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1st Year Physics Major Interested in Laser Physics.

  1. Jun 29, 2013 #1

    As stated in the title, I've just completed a first year in physics and am interested in working in the field of laser science. Bear with me, as my questions may sound naive. Ideally, I would like to hear from those currently in the field, but any advice is welcome.

    1.) Did you begin work with a BS, MS, or PHD?

    2.) For those who began working with a BS, were there opportunities for you to get your masters partially or fully funded by your company?

    3.) What are your day-to-day duties like?

    4.) What sort of internships/research positions did you hold during your undergraduate studies? What sort of summer projects did you undertake (if any)?

    5.) Is your job more 'engineering-like' or 'scientist-like'? Are your colleagues mostly engineers?

    Best Regards,
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2013 #2


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    I am still doing my MSc atm but I can tell you what I know.
    Assuming when you say "work" you mean formal employment, I don't plan on applying for jobs until towards the end of my degree
    I am on a scholarship funded by a local photonics company for MSc
    can't answer that :P but a "laser physicist" can mean a large variety of different position doing very different things. Most of what I see in the previously mentioned company are about getting this circuit to talk with that laser and debugging when things don't seem to work.
    I did a summer project on waveguide simulations but that wasn't specific for photonics students, any physics student that took optics courses could've applied for it.
    Everyone in the mentioned company has "engineer" on their business cards regardless of the department they studied in when they got their degree. I'm not too sure what is 'engineering-like' or 'scientist-like'...
  4. Jun 30, 2013 #3
    I suppose the distinction I have in my mind is "designing a product" vs. "experimenting with new technologies."

    Are you in school here in the US?
  5. Jun 30, 2013 #4


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    no I'm in New Zealand.

    Most people I know who work in technological companies, laser or otherwise, do different things on a project by project basis. Designing and experiments typically go hand in hand so it would be unusual to have one without the other. Generally speaking they hire more engineer graduates because it is safer to assume they are better trained for non academic jobs (my friend got a job in a health care instrument company, of the 20 people employed he is the only person that isn't an engineering graduate) but either discipline should prepare you for both roles, most of the stuff are learned on the job anyway.
  6. Jun 30, 2013 #5
    Ah, I see, thanks for clarifying for me. Also: there wasn't any sort of clause with the scholarship that you'd work for the company for a set amount of time?
  7. Jun 30, 2013 #6


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    For my one there isn't, that or they haven't told me lol.
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