How to become a space scientist in ISRO

During childhood days, we all dreamt of becoming an astronaut and wanted to go to the moon because studying about space is interesting and nobody can deny that. Pursuing this childhood dream, many students want to become space scientists and join ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation)

To become a space scientist in ISRO, one should pursue education in pure science or engineering sector. ISRO recruits candidates with either PhD degree in Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics or engineering in mechanical, electrical or computer science. 

I was one of those people who wanted to pursue astronomy, so much that even after completing my class 12th I took a drop just to prepare for a particular exam. 

So this article is about pursuing a career as a space scientist in ISRO where I will be sharing all the information I know about this topic and what exactly you will need to do, to get into ISRO as a space scientist.

Who is a Space scientist?

Space science is the field where scientists and researchers discover and research about space and the universe. 

Space is so huge where our planet earth and solar system are only a really tiny portion of this space. You can think of it like, space is like Sahara desert where our solar system is only about the size of one particle of sand or maybe even smaller than that. 

Space Scientist

So therefore there are so many things in space which we still don’t know about and space scientists and researchers observe and study about space and try to learn different things about it. 

It’s one of the interesting fields which you can select as your career where it’s not your work which drives you but it’s your curiosity. 

This profession consists of two kinds: 1. Physicists and 2. Astronomers

Physicists study the fundamental of sciences and theoretical areas whereas astronomers study and observe space, planets, stars galaxies, and things like that. 

Both these are equally exciting and as you will pursue the career you will get a better understanding of what you want to pursue. 

Why to become a space scientist in ISRO?

Now, many people doubt that ISRO is not particularly focused on studying space like NASA or any other space organisation around the world. They why to go for it ? Instead of NASA or any other space agency around the world.

You are actually correct in that sense, but if you want to pursue this career, then you will have to give around 5-7 years of your life in pursuing this field and the rate with which ISRO is actually growing and carrying out its project. 

The future of Indian space agencies like ISRO is bright and promising enough to pursue your career as a space scientist in ISRO and on top of that, there is some sense of patriotism as well if you are working in ISRO which is a proud moment in it’s own. 

Still, this choice is subjective and depends on the individual for what organisation they want to work with but for most of them, the path of your education is almost the same.

How to become a scientist in ISRO ?

To get into ISRO, there are two different methods depending upon the education path you choose. Both of these paths are different and can get you into ISRO on two different positions respectively.

The work you will do in ISRO as a scientist depends on which education path you want to go for or what you want to become because there are many different fields scientists work in. So it mostly depends on you what you want to do. 

To get a clear idea on what you want to do, let’s discuss both the education paths after class 12th to get into ISRO as a scientist. 

What to do after 12th? 

Now, to get into ISRO as a space scientist, you can opt for any of the two methods depending upon what work you want to do, but one thing which is same in both of them is that you have to complete your class 12th with PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Maths). 

The course you opt for after 12th decides, the pathway you are selecting. So let’s discuss both of them: 

1. To go for pure science:

In this method, you will be studying pure science, you have to pursue a Bachelor’s degree (BSc) in Physics, Maths or Chemistry (The subject you like) and after that go for Master’s (MSc) and Postgraduate (PhD) course in that particular subject. 

To become an astronomer and pursue astronomy, opt for Bachelor’s in Physics (BSc in Physics) and after that Master’s and Postgraduate in Astronomy. 

Now, ISRO is not much into space research like NASA and therefore there are no special exams for recruitment in ISRO if you pursue pure science to become an astronomer or researcher, but there are very few people who go for this field and therefore it’s highly reputed and with the speed by which ISRO is achieving different milestones around the world. 

By the time you will complete your whole education they will also take interest into research and recruit more people in this work. This way you will have the first mover advantage

One of the best ways to increase your chance to get into ISRO is to pursue your degree from IISc (Indian Institue of Science) from where ISRO directly recruits students in the research field. 

Indian Institute of Science (IISc)

You can get direct admission in IISc after class 12th by giving KVPY exam. You can give KVPY in 11th, 12th and even in the first year of your Bachelor’s degree (Bsc) in subjects of pure science like Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Biology. 

If you want to read about KVPY we have a detailed article about preparation for KVPY SA, KVPY  SX and KVPY SB. If you clear this exam with top rank then you can get admission into IISc. 

2. To go for engineering: 

Now, this is a little bit tricky because generally, we imagine scientists who study physics and research in this field, but that’s not the case. 

We all have heard of rocket science or rocket scientists, these are people who have speciality in rocket and they know how rocket works “The engineering behind rocket”

So, if you are interested in becoming an astronaut or rocket scientist then instead of pursuing pure science you should go for engineering. 

For this, you will have to clear JEE mains and JEE advance and if you are able to score a good rank in JEE advance then you can get admission in IIST (Indian Institue of Space & Technology) which is directly controlled by ISRO.

Indian Institute of Space & Technology (IIST)

In IIST you will have to pursue B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering and students who pass out after this can get directly recruited by ISRO or after scoring good rank in JEE advance, you can go for (IIT or NIT for engineering either in Mechanical/Electrical/CS) from where ISRO also recruits students but chances of recruitment is less compared to IIST. 

 There is one other options as well, if you are not able to score good in JEE mains or advance or not able to get seat in any of the above mentioned institutes then simply pursue your course in engineering in above mentioned branch from any college and apply for ICRB (ISRO Centralized Recruitment Board) exam. 

Courses to go for after class 12th: 

Now, many people get confused about the courses they can go for to pursue a career as a scientist in ISRO. 

Here is the list of courses to become a scientist in ISRO: 

1. Bachelor’s in Physics (BSc Physics)
2. Masters in Physics (MSc Physics)
3. PhD in Physics
4. Masters in Astronomy (MSc Astronomy)
5. PhD in Astronomy
6. B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering
7. B.Tech in Avionics Engineering
8. B.Tech + M.Tech in Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, CS (Computer Science))

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16 thoughts on “How to become a space scientist in ISRO

  1. Hello, see aerospace engineering is not the only option to become space scientist. You can study pure science and still become space scientist in ISRO. I have explained about both the methods to become space scientist in this article.

  2. Did my engineering in 2011. Now I want to work as a space sceintist in ISRO. Is there any degree I could persue again to get into ISRO?

  3. Good evening sir, This is Manogna. I have completed my 10th class this year that is 2021 and I am joining a college in the same year. My inter 1st year classes are going to start from the next week from now. I am very much interested to choose my career as a space scientist of astronomy in ISRO. Can you please help me to know what course I should choose after my 12th or inter 2nd year and courses to continue to become a space scientist at ISRO..! Please sir. I want to know the examinations to write for it as soon as my 12th completes and also courses to study to become a master in astronomy and get a job as space scientist at ISRO. Please help me for this sir..!

  4. Hello Manogna,

    Space science is really a great field and to become a space scientist after class 10th, you need to take science stream with PCM combination. After class 12th, there are two ways to get into space science. Either you can do Aerospace engineering and through that can get into space science. For this you have to give JEE exam after 12th to get into engineering college.

    Another option would be to get into research field, for this you have to do doctoral course in Physics. You can complete BSc in Physics, MSc in Physics and then PhD as well. After that you can get into the research field. For exams: you can appear for KVPY after 10th, if you are able to score good marks. You can have the opportunity to complete your Bachelors in IISc. One of the most prestigious universities in India. ISRO directly recruits student from IISc. So this can be one of the great opportunity for you.

    I hope this helps you 🙂

  5. Sir, I didn't understand this point. Can you please tell me this also..! "To become an astronomer and pursue astronomy, opt for Bachelor's in Physics (BSc in Physics) and after that Master's and Postgraduate in Astronomy."

  6. Thank you sir. But I am not able to write KVPY now. So can I write it after my 11th or 12th ? And another doubt. When am I going to do masters in astronomy because I want to become space scientist in astronomy not physicists. Can you please clarify this doubt also please..!

  7. To become an astronomer after class 12th, you will first need to complete your 3 years bachelors course (BSc in Physics). After complete BSc, you have to apply for MSc in Astronomy which is a 2 year course. Once you complete your masters in Astronomy, then you can go for PhD in Astronomy to become an Astronomer.

  8. You can write KVPY exam in your class 11th, class 12th and during first year of BSc. I have various detailed articles KVPY on the website. Just search "KVPY" on the top right search bar and you will see many different articles which has all the details you need to know about KVPY.

  9. Sorry but right now, there is no certanity about when KVPY exam will be held. As you know, due to pandemic, many exams are postponed or cancelled. There is no information available right now about KVPY.

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