Job shadowing at the SA Astronomical Observatory, Cape Town


The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town runs two job shadow programmes per year, one during the June/July school holiday and another during the September/October school holiday.  Each programme runs over 2 days and accommodates a maximum of 15 learners.

This programme has been designed and implemented by Natalie Jones specifically to give each learner an all-round experience into various careers at the SAAO, thereby allowing the learner to be better equipped to make an informed decision regarding their future career path.

Careers covered in the programme may include: Astronomy, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics, Software Engineering, Finance/Accounting and Information Technology; we also cover a session on HR as well as Bursaries.


Pre-requisites for entry to this programme:

  • Learners should be in grade 11 (Grade 10, only if it is part of your curriculum)
  • You have to have pure mathematics and physical science as subjects

Learners who are interested in attending this programme need to email the following information to

  • A brief CV – indicating the name of your school, a contact person, as well as a list of your subjects
  • A motivation as to why you would like to shadow at the SAAO (state your reasons for choosing SAAO)


  • For entry into this programme : Pure Mathematics and Physical Science are compulsory
  • NO BLOCK BOOKINGS ARE ALLOWED: We will take a maximum of two learners per school and will only reassess if all fifteen spots have not been filled.

 ***NOTE: The next Job Shadow will take place in July 2020 – dates will be determined closer to the time***