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Institut d'Astrophysique et
de Géophysique (Bât. B5c)

Quartier Agora
Allée du 6 août, 19C
B-4000 Liège 1 (Sart-Tilman)
Belgique

Tel.: 04.366.9774
Fax: 04.366.9729
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Master in Space Sciences

Employment prospects

The internationally renowned activities of Liège astrophysicists and geophysicists led to the creation of the Master in Space Sciences. This high-level scientific training allows our students to acquire multiple skills, relevant in different sectors. Indeed, through extensive training in our areas of research, our graduates develop an analytical mind, an excellent ability to work independently, an ability to coordinate teamwork, and an extensive experience in the use of diverse and specialized computer tools (data processing, database operations, programming, ... ). These multiple skills combined with the experience gained over the years explain why all of our graduates have found employment at the end of their studies - see also in this context the department page dedicated to job offers.

As with all masters with a research focus, the main prospect for Space-Science graduates is research. However, the Master and Doctorate in Space Sciences lead some of our students to more rich and diverse careers, thanks to the wide range of skills acquired during their studies. Indeed, many graduates have successful careers in education or business or in the public sector (see statistics).

Research

The Master in Space Sciences provides direct access to vast areas of astrophysics, theoretical physics, planetology (including climatology and meteorology) and instrumentation dedicated to space science. These research areas are developed in many academic research centers around the world, including the University of Liège, as well as in non-university research bodies such as the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB), the Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA) or the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI). Our graduates also pursue careers in large international organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the European Southern Observatory (ESO). In this context, we note that the majority of the Master of Space Science graduates embark on a doctorate (about 86% of graduates in the past five years), which can further improve their skills. Indeed, a doctorate is the first actual investigation (it is therefore paid work) through which young researchers learn their profession while practising it, within a research team under the supervision of experienced researchers. It is important to emphasize here that graduates in Space Sciences from Liège University have been internationally successful, at the doctoral level and in their scientific careers. A number of our former students started a research career at renowned institutes in Europe, South America, and the USA.

Private companies and public sector

The skills acquired in Space educational programmes are also highly useful and appreciated outside the field of fundamental research: thus, in the end, nearly 32% of the doctorate graduates use their skills outside this area. Note also that the master in space science allows students to develop technical skills, because Space Sciences are often inseparable from technical innovations. Technical training is reinforced by a close collaboration with the Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL). This explains why space-science graduates can work in companies related to space engineering, and to technical development and processing of space data. In addition, some of our graduates also hold important positions in companies from various sectors (IT, pharmaceuticals, consultancy, bank, ...), in governments or in international organizations.

Teaching

Graduates of the Master in Space Sciences may also start a teaching career, either in secondary school or in higher education, both in Belgium and abroad. About 9% of the graduates have chosen this path. Note that during their training, students interested in teaching can already gain experience (as student instructors, assistants, or laboratory supervisors), which can count towards their training as a teacher.

To become a High School teacher, several possibilities exist. First, the graduate can qualify by taking additional credits towards a CAP via a board of examiners or in adult education schools (often done while the person is already teaching) or via an "agrégation" at the university (30 educational credits + possible additions) that can be done in an adapted timetable if necessary. Note that, given the important demand for high-school teachers in science, the graduate can also be hired directly via the "Article 20" exception. As far as higher education is concerned, the graduate hired by a college (Haute Ecole) has 6 years to get the CAPAES to be appointed permanently.

University of Liège > Faculty of Sciences > Department of Astrophysics, Geophysics and Oceanography : CoWebAGO, May 2015.