in English, since you will be handling plenty of theses, proposals, and all kinds of research papers. Specifically, you must master the style of scientific writing, although it is something you will organically assimilate by reading lots of scientific journals during your undergraduate years. Good oral communication is also requisite, seeing as you are expected to do a lot of presentations in front of an audience. During your undergraduate program, you are expected to present multiple research projects before your peers.

Good universities and colleges for astronomy

Although all Australian universities are invested in scientific research, some have more ample astronomy capabilities than others. Some run observatories within their campuses and permanently include astronomers in their teaching staff.

You have the full spectrum in the way of studying astronomy in Australia. Choose from full-blown PhDs in astronomy to units under an overall physics program. You can even take up astronomy courses as part of a General Studies course. With hard work and diligence, you can parlay an honours or research masters degree to a Master of Science (MSc) or doctorate, and finally become a full-fledged astronomer.

Many world-renowned luminaries in astronomy and astrophysics hail from Australian National University (ANU). ANU’s Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics (RSAA) has the continent’s most expansive graduate program in the said sciences.

In fact, the discovery of the star was made at the university, specifically at its famous Siding Spring Observatory on Mt. Stromlo, where the exceptionally powerful telescope called SkyMapper resides. In addition, Stalker was known to have undertaken a readership in physics at ANU.

Stalker studied once at the University of Sydney, the first in Australia to offer a degree in aeronautical engineering. But the University of Queensland has a bragging right in that it is where Stalker gained fame as Australia’s first professor of space engineering. In his tenure at the university, Stalker caught the eye of NASA and other space flight agencies by developing his eponymous shock tubes.

Curtin University of Technology in Perth is unique for its radio astronomy engineering programs. Also in Perth, the University of Western Australia is a compelling choice for prospective astronomers due to its world-renowned gravitational research centre.

Down in the University of Tasmania, astronomy students can take advantage of observatories on Mt. Pleasant and Mt. Canopus.

Casual astronomers

For the casual astronomer, Australian universities are known to offer evening lectures or online courses as part of their external studies offerings. These are ideal for hobbyists and general science educators.

Whether you intend to pursue a career in astronomy or simply deepen your knowledge of the heavens, Australian institutions will help you reach for the stars.

Writing Business Documents

Writing business documents is an ability that you learn; it doesn’t take a special talent. You get better at it by repetition and instructions. A good learning strategy that works for most is to write something every day, no matter how short it is and you don’t even have to read it to anyone. This way, you’ll become a better critic, by analyzing the points you must improve.

Writing business documents

Two rules

Know your subject – if you don’t know anything about a subject, you can’t write about it. The better you know the subject, the better and easier you’ll write about it.

Know your public – this the second most important element to know. Write for your readers, not for yourself! Remember that your documents compete with unknown quantities of information. Think of the priorities, interests and needs of your clients.

Organizing yourself

Think about what your document needs to say, in what order must the information be placed? What is the main idea and how can you end this paper? Here are some ideas to help you get through this process.

An outline – it comprises a list of ideas about the content of the document and the order of the ideas. After you review the outline, you can still modify it until you get to the complete form that suits your needs.

Index notes – write your ides on index notes, one idea per note. Then put them in order. Reorder them until you get the desired result.

Post-it notes – again, write an idea on each note. Stick them on the wall and begin putting them in order. This visual instrument helps you a lot in organizing your thoughts.

Brainstorming schemes – this is a visual approach to organizing your thoughts, with which you position the thoughts with the help of images, key words or concepts. At the end, you obtain a graphic summary of the content, which you can then put in order.

The first sketch – If you write a short report or a memo, this paper usually constitutes the first sketch. Compose a short questionnaire that will help you put all the ideas on the same page, asking things like: Why am I writing this? Who will read it? What data sustains my affirmations? What actions must be taken? What order should the information I present follow?


Before starting to write the next memo, ask yourself the following questions:

“Objective” – What do I want to happen as a result of this memo?

“The goal” – What do I want to achieve with this memo? Am I writing to ask something? Recommend? Convince? Explain? Report? Announce? How can I answer the readers’ needs with what I write?

“The public” – to whom am I addressing this and why do they need to hear it? How well do I know the subject?

“The subject” – is it urgent? Complicated? Controversial? Sensitive? Should I also include context information? What can I do in order for the subject to be easily read and understood?

“The tone” – how can I say what I have to say in an efficient and adequate way?

“Other factors” – is the memo really necessary? Would a phone call be enough? If not, can I do something else to support the document? Should I distribute copies to other people also? Do I need an answer?

Revision: The Three C’s

  1. Express yourself with clarity: the first step of the revision targets the general problems like goal, public, organization and accessibility. In this step you must make sure that the readers will be able to easily understand the main ideas. Compare what you have written with the plan you first made.

  2. Be concise: the second step concentrates on paragraphs and phrases. You must express everything as concisely as possible, eliminating the excess words.

  3.  Be correct: when you’re convinced your document respects the criteria mentioned on points 1 and 2, you can read the draft. In this step you can concentrate on the grammar, punctuation and spelling.

MBA Programs – Covering Relatively Newer Fields!

Scope of MBA in today’s time:

With cut throat competition and survival of the fittest, getting an MBA degree has become more of a necessity rather than a luxury. Gone are the days when an MBA was looked upon as a very exclusive course which only a select few had the means and the brains to do. These days, the degree has become more of a prerequisite for any job worth its name. Many companies have even made an MBA degree mandatory for entrance into the organization.

ISiM Building, Manasagangothri Campus...

With so much demand, no wonder each and every person is opting for courses in MBA after graduation. For those who are brilliant, the field is vast and open, but for those who are average and don’t get through the 90’s percentage cut off in CAT, a regular MBA doesn’t really ensure a high profile job in a good company. Mass certifications to a large number of colleges haven’t helped either. There are so many MBA’s from these low rung colleges that the situation of demand exceeding supply has started to blur.

In today’s time and age, one needs to engage in smart thinking while choosing a career. As the scope of MBA courses have grown over the period of time, the course itself has evolved a lot. Many new streams have been taken under the umbrella and now we see many new courses as compared to some time back when the main specializations were Marketing, Finance or Human Resources.

Some of the relatively new fields which have been brought under the MBA umbrella are:


CSR or the corporate social responsibility has emerged as a new field which is being engaged into by many companies. Started in the west, the concept of giving back to the society and nature has really started catching up in our country as well. Social issues are combined with business prospective under this field. The scope is immense as the growth trajectory of the country’s business depends largely on a sustainable economy where society and profit go hand in hand. Many organizations have started offering this course but the first one to start is the University of Mysore under the Maharaja Education trust.

To make this course as effective as possible, the Mysore University has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises for placements.The degree will give an opportunity to students who yearn to mix social concerns with business outlook.


Our country is still considered an agrarian economy. Although dependent largely on agriculture, management professionals still haven’t made their presence felt in this sector. But the time has come when the need is staring us directly in the face for a professional approach towards our agriculture business. For our country to become a global agri force, the need for professionally qualified managers is rapidly growing. Many institutes have realised the potential and have started offering MBA in agriculture.

The scope here is also immense as many corporates have entered the agri business due to the opening of FDI in retail and facilitated export procedures. The course covers the world Trade organization’s norms and guidelines among other things. The commercial aspect of agriculture is widely taught covering subjects like Value Chain, Business economies and marketing management. IIM, Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow are some of the premier institutes which are offering management courses in agriculture. Job profiles like Manager Commodities, Manager Productivity, Supply Chain management etc are readily available upon completion of the course.


London Business School facade

Another field which is creating waves world over is the field of Bio Technology. With growing health concerns, the bio tech industry is busy working on new formulas for medicines, development of new tissue cells, DNA mixing etc. The students learn both, the technical as well as the business side of this field. They are taught in detail the basics of life sciences, Bio instruments study, industrial bio technology, food bio technology etc.

MITCON institute of Management, University of Pune, and Amity institute of Biotechnology are some of the premier institutes offering management courses in bio technology. With jobs readily available with many mega corporates at good salaries, this is another field which is relatively new and can be tapped.

Aspirants who complete MBA in Biotechnology can look forward to some great opportunities ahead. They have lots of job prospects in different sectors of the country as well as overseas. They can enjoy an assortment of job profiles and great remuneration in these sectors. A number of leading firms function in this area which is considered as one of the promisingareas in the current time as well. A number of talented people are choosing this as their specialization owing to the importance of this field in the existing economy. There are different certification courses as well in this field which can be taken post graduation.

People who get this promising degree can have a pretty fulfilling career abroad as well. They can work in multiple job profiles in differentprojects abroad where they are offered great remuneration. There are a variety of certifications as well which can be pursued to improve theoverall job prospects. Almost all foreign countries including USA,UK and New Zealand etc have a huge and growing demand for these graduates.

MBA in India has seengrowth and acceptance in a huge way. Academic development in the field of business management education was catalyzed by suitable policy intrusions by the serving governments from time to time. Therefore we noticed setting up of various MBA colleges and institutes in most of the important metropolitan centers of India in a huge way. MBA programmes offer aspirants a number of specializations and orientations to choose from. There is no shocker then, that such an equation has augmented the significance of business programs in India and similarly described economies of the world.