I'm only a sophomore physics major, but I'm beginning to consider what I may want to study in graduate school, and hope to find some REU's that will complement these interests. I'd like to hear from others who are in the broad field of plasma physics. I'm back and forth between geophysics and plasma physics and have found that there is a slight overlap between the two in studying the ionosphere/magnetosphere and geomagnetism among others. Although I'm very interested in these topics, I realize that they are primarily academic research and I know how competitive these types of positions are. I'm wondering how careers in plasma physics are generally. I want to TRY to stay in academia but I realize this probably won't happen so what are some other options? Applied areas such as fusion research, beam studies, and others are also interesting to me but I'm not really sure how much better this would really be career wise. Also, a lot of the applied plasma research sounds so "cool" using lasers and magnets to do interesting things, but what is the research REALLY like? I'm interested more in plasma science (particularly plasma found in nature) rather than applying it do devices and such but any feedback at all is helpful!