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An insider account from academia and industry?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

So I'm a little stuck. When I heard of a career as a researcher or academic, I jumped on it. Working at University and controlling my workload? Helping young uni undergrads to learn physics? Spending a few years at CERN at a specialist in particle physics? The idea really appealed to me.
Now, I worry a lot more. Academic publishing looks like a huge exercise in frustration and I don't actually know WHAT life is like as an academic.

I then began to consider life in industry. R&D, project development and that sort of thing. But then again, I don't know what THIS is like either!

Then I read about people who got their PhD, and then completely bunked physics and went into a discipline where it helped somewhat. This would be easier to find if I wanted to, energy, government work etc.

And yet, I'm still in secondary school. (UK). I haven't even started college. Should I wait and talk to the professors and career advisers there?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Wow, you're really early with this. You don't even know whether you'll actually like physics, since university physics is very different from what you might think.

Give it some time. Get a physics book now and try to work through it. Try to enjoy yourself. When in university, apply yourself and get good grades. If you really like it, go for a PhD and if you still like it, then you should continue in academia. But chances are very big you might get stuck somewhere down this road, and that's not necessarily because you're not good enough but because you're thinking of a different future.

All I'm wanting to say that life offers many surprises. It's not good to plan ahead so far already. Sure, you may dream about working in CERN, but don't take this too seriously, it's so far down the road. No use thinking about this now when there's still so much that can change and that will change.
 

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