Right now, I work as a network admin for a law firm. Quite frankly, I'm getting tired of it. It was never something I planned to do as a long-term career and, after doing it for 5 years, and with my 30th birthday a mere 3 months away, I've taken some time to examine where I'm going in life, and what I want to do. I'd decided a while back that it was time for me to go back to school and finish my bachellor's degree. The only question, of course, is one of major.
When I was originally in college (I dropped out in 94, after 2 1/2 years), I was a computer engineering major. Well, needless to say, the computer industry isn't what it used to be and, like a lot of electrical engineering jobs, the job market isn't what it used to be. Both engineering fields have been hit pretty hard, with so many companies outsourcing engineering jobs to India, or Eastern Europe, Russia, etc. In many ways, it's a dying field. Plus, it was never one I was entirely enthused about to begin with - it was more of a backup plan, when the Air Force Academy, and becoming a pilot, panned out with changes in regulation regarding eyesight. My passions were always flight, space, and astronomy. Computers, while an interest, were always more of a tool for me, and something I was good at.
So, here I am, nearing 30, trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life. A friend of mine, who's a laid-off electrical engineer, decided to do what he always wanted to do, and is going back to school to pursue a career in art (emphasis on comics, fantasy art, computer games, etc). he decides this at a time when I'm reviewing my own choices in life.
Of course, my big overriding concern is whether I can find work, and where I should go back to school. UCSD, where I went to school, has no undergrad astronomy program, but does have one in astrophysics. On the other hand, I'm not sure if that's a big deal or not - is it possible to get an undergrad degree in astrophysics and do grad work in astronomy
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but an astronomer is concerned with finding new things, figuring out what they are, and how they interact with other objects out there, while the astrophysicist then figures out the exact nuts and bolts, so to speak, that make them tick. Am I in the ballpark on this, or totally off? And, are there really jobs out there in either?
Again, thanks for reading, and any advice would be appreciated.