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twofish-quant
#8
Jul24-11, 10:39 PM
P: 6,863
Quote Quote by final_arrow3 View Post
Alright, thanks for the insights guys. I understand that engineering probably would be a better way to go for job prospects and marketability
I don't think this is true. One thing problem with "what can I do with a physics degree" is that there isn't a specific job that you can do with physics. However, this is sometimes a good thing, since it gives you more options if the world suddenly changes. So far, I've worked in three different industries, and I'm pretty sure that ten years from now, I'll be doing something different.

The thing about a physics degree is that it's not a "package tour" type of degree, so you will have to do some extra work to figure out what to do, and you may have to do something creative or strange to put bread on the table. However, that's why I think the degree is cool.

I've been looking heavily into this now for a few days because it seems the types of fields listed above would have a higher demand for new graduates. If I were to pursue this field and then take a corresponding masters or further grad school in one of, well lets use the given examples, condensed matter physics, chemical physics, or material sciences, is there a fairly high demand/good job prospects for graduates of this field?
Impossible to say.

The problem is that predictions destroy themselves. If everyone says that bottle washing is a great field, then you end up with a ton of people getting degrees in bottle washing, and because everyone got degrees in bottle washing, there is a glut of bottle washers, and not enough jobs. Conversely, if people tell you *don't go into cup washing* then you end up with a shortage of cup washers.

Something that you can do (and it's useful to have a physics background to do this) is to try to come up with a mathematical model of the job market. At that point, you think about the factors that cause booms and busts to happen. For example, if you have a job in which supply instantly met demand, you wouldn't have a boom/bust. If you have a job market in which demand was decoupled from supply, then you have fluctuations but no boom/bust.

Now you end up with boom/busts when

1) the current demand influences supply (i.e. people think that there are jobs in area X so they get degrees in area X), and
2) there is a time lag between supply and demand.....

So having a physics degree lets you think about things like the job market