## Sick of being underemployed!

I have a 1st class Physics degree and a PhD, but I'm only earning £18,900 per year in my current computer programming job even though I've been in the job for 4 years (possible due to the company having cash flow problems last year).

Does anyone know how I could find better paid work in North East England, preferably more appropriate to my academic background? I don't want to relocate unless I have absolutely no alternative.

For more information, you can view my CV at gcarty (dot) awardspace (dot) com (slash) cv (slash) CV (dot) html .
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 Recognitions: Gold Member What options have you explored? Chances are that you can make more money (if that is your main goal) in another position, but chasing that goal might not be best for you in the long term. Career is more important than job, IMO. The problem is that it can be hard to differentiate them. I jumped from one job to another over the years but ended up with a pretty lucrative career (overall). Luckily, I have a wife who was always willing to roll with punches and stick with me. We always did pretty well, and years of making 6-figure incomes fattened up our retirement funds pretty well. If you want more income and expect to spend it as you earn it, you'll be no better off, overall. Just my opinion.
 What was your PhD on? Your link does not work for some reason I am an engineer, but from my experience physicists can get paid quite handsomely for some types of lab/experimental experience. Also, physical modelling skills can land you a decent job as well. I am moving to England this year, so I do not yet know very much about the north part, but I have read that you can land pretty decent incomes in the industries in the south (but you probably know that already). Regardless, it seriously depends on what you know, and what you want to be doing in your life. For example, I have been 2 years in a pretty bad-paying job, just to beef up my CV, and now I'll be doing a PhD, so income will be low for the next 4 years. I plan to cash my PhD in gold once i finish though

## Sick of being underemployed!

 Quote by meldraft I plan to cash my PhD in gold once i finish though
Good luck with that. I don't many physics phds who even got to keep doing physics- let alone actually make a decent income doing it.

To the original poster- you have programming and mathematical experience, look into data mining. There are lots of job postings, and currently openings seems to be growing faster than job seekers, so opportunities are good once you have a foot in the door.

 Quote by ParticleGrl Good luck with that. I don't many physics phds who even got to keep doing physics- let alone actually make a decent income doing it.
Indeed, but I am not a physicist

 Quote by ParticleGrl To the original poster- you have programming and mathematical experience, look into data mining. There are lots of job postings, and currently openings seems to be growing faster than job seekers, so opportunities are good once you have a foot in the door.
Good suggestion. PhDs are also becoming increasingly popular in managerial tasks because they are considered to be adaptable and naturally oriented towards solving problems not encountered before. As far as I know, pure programming does not usually pay well anymore, since there is vast amount of cheap labor from India, China etc. Without looking at your CV I can't really say, but you probably know much more than a programmer, so try to make use of this. You could search for a job in an R&D department (where having a PhD is becoming the norm), or do simulations in the industry. Since you didn't mention it you are probably not interested, but post-docs in England can earn about 22,000-33,000 pounds a year, or in some cases more, depending on the project (at least in London, where I know some examples).

I have been employed in several different (Mechanical, Industrial Design, Chemical) engineering faculties, so my 3 cents is this: don't stick to physics jobs just because you have a physics degree. Check jobs that are advertised for other disciplines as well, if you think you have the qualifications

 Quote by meldraft What was your PhD on? Your link does not work for some reason I am an engineer, but from my experience physicists can get paid quite handsomely for some types of lab/experimental experience. Also, physical modelling skills can land you a decent job as well. I am moving to England this year, so I do not yet know very much about the north part, but I have read that you can land pretty decent incomes in the industries in the south (but you probably know that already). Regardless, it seriously depends on what you know, and what you want to be doing in your life. For example, I have been 2 years in a pretty bad-paying job, just to beef up my CV, and now I'll be doing a PhD, so income will be low for the next 4 years. I plan to cash my PhD in gold once i finish though
meldraft, I have just manually entered the OP's link and was able to view his CV without any problems, and his PhD was in physics (GCarty, from the title of your thesis, it sounds like you had focused your research in condensed-matter physics -- correct me if I'm mistaken, as I'm not a physicist).

 Quote by meldraft Since you didn't mention it you are probably not interested, but post-docs in England can earn about 22,000-33,000 pounds a year, or in some cases more, depending on the project (at least in London, where I know some examples).
The main reason I focused my job-hunting (starting at the beginning of 2007) on IT was because I though my chances of finding scientific work or post-doc opportunities in North-East England were virtually nil. Durham University -- where I did my PhD -- is the only local university to even have a physics department for example. Is my lack of geographical mobility THE main stumbling block to me getting a better job in your view?

My parents STILL don't want me to leave them even though I'm now 32, and they depend on me to get their groceries anyway, as since January I've been the only driver in the house (my dad had a stroke which left him unable to drive).

 Quote by StatGuy2000 meldraft, I have just manually entered the OP's link and was able to view his CV without any problems, and his PhD was in physics (GCarty, from the title of your thesis, it sounds like you had focused your research in condensed-matter physics -- correct me if I'm mistaken, as I'm not a physicist).
To be exact, I was running computer simulations of superconductors -- different from the rest of my research group who experimented on the real thing :p

 Quote by StatGuy2000 GCarty, besides your current employer, are there many other technology companies in the North East of England? I have read elsewhere that many technology firms in England are heavily concentrated in London and the immediate surrounding areas, with sizable clusters also in university towns such as Oxford or Cambridge (with emerging hubs in Bristol and Liverpool) -- am I correct about this?
I know Ubi Soft has an operation in the North East, and Sage (which does financial software) is also based in Newcastle, but you're right that the majority of UK technology companies are based in London, Cambridge or the M4 corridor -- at least that's the impression I get from the recruiters who have phoned me up after seeing my CV online...

 Quote by StatGuy2000 I would also suggest that you explore opportunities with LinkedIn and other online job sites and see if there are technology companies out there that might provide you with the option of telecommuting (the previous firm I worked for had a large IT department based in Maidenhead, England, but with employees from across the UK, with many working from home).
Yes, I've registered with LinkedIn (as well as putting my CV on Monster and JobSite).

 Quote by GCarty My parents STILL don't want me to leave them even though I'm now 32, and they depend on me to get their groceries anyway, as since January I've been the only driver in the house (my dad had a stroke which left him unable to drive).
It's tough to be a caregiver, or at least the one person who is generally depended upon. But you also have a right to your own life. If this is the only thing that's stopping you, one option might be to move your entire family. First find a job you're happy with. Then find a place that's close to it. If your parents need/want your help, they can move with you.

 I've registered with LinkedIn (as well as putting my CV on Monster and JobSite).
As another tip, it's important to remember that this is passive job-hunting. There are much more active methods of job hunting that are likely to generate more desirable results faster. These include job-shadowing, attending conferences, volunteering, even cold-calling.

 Quote by GCarty Does anyone know how I could find better paid work in North East England, preferably more appropriate to my academic background? I don't want to relocate unless I have absolutely no alternative.
Something that I found to be true is that high paying Ph.D. jobs tend to be clustered in certain areas. In England, there are a ton of jobs in London.

How is the commute between London and NE England. One thing that I found out was that it was feasible (and in fact cheaper than moving there) to commute between Texas and NYC.

 Quote by twofish-quant Something that I found to be true is that high paying Ph.D. jobs tend to be clustered in certain areas. In England, there are a ton of jobs in London. How is the commute between London and NE England. One thing that I found out was that it was feasible (and in fact cheaper than moving there) to commute between Texas and NYC.
I may be mistaken about this, but from what I understand, it is very rare for people who live cities/towns in the northern England (geographically and to a certain extent culturally closer to Scotland than to London or the rest of southern England) to commute to London for work.

I have always had the impression that the English have very deeply rooted cultural ties to the particular city/town/region they are born in, to a far greater extent than Americans or Canadians (in fact, it is more common for people from England to emigrate to the US, Canada, Australia, or elsewhere than to move to different cities within England).

 Quote by GCarty Is my lack of geographical mobility THE main stumbling block to me getting a better job in your view?
Isn't it obvious? C'mon dude - you earn only 30% more than pizza delivery man and you are a programmer. Programmers are gods of job market nowadays so your situation is kinda pitful. Do you need to starve in order to move on?

And why did u choose gamedev in a first place if you have no passion for that? You could earn much more money with web/business programming.

 Quote by Rika I would suggest you starting your own company but you don't have guts for this anyway.
Your post makes a point, but this (and other things) are uncalled for. Love for one's parents is nothing to be ashamed of.

 Quote by Rika Isn't it obvious? C'mon dude - you earn only 30% more than pizza delivery man and you are a programmer. Programmers are gods of job market nowadays so your situation is kinda pitful. Do you need to starve in order to move on? And why did u choose gamedev in a first place if you have no passion for that? You could earn much more money with web/business programming.
Rika, your post is both rude and uncalled for. A close friend of mine has elderly parents with health problems and being an only child she feels that she has a responsibility to help care for them, so I understand the OP's desire to live close to his parents and look after them.

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 Quote by StatGuy2000 Rika, your post is both rude and uncalled for. A close friend of mine has elderly parents with health problems and being an only child she feels that she has a responsibility to help care for them, so I understand the OP's desire to live close to his parents and look after them.
I never moved from here in part because I love Maine, and in part because my father is a widower in his mid-80s and my wife's mother is alone and in her mid-90s. We have to attend to family. The social "safety-net" that that the right (in the US) wants to eliminate really doesn't tend to the poor and the elderly like it should. They earned the help, and they are not getting it.

 Quote by turbo They earned the help, and they are not getting it.
I really like this sentence . I don't think we are helping the OP any more though

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