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Can we talk about graduate school?

by tolove
Tags: graduate, school, talk
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tolove
#1
Nov27-12, 09:55 AM
P: 162
I've decided on going back to school for a physics degree. I want to know it, and there's nothing else out there that I'm as interested in. But school isn't for pleasure, it's for getting a job. A 4-year in physics alone, from what I've been reading, is about as good as any other degree. It'll look nice, but get you very little by itself.

Now, for graduate school.. help?

What degrees are currently in demand? What degrees could I cross over into with a physics BS? Where are good places to find internships (Virginia)?
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micromass
#2
Nov27-12, 11:06 AM
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If you want to get a good job easily, then you might want to think of an engineering degree. For example, Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering degrees are very employable/ They have a significant overlap with physics, so a double major in physics and engineering is certainly doable.
Choppy
#3
Nov27-12, 01:31 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 2,745
It's worth mentioning now that university and particularly academic programs like physics do NOT exist "for getting a job." They're for giving you an education.

If you want job training, you have to look at either professional programs (engineering, medicine, etc.) or to a community college.

tolove
#4
Nov27-12, 01:52 PM
P: 162
Can we talk about graduate school?

Quote Quote by Choppy View Post
It's worth mentioning now that university and particularly academic programs like physics do NOT exist "for getting a job." They're for giving you an education.

If you want job training, you have to look at either professional programs (engineering, medicine, etc.) or to a community college.
I don't think anyone goes in paying 20k+ a year just so they can "get an education," but thanks for being overly pessimistic for me today.

Welcome back anytime
jimmyly
#5
Nov27-12, 03:14 PM
P: 190
Quote Quote by tolove View Post
I don't think anyone goes in paying 20k+ a year just so they can "get an education," but thanks for being overly pessimistic for me today.

Welcome back anytime
i have to disagree with you. i go to school for the fun and to learn. i am planning on spending 20k+ just for an education and because i enjoy it.

everyone going into physics KNOWS that it won't bring nice cars, nice clothes,a giant house, or a big bank account. i do it because i love it and doing anything else would be a waste of time.

please refrain from making statements like university is to get a job and no one goes to school just for knowledge. No, university is for learning. people hire university graduates for their knowledge.

if you think no one would pay 20+ k just for knowledge you are ignorant. i played hockey all my life and payed well over 20k because i love it.

the same way as i am going to pay for knowledge because thats what is important to me in life
Angry Citizen
#6
Nov27-12, 03:28 PM
P: 867
Quote Quote by jimmyly View Post
i have to disagree with you. i go to school for the fun and to learn. i am planning on spending 20k+ just for an education and because i enjoy it.

everyone going into physics KNOWS that it won't bring nice cars, nice clothes,a giant house, or a big bank account. i do it because i love it and doing anything else would be a waste of time.

please refrain from making statements like university is to get a job and no one goes to school just for knowledge. No, university is for learning. people hire university graduates for their knowledge.

if you think no one would pay 20+ k just for knowledge you are ignorant. i played hockey all my life and payed well over 20k because i love it.

the same way as i am going to pay for knowledge because thats what is important to me in life
The vast majority of people cannot hope to pay for that without significant assistance from their parents, or a job waiting for them at the end.

OP: Consider engineering, most definitely. Some engineers are heavily into physics, although not the kind of physics that a physicist would explore. Orbital trajectory designers are my favorite example: most of the things they do are physics. It's just hell-and-gone from the kind of physics you'd see as a physicist.
jimmyly
#7
Nov27-12, 03:30 PM
P: 190
and to add to that. Just because you have a degree it guarantees nothing. so asking what degree is in high demand doesn't mean anything. i got a job over people who graduated with degrees for a nutrition job straight out of highschool.
i got it over people with nutritional science degrees, kinesiology degrees, and others.

so... is university for getting a job? it willhelp but no guarantees. if you chase things in "high demand" now, it may not be tomorrow. if you do what you love and your damn good at it. you will be happy
jimmyly
#8
Nov27-12, 03:31 PM
P: 190
Quote Quote by Angry Citizen View Post
The vast majority of people cannot hope to pay for that without significant assistance from their parents, or a job waiting for them at the end.

OP: Consider engineering, most definitely. Some engineers are heavily into physics, although not the kind of physics that a physicist would explore. Orbital trajectory designers are my favorite example: most of the things they do are physics. It's just hell-and-gone from the kind of physics you'd see as a physicist.
yes, but my point is that a lot of people DO go to university for the education.
dkotschessaa
#9
Nov27-12, 03:32 PM
dkotschessaa's Avatar
P: 608
The advisor to our physics club told me he thinks it's very sad that people consider education to be for job training, and not for enlightenment.

-Dave K
jimmyly
#10
Nov27-12, 03:35 PM
P: 190
Quote Quote by dkotschessaa View Post
The advisor to our physics club told me he thinks it's very sad that people consider education to be for job training, and not for enlightenment.

-Dave K
i agree with your advisor completely.
Locrian
#11
Nov27-12, 03:47 PM
P: 1,745
Quote Quote by tolove View Post
I don't think anyone goes in paying 20k+ a year just so they can "get an education,"
Why not? They pay for all kinds of silly things, why not that one? In any case a physics Masters or PhD shouldn't cost $20k, it should cost roughly $0. (I agree the BS will cost, but I thought the thread was about grad school).

If you're careful about what area you study, are geographically flexible, are very good in both school work and lab work, and have a bit of luck on your side, I really believe you can earn a great living with a Masters or PhD in physics.

Go into the wrong area and your education will have been worth very little.

Good luck!
tolove
#12
Nov27-12, 08:10 PM
P: 162
Quote Quote by dkotschessaa View Post
The advisor to our physics club told me he thinks it's very sad that people consider education to be for job training, and not for enlightenment.

-Dave K
I was a bit cynical in my original post, I will admit. I'm going to study this even if it means I work out of field, just because the subject is amazing. But at the same time, it's expensive! I will have to recoup my losses, and I'd rather be in a better position afterwords.


May I ask about teaching? How do you guys feel about it? I don't see it mentioned too often on here (I haven't been around long, though). There are lots of teaching jobs out there, no?

Best case scenario-- I'm a genius and didn't know it, land a research job
Middle case scenarios-- I find an interesting job in a related field.
Worst case scenario-- I teach. Heck, teaching isn't that bad, I could live and be happy with this too.
tolove
#13
Nov27-12, 08:14 PM
P: 162
Quote Quote by Locrian View Post
Why not? They pay for all kinds of silly things, why not that one? In any case a physics Masters or PhD shouldn't cost $20k, it should cost roughly $0. (I agree the BS will cost, but I thought the thread was about grad school).

If you're careful about what area you study, are geographically flexible, are very good in both school work and lab work, and have a bit of luck on your side, I really believe you can earn a great living with a Masters or PhD in physics.

Go into the wrong area and your education will have been worth very little.

Good luck!

Graduate school should be free? Are scholarships really that easy to come by?

One of my biggest worries about going to grad school is whether or not I'll be able to afford it. I'm sure there are guides everywhere on here for finding scholarships, I'll look around. Thanks for the ease of mind.
Catria
#14
Nov27-12, 08:37 PM
P: 56
As far as graduate school is concerned, inquire about the funding level provided to students enrolled in that graduate program beforehand (unless the program is in a school like UBC, where funding is made clear enough to prospective graduate students so that they can plan their graduate studies around it)

There really are grad schools that would cost nothing out of your own pocket since these grad schools are fully funded.
ModusPwnd
#15
Nov27-12, 08:49 PM
P: 1,103
"There are lots of teaching jobs out there, no?"

I wouldn't say so. Teach for America could find a spot for you. Otherwise many districts are putting teachers on furlough and letting them retire without re-hiring. Teaching jobs are out there, but there is not lots. Of my undergrad cohort 3 of them ended up doing Teach for America.
ZombieFeynman
#16
Nov27-12, 09:34 PM
PF Gold
P: 317
Quote Quote by tolove View Post
Graduate school should be free? Are scholarships really that easy to come by?

One of my biggest worries about going to grad school is whether or not I'll be able to afford it. I'm sure there are guides everywhere on here for finding scholarships, I'll look around. Thanks for the ease of mind.
If you're looking at graduate schools in America and you have:

A GPA over 3.33 (equivalent to American System)
A PGRE score > 40 percentile
Research experience of any sort
and solid letters of recommendation corroborating you're not a complete moron

Look forward to getting a fully funded PhD somewhere.

(Your experiences may vary)





(Don't commit felonies: this seriously hurts your chances)
SMHPhysics
#17
Nov27-12, 10:07 PM
P: 8
This is wrong. If money is all that people want to think about these days, I honestly don't stand for it. I'm planning to double major in math and physics, neither of which may get me much money in life, but it's passion and an enjoyment for the subject that move me. Money invested in education is not money wasted. I'll give you an idea what's wasted money: big mansion, racing cars, wine, beer etc...
ModusPwnd
#18
Nov27-12, 10:23 PM
P: 1,103
Easy to say... But if you don't get a career out of it and make no more after than you did before that is easily seen as money, and time, wasted. Its fun and fulfilling to know some relativity and quantum. But without a career to pay for it most people would not attempt it. Money isn't everything, but it is something.


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