Are you happy being a Physicist?


by dipole
Tags: happy, physicist
bpatrick
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#19
May23-12, 10:21 PM
P: 125
Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
That's not true. Everyone that I know with a physics Ph.D. makes either decent or in some cases totally absurd salaries. I don't know of anyone outside of academia that would be considered "poor".

...

You standards of "decent" will change a lot. Also a lot depend on who your social peers are. If you make 25K, but everyone you know makes 20K, you feel rich. My guess is that most college students estimate what is "decent" based on how much the richest people they have standard social contact with make (i.e. college professors). The trouble is that once you reach level X, you see level X+1, and then you feel poor.
Keep in mind your own words there about "who your social peers are." I must say that I DO know many people with masters and PhDs (some in math, some in physics, some in music) who ARE "poor". I think it depends on where you are. You might not know any, but that doesn't mean they aren't out there. I don't know many people who make as much money as you probably do (most likely just a few doctors I know), and I don't live in New York (but do live in a big city). I doubt we'd ever associate with the same people, go to the same restaurants, travel to the same places for recreation, be active with the same social clubs, etc... it's totally different social circles.

I'm "poor" and I tend to run into and associate with more "poor" people. Being well educated, I also generally associate with intelligent and well educated people. When those two populations intersect, and you live in that social circle, you find that there are a decent amount of science PhDs who are struggling, underemployed, and unemployed.

Both of our statements really have nothing to say about the overall status of PhDs, since both sets of people we are talking about are small portions of the total population, so I really don't want this post to make a huge deal about that ... I just wanted to highlight that you (and me too) should avoid gross generalizations based on our limited social interactions.
twofish-quant
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#20
May23-12, 11:48 PM
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Quote Quote by bpatrick View Post
I doubt we'd ever associate with the same people, go to the same restaurants, travel to the same places for recreation, be active with the same social clubs, etc... it's totally different social circles.
Exactly. But the fact that we are both physics Ph.D.'s and *don't* associate with the same people, go to the same restaurants, etc. etc. is a bit scary.

I'm "poor" and I tend to run into and associate with more "poor" people. Being well educated, I also generally associate with intelligent and well educated people. When those two populations intersect, and you live in that social circle, you find that there are a decent amount of science PhDs who are struggling, underemployed, and unemployed.
I don't know of any science Ph.D.'s that are struggling, underemployed, or unemployed.

I know of a few humanities Ph.D.'s in that situation. Part of it might be that the Austin, Texas economy is pretty decent, and so all of the UT Austin graduates that I know of have been able to get jobs, and the all end up in suburbia.

It could also be an age issue. My peers mostly graduated in the "dot-com" era when jobs were plentiful. Even after the crash, people that worked for a dot-com that blew up were able to get marketable work experience.

Also, I *feel* poor, because I see a social strata of people above me (i.e. my bosses boss) that makes a ton more money and has a much better lifestyle than anything I can afford. It's really scary.

Both of our statements really have nothing to say about the overall status of PhDs, since both sets of people we are talking about are small portions of the total population, so I really don't want this post to make a huge deal about that ...
Sure, but it's important to compare notes.

I just wanted to highlight that you (and me too) should avoid gross generalizations based on our limited social interactions.
But once we start comparing notes, then you can start making generalizations. One generalization appears to be geography is important. There's a bit of self-selection since I seem to have less resistance to moving than most people. Moving is painful and difficult, but in the end I grit my teeth and did it.

Also what *really* worries me is generation gap. I know that the situation for people that graduated in 2008 is worse than 1998, the question is how much worse is it. It doesn't seem that bad, but that might be because Texas isn't in bad shape economically speaking.

Something that really disturbs me is that it wasn't supposed to turn out this way. After the Soviet Union fell, we were supposed to move into a world of plenty, and in 1999 people were talking as if the dot-com boom was permanent.

One thing that I noticed is that a lot of the books that are young adult fiction (Hunger Games) are about worlds in which adults have royally screwed everything up and that people are killing each other just to survive. It's really scary to think about *why* this sort of fiction is popular.
twofish-quant
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#21
May23-12, 11:52 PM
P: 6,863
Also if it turns out that we are each in disjoint social circles that don't interact, then things get really scary. One of the things that I am terrified of is social revolution, and this is partly because my family ended up in the US because they were at the wrong end of the revolution.

The other thing to point out is that "I'm not that old". The world clearly went "off track" some time between 1995 and today, and I'm trying to piece together what exactly happened. The good news is that whatever pushed things off track could push things back on track. Then again maybe not.

However, I do think that whether you will be "happy" or not will depend on historical events that are largely out of your control.
chill_factor
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#22
May24-12, 02:33 AM
P: 887
Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
This is totally, totally false.

Particle physicists and high energy astrophysicists find it difficult to find jobs as tenured university professors. It's not hard to find a job in defense, finance, and oil and gas, and one reason it's not hard to find a job is that defense, finance, and oil/gas problems are more or less the same as astrophysics problems.
how about this: they will not get positions dealing with astronomy or particle physics directly and must retool their skillset more than people who did something more directly applicable. I will find it hard to argue that someone who did research on particle physics is more applicable and more employable than someone who did research on say, semiconductor processing or optics.

Also I think you have selection bias due to your specific field, method of research, personality, school of graduation and time of graduation.
gbeagle
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#23
May24-12, 05:03 AM
P: 53
Quote Quote by StatGuy2000 View Post
I would consider being a statistician to be a technical position, and my work thus far (in the health care/pharmceutical sector) have generally been "9-5 jobs", give or take a few hours during key deadlines. So you are not quite correct in stating that there are no "9-5 jobs" for technical people -- it is really sector-dependent (now I'm based in Canada, but technical positions in Canada don't differ significantly from those in the US).

That being said, what were your typical hours when you were working in New York?
I have no experience of New York, but twofish's description of working at a startup mirrors the experiences of a lot my friends and me. I don't personally know anyone that is in a tech field in my area (Silicon Valley), who doesn't work hours longer than 9to5. Note that it's after 3 am in California as I write this...
twofish-quant
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#24
May24-12, 05:33 AM
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Quote Quote by chill_factor View Post
how about this: they will not get positions dealing with astronomy or particle physics directly and must retool their skillset more than people who did something more directly applicable.
I didn't have to do this. Part of it involved trying to sell myself as a "numerical dynamicist" rather than an "astrophysicist".

I will find it hard to argue that someone who did research on particle physics is more applicable and more employable than someone who did research on say, semiconductor processing or optics.
I don't know about "more applicable." But most of computational astrophysics involve baby-sitting large numerical codes, and those are very common in the world. People that do "pencil and paper" theory are going to have a hard time with it, but a lot of particle physics involves "hard core" numerical programming.

Also I think you have selection bias due to your specific field, method of research, personality, school of graduation and time of graduation.
Sure, but the numbers are small enough, and the experiences are varied enough so that it's hard to talk about a "representative sample." I can say that among the 50 or so people that graduated from my department around the time of my Ph.D., I'm not that unusual. There's a professor that tracks these things.

Also trying to figure out what the biases are is interesting.

There are some generational effects. One thing that I've heard people mention is that the quality of programmers declined quite sharply around 2000, and I think that part of it has to do with the fact that the generation of people that grew up programming BASIC on the TRS-80 from age six disappeared.
chiro
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#25
May24-12, 05:57 AM
P: 4,570
Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
Also if it turns out that we are each in disjoint social circles that don't interact, then things get really scary. One of the things that I am terrified of is social revolution, and this is partly because my family ended up in the US because they were at the wrong end of the revolution.

The other thing to point out is that "I'm not that old". The world clearly went "off track" some time between 1995 and today, and I'm trying to piece together what exactly happened. The good news is that whatever pushed things off track could push things back on track. Then again maybe not.

However, I do think that whether you will be "happy" or not will depend on historical events that are largely out of your control.
Your previous posts of yours mention that you read things like Karl Marx, but I wonder if you have studied empires in great detail.

Look at what happens when empires build up and what leads to their collapse and I think you'll find at least one part of the puzzle you are trying to solve.
Rika
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#26
May24-12, 06:31 AM
P: 148
Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
Curiously I've stayed in research because I *enjoy* mundane and boring work in moderation. I find it calming and relaxing, and it keeps me sane. Everything is falling apart around me so I kick up the source code and spend a few hours finding the bug.
It's funny how people can be so different from each other. Mundane and boring work drives me crazy. After few months of doing research I was sure I'll go insane.

What is more I really hate programming and when I see another bug I just want to throw my Pc outside the window. I'm happy that I could say "goodbye" to programming after I graduated.

It really depends. I have always wanted to have a work which uses my creativity and imagination to the greatest extend. Science turned out to be bad for that.


Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
That's not true. It's hard to get a stable job in physics academia. It's not particularly hard to get a stable job with a physics Ph.D. One reason I encourage people to *give up* looking for an academic position is that the world looks a lot brighter once you do, and knowing that you are *doomed* in academia, is actually intended to get more people into physics.
Yes but most people study physics because they want to do physics (if not in academia then in industry). If they wanted to do finance/programming they would study it. You like working in finance because it's similar to physics in some aspects but there is no guarantee that somebody else will enjoy working in finance/oil and gas because he/she is physics major.

I think that there are many people like ParticleGrl who would prefer engineering/applied physicist jobs over finance. If they knew that getting HEP PhD leads them to finance they would choose different field or branch of physics.

So yes there are well-paid jobs* that you can get with physics degree

*but they often have nth to do with physics

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
It's not a waste of time. You learn to do research. You learn that 95% of research involves dealing with boring, stupid problems.



This one you can learn during undergraduate degree

If you do research afterwards then yes - it's not a waste of time. But if you spend 7+ years to master the skill which you won't use for the rest of your life it is. Life is too short for that.

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
Define success. From an academia standpoint, I'm a total washout. From the "what was your gross income last year" standpoint, I made really, really scary amounts of money. My standard of success was to "live life like an adventure" and I won really big there.
If you don't go standard route you are always considered to be a failure. It's the same for me since instead of doing "serious" and "intellectual demanding" job like engineering or programming/doing some "real art" like oil painting I'm drawing pictures and write story and mechanics for video games (which is considered to be stupid pop culture for shallow people by some PF useres). But since I'm happy I don't give a **** about it.

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
This is actually why I think that "defining success" is important.
You are right. From what I understand OP said he works hard "to be ahead of his peers" which means for me that he wants to be on top of his field.


Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
Hmmmm.... Depends. Getting my Ph.D. was one of the best decisions in my life.
It really depends. Not getting PhD was one of the best decisions in my life.

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
And luck. The main thing that helped my career was that I graduated in 1998 right at the start of the dot-com boom.
Yes, people who have graduated/will graduate 10-15 years after you are generally screwed.

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
Also in technical positions in the United States, there is no such thing as a "9-5 job".
Strange. Most people in my country go for technical positions because you can get stable 9-5 job with nice income. Have in mind that we don't have any industry besides IT and maybe that's the reason.

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
I worked at a small startup in which we had two weeks in which I was sleeping in the office most days and working 3 a.m. (The reason for this was that it was a database application in which you had to run the end of day parts at night.)
More or less in startup you must work really hard in order to get stable position in market so I guess it's quite normal.

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
The other thing is that I like "hard work." I find it relaxing and soothing.
I don't. That's why I have chosen a work which is my passion. Because when I'm having fun I'm getting sucked into the work and don't mind if it's hard.

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
You standards of "decent" will change a lot. Also a lot depend on who your social peers are. If you make 25K, but everyone you know makes 20K, you feel rich. My guess is that most college students estimate what is "decent" based on how much the richest people they have standard social contact with make (i.e. college professors). The trouble is that once you reach level X, you see level X+1, and then you feel poor.
My country is poor, most people are poor and they don't feel rich because they earn a little more than they peers.
Locrian
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#27
May24-12, 08:27 AM
P: 1,696
Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
Also in technical positions in the United States, there is no such thing as a "9-5 job".
Maybe this is true if we take it litterally, but I think the quotations are meant to suggest a type of job, not the literal hours. In that case it's wrong; there are lots of actuaries who work regular business hours and whose work can be described as technical.

I'm not one of them, but there are plenty out there.
Locrian
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#28
May24-12, 08:30 AM
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Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
I don't know of any science Ph.D.'s that are struggling, underemployed, or unemployed.
Then clearly there aren't any.

Certainly no one fitting these descriptions have ever posted on this forum.

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Mépris
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#29
May24-12, 11:40 AM
P: 826
Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
Something else that is interesting is that "happiness" isn't very high on my list of life goals. Again the Marine analogy comes up. You can ask a Marine whether they are "happy" and they'll probably look at you as if that's a stupid and irrelevant question, because in the Marines "personal happiness" turns out not to be that important a goal. (Morale is, but that's different.)
Curiously, my personal "happiness" does not come before "what am I doing to make the world a better place?" (by the standards of the people around me and my own) and I wonder whether this has anything to do with the "math/physics culture"!

You standards of "decent" will change a lot. Also a lot depend on who your social peers are. If you make 25K, but everyone you know makes 20K, you feel rich. My guess is that most college students estimate what is "decent" based on how much the richest people they have standard social contact with make (i.e. college professors). The trouble is that once you reach level X, you see level X+1, and then you feel poor.
Maybe it's just *me* and as such, extrapolating to everyone who likes math and physics is a bad idea, but the richest people I know (and I know quite a few of 'em) are rich enough to afford boats and beach houses. That's quite rich. Nevertheless, my idea of "decent" is just a one-room apartment (with kitchen and bathroom separate from bedroom) and having enough money to buy food and a library subscription with. It never increased as I started seeing richer persons on a more regular basis.

and in 1999 people were talking as if the dot-com boom was permanent.
As bpatrick pointed out, maybe it's just because of the limited number of people I interact with, but everyone I know who does have a job (and/or employs people) has been talking about the financial crash as if it were permanent.
StatGuy2000
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#30
May24-12, 11:50 AM
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Quote Quote by Mépris View Post
Curiously, my personal "happiness" does not come before "what am I doing to make the world a better place?" (by the standards of the people around me and my own) and I wonder whether this has anything to do with the "math/physics culture"!



Maybe it's just *me* and as such, extrapolating to everyone who likes math and physics is a bad idea, but the richest people I know (and I know quite a few of 'em) are rich enough to afford boats and beach houses. That's quite rich. Nevertheless, my idea of "decent" is just a one-room apartment (with kitchen and bathroom separate from bedroom) and having enough money to buy food and a library subscription with. It never increased as I started seeing richer persons on a more regular basis.



As bpatrick pointed out, maybe it's just because of the limited number of people I interact with, but everyone I know who does have a job (and/or employs people) has been talking about the financial crash as if it were permanent.
There is no denying that the impact of the financial crash is serious across many countries around the world, but to state that the effects are somehow permanent is both needlessly pessimistic and is not backed up by history. It may take many years, but the majority of developed nations with stable political institutions who have experienced financial crashes in the past do eventually recover from them.

One can look at the US example, where the economy is slowly recovering with more jobs being made available. The pace of recovery may be slow, and job creation may not be sufficient to lower the unemployment rate substantially as of this time, but the US will recover economically.
George Jones
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#31
May24-12, 01:30 PM
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Quote Quote by Mépris View Post
Nevertheless, my idea of "decent" is just a one-room apartment (with kitchen and bathroom separate from bedroom) and having enough money to buy food and a library subscription with.
This is all I needed as a bachelor, but financial needs increase when one decides to have a family.
ParticleGrl
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#32
May24-12, 03:01 PM
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There is no denying that the impact of the financial crash is serious across many countries around the world, but to state that the effects are somehow permanent is both needlessly pessimistic and is not backed up by history.
But for people who graduated during these bad years, the effects on job/income will be permanent. If you've ever talked with people who came of age during the great depression, it cast a shadow over their entire lives.

Also, at the rate we are going, its something like a decade to full employment, and if Europe falls apart it could drag the US down with it which just further delays 'recovery'. The US may well be in an awful labor market for my entire 30s. Thats bound to hurt tons of people's early careers.
StatGuy2000
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#33
May24-12, 06:47 PM
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Quote Quote by ParticleGrl View Post
But for people who graduated during these bad years, the effects on job/income will be permanent. If you've ever talked with people who came of age during the great depression, it cast a shadow over their entire lives.

Also, at the rate we are going, its something like a decade to full employment, and if Europe falls apart it could drag the US down with it which just further delays 'recovery'. The US may well be in an awful labor market for my entire 30s. Thats bound to hurt tons of people's early careers.
ParticleGrl, I agree with you that for those graduates entering force during these past few years will possibly face long-term effects due to the fallout of the financial crisis of 2008 (in a manner not dissimilar to those who came of age during the Great Depression). What I'm arguing is that if we look at a long-term view, the financial crisis will not have a permanent negative effect on the US economy as a whole.

There has been much press lately about an increasing pessimism and negativity within the US, how American civilization is disintegrating, how the US is "losing its place" in the world (a pessimism that I see reflected even here in Physics Forums). What I'm arguing is that the pessimism underlying these statements are unwarranted. There has been numerous periods (including the 1930's) when people have predicted the decline of the US, only to see the nation not only recover, but take strong leadership in all spheres of the world. Frankly, I don't see how the current situation is any different.

The resources available to the US -- the enormous creativity of the people, a culture that is accepting of experimentation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship, the great universities, the resilience of the nation as a whole -- are considerable, and I am fundamentally optimistic that the US will once again rise up to its challenges, and with it new opportunities for future students.

Now as far as when this will occur, or at any rate when we will reach full employment -- well, it could take a decade, or it could be sooner, and this will partly depend on events in Europe, as well as other events in the world, and I do not wish to hazard a guess of when that would be.
turbo
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#34
May24-12, 06:54 PM
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I am not a physicist, but my happiest years as a consultant were when I was troubleshooting systems in pulp mills and paper machines. The hours were sometimes brutal, and required travel and absences from home, but the work was stimulating.

Part chemistry, part mechanical engineering, and part physics. I was not degreed in any of those disciplines, but 4 years in a brand-new pulp mill as a process chemist and 6 more years as the top operator of a very sophisticated high-speed paper machine teaches you stuff you can't possibly learn in college.
twofish-quant
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#35
May24-12, 10:37 PM
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Quote Quote by StatGuy2000 View Post
What I'm arguing is that if we look at a long-term view, the financial crisis will not have a permanent negative effect on the US economy as a whole.
I happen to believe that history is largely determined by the actions of people, so there is a lot of randomness and a lot depends on the decisions that people make. I also believe that the "more you sweat, the less you bleed." One reason I'm optimistic about the Chinese economy is paradoxically because everyone is worried about the Chinese economy. There are about a dozen things that can kill Chinese economic growth, but people are worried about them and so people will do stuff to fix them. Conversely, when you hear people being too optimistic, that's a sign to be pessimistic.

What I'm arguing is that the pessimism underlying these statements are unwarranted. There has been numerous periods (including the 1930's) when people have predicted the decline of the US, only to see the nation not only recover, but take strong leadership in all spheres of the world. Frankly, I don't see how the current situation is any different.
Survivorship bias. (i.e. first rule of finance, don't mistake luck for skill)

There are numerous cases in which people have predicted the decline of the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Argentina, China, and the Soviet Union, and they were *right*. If you take N countries and then put together a set of random events that causes them to collapse, then just by random chance, one of those countries is going to "magically" survive, and whoever magically survives is going to win the game.

However, the mistake is to then go back and then assume that because you were lucky, that you end up somehow *destined* for greatness. Because you flipped heads, eight times in a row, you shouldn't assume that this proves that the ninth time things will come out heads.

The resources available to the US -- the enormous creativity of the people, a culture that is accepting of experimentation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship, the great universities, the resilience of the nation as a whole -- are considerable, and I am fundamentally optimistic that the US will once again rise up to its challenges, and with it new opportunities for future students.
One thing that worries me is that when things get bad, the *first* people that leave are the risk-takers and entrepreneurs. The thing that worries me is that Chinese people that are packing up and ending in China are the people that would have started companies in the US in the 1980's and 1990's. They are starting them in China. (And it looks like the same thing is happening in India.)

Once you have people leave, then the universities will start to fall apart. It's not going to be a fast process (it will take decades), but it's going to happen unless people decide that it's not.

Now as far as when this will occur, or at any rate when we will reach full employment -- well, it could take a decade, or it could be sooner, and this will partly depend on events in Europe, as well as other events in the world, and I do not wish to hazard a guess of when that would be.
1) You don't have a decade to fix the problem. Right now the US is not going into a long term Japanese spiral, but it's headed in that direction. Every year that the employment situation doesn't improve is one more year of "brain drain." If you wait a decade before the problem gets fixed then all of your Ph.D.'s and entrepreneurs are going to end up overseas.

Also skills rot. If you have a particle physicist that ends up working as a waiter, then ten years when the physics jobs open up, they are going to be unqualified for them.

2) You could have full employment in six months if the political will were there. You could *easily* have full employment for physics Ph.D.'s if American politicians decided it was a good thing. It's possible for the US to just say, every physics Ph.D gets a job at a government lab doing whatever research we think is good for the US.

What political leadership in China did in 2007 was to say "Good grief, we are about to have tens of millions of angry unemployed people tear us to pieces, what the heck can we do?" Answer: Build 10,000 km of high speed rail. Now it's a crappy, unsafe system, but that means more jobs for safety inspectors. In 2011, the economy looked like it was too overheated. So what the political leadership did was to slow things down. All of the railway projects that were scheduled to be finished in 2012 were delayed until 2015. Now it looks like the economy is slowing a bit too much, so that some of the projects that were delayed until 2015 are going to get moved to 2013.

The idea of using government spending to set up employment was not invented in China. An Englishman, Keynes figured it out.

Right now, my big hope is that people will just get fed up and start demonstrating. I was really happy that "occupy wall street" was going on, and I'm sad that the demonstrations have died down. Alternatively, I'm hoping that there will be some Sputnik event that "wakes people up."
twofish-quant
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#36
May24-12, 10:56 PM
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Quote Quote by Rika View Post
It really depends. I have always wanted to have a work which uses my creativity and imagination to the greatest extend. Science turned out to be bad for that.
I think it's good for that.


Yes but most people study physics because they want to do physics (if not in academia then in industry). If they wanted to do finance/programming they would study it. You like working in finance because it's similar to physics in some aspects but there is no guarantee that somebody else will enjoy working in finance/oil and gas because he/she is physics major.
No there isn't, but as long as there is *something* out there that is not totally awful, things will work. Just from random chance, something out there will work.

There is a trade-off between "money" and "enjoyment." If something was totally fun, you wouldn't have to pay people to do it. Part of the reason that companies emphasize "fun" is honestly so that they can pay you less to do the work. The reason that physics Ph.D.'s make more money doing finance than physics, is that physics Ph.D.'s don't want to do mathematical finance, so you have to pay them more.

I think that there are many people like ParticleGrl who would prefer engineering/applied physicist jobs over finance. If they knew that getting HEP PhD leads them to finance they would choose different field or branch of physics.
The big bottleneck in getting a Ph.D. physics job in finance is geography. You have to move to a major money center like NYC, London, Hong Kong, or Singapore. Some people hate NYC. I turned out to like it.

So yes there are well-paid jobs* that you can get with physics degree

*but they often have nth to do with physics
Not true. Investment bankers are not into charity. The reason that they hire theoretical physicists is that the basic equations of finance are the exact same ones you find in astrophysics. It's really cool. It's also cool *why* the equations are the same.

Most of the jobs in finance essentially involve plugging numbers into spreadsheets. However, if you want someone to think about *why* those equations are what they are, then you need someone that is skilled at mathematically modelling complex systems, often through partial differential equations. Hmmm......

Finance Ph.D. very rarely use partial differential equations (although they use a lot of ordinary differential equations).

If you do research afterwards then yes - it's not a waste of time. But if you spend 7+ years to master the skill which you won't use for the rest of your life it is. Life is too short for that.
Neil Armstrong spent three days on the moon after a decade in which hundreds of thousands of people put them there.

Also at least in my case, the Ph.D. is immortal. My death notice is going to mention that I got a Ph.d., and it's going to be recorded in the family histories.

If you don't go standard route you are always considered to be a failure.
By whom?

Something that is true for me is that you get more social respect for doing things different, than doing things the same way.

You are right. From what I understand OP said he works hard "to be ahead of his peers" which means for me that he wants to be on top of his field.

My country is poor, most people are poor and they don't feel rich because they earn a little more than they peers.
Most people in China are poor. Most people in China don't want to stay poor, and if they can't get rich, then they'll have a revolution. Making a billion people rich involves a huge investment in science and technology.


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