An astronomer must have an extensive background in the field of science, as well as a keen interest in mathematics. Most astronomers have advanced degrees in physics or other fields with a similar focus. Many who focus on engineering in college also find themselves drawn to astronomy, as the focus on research in both fields is similar. Those who become astronomers have a thirst for knowledge. There is nothing they do not want to know, nothing that does not fascinate them. Everything provides them with a new opportunity to learn and better their craft. Many astronomers are also dreamers, outsiders who are determined to find their place in the world. It is a tough path to follow, but those who are passionate enough will certainly reap the rewards.
Typical majors that most aspiring astronomers focus on in college are Physics, Applied Physics or Astrophysics. Focus on schools that have good programs in these departments and also schools that have strong mathematics programs. After completing undergraduate education look for a position as a research assistant and pursue a master's degree or a PHD. Most prominent positions in the workplace require this form of higher education in order to move forward professionally.