1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Physics Advice for graduating physics majors

  1. Nov 25, 2017 #1

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2017 #2

    kuruman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Last time I looked, about 13-14% of Ph.D. grads ever become college profs. That's the market. When I got my Ph.D., in the mid-seventies, college prof jobs were hard to come by, almost non-existent. There was a job bust after the boom of the sixties when departments expanded because of the race to the Moon. Hiring is limited by retirements. A 2008 AIP study https://www.aip.org/sites/default/files/statistics/faculty/fac-turnover-pa-08.pdf estimated an annual retirement rate of 2.5%. So 5% hiring is not unreasonable considering that people leave before retiring for a better job, are denied tenure, etc. etc.
     
  4. Nov 26, 2017 #3

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Which is entirely consistent with 5% of physics BS grads.

    That said, shouldn't this advice be for people before graduation?
     
  5. Nov 26, 2017 #4

    kuruman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    It should. At least I made it available when I advised students who aspired to an academic career.
     
  6. Nov 27, 2017 #5

    StatGuy2000

    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    @Vanadium 50 , @kuruman , if around 13-14% of physics PhD grads become college/university professors (I'm assuming this would include both tenure-track work as well as adjunct positions, and also make no distinction between schools with a teaching vs research focus), then the question I would have is, what happens to the other 86-87% of graduates?

    Yes, I am aware that a certain proportion of PhD graduates will work as postdocs, but postdoctoral work is by definition temporary. So what is the breakdown (to your knowledge, based on the latest statistics you are both aware of) of those physics PhD graduates who do not work in academia?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  7. Nov 27, 2017 #6

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Industry.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "breakdown". Job titles? Parent company sector?
     
  8. Nov 27, 2017 #7

    kuruman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You will find such information at this AIP site and the links mentioned therein.
    https://www.aip.org/statistics/reports/whos-hiring-physics-phds
     
  9. Nov 27, 2017 #8

    StatGuy2000

    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    Obviously. What I'm asking is which industry sector?

    As in my reply above, which industry sector do physics PhD graduates who don't work in academia work in, and what percentages. (e.g. oil & gas, software, finance, etc.) For example, here in Toronto, Canada (where I'm based), most physics PhD graduates that I know of (who don't work in academia and who did not specialize in medical physics) work for the major Canadian banks as quants.
     
  10. Nov 27, 2017 #9

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Advice for graduating physics majors
Loading...