3 answers

What kind of jobs can I get if major in physics?

Asked New York, New York

I haven't decide which field of physics I should focus on. I want a stable job that's related to physics since I love it so much. #college-major #technology #electrical-engineering #mechanical-engineering

3 answers

Ana-Maria Antoaneta’s Answer

Updated Lisbon, Portugal

There are a whole variety of jobs and work fields out there, depending on your interests and skills. From computer technology to healthcare (biotechnologies) and astro-physics, just focus on what interests you more and what you are good at. Could be meteorology and climate, could be nanotechnology and aerospace dynamics, physics is needed in all technological fields.

Also think about where your knowledge would be needed and if you're willing to move city, state or country to further develop your career. If working in research appeals to you, then you will need to go above a BSc, getting a master then a PhD. I have a friend who got his PhD in Physics then decided to go back to his native Spain to teach in a college and ended up being a mayor in his native small city. Another friend studied astrophysics in a country that has no budget for this kind of research and he ended up teaching computer security technology at the university. When you take a path it doesn't mean you cannot change it.

Ana-Maria Antoaneta recommends the following next steps:

  • Make a list of the fields that interest you most.
  • Get information on those fields possible careers and think if you see yourself doing this long term, also if you have the required skills (patience, attention to detail, etc.).

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Congratulations on being interested in finding the right career to follow. Physics has a very broad range of applications. It takes a special person to enter into a specific career field and meet the demands which that career area presents. The first step is to get to know yourself to see if you share the personality traits which make one successful in that area. The next step is doing networking to meet and talk to and possibly shadow people doing what you might think that you want to do to see if this is something that you really want to do, as a career area could look much different on the inside than it looks from the outside.  When I was doing college recruiting, I encountered too many students, who skipped these important steps, and ended up in a career/job for which they were ill suited.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
  • Here is a site that will allow you to see some of the possibilities. However, the most important thing to consider is how you personality traits relate to those working in a particular field: ## https://physics.osu.edu/ug-careers ##
There are many potential career path for a physics major graduate. First you need to narrow down to your passion and interest and the industry that can leverage the physics training you have obtained. For example, Finance Analyst, Research Analyst, Finance engineer for financial services industry, data driven marketing analyst for high tech companies where requires data modeling and market research, just to name a few.

Douglas’s Answer

There are many opportunities for physics majors, since many difficult questions in STEM have arisen recently. Below are a few areas that stand out as particularly important for physics majors right now and in the near future:

  1. Astro Physics. There are many new opportunities with companies now getting into space travel and exploration in addition to governments. SpaceX and Blue Origin are two companies that are planning to take people into space. There are future plans to launch many satellites, mine asteroids, establish bases on the moon, and travel to Mars. In addition, there are observation opportunities for asteroid impacts/tracking and identification of the Planet X in our solar system.
  2. Quantum Physics. Large amounts of research are needed in quantum physics in order to create functional quantum computers. Large tech companies such as Google, IBM, Amazon, Microsoft are actively performing applied research in this area. Once quantum computers are functional, there will be a need to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning on this new platform, spawning very large number of new jobs that have never existed before. There will be many overlaps with robotics and the internet of things in this area as well.

Other areas may include the following:

  1. Bio Physics
  2. Environmental Change.

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