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Applied Physics Job Opportunities?

  1. Nov 23, 2011 #1
    I am a high school senior, and currently trying to figure out what to do next as far as my education goes. I'm very interested in Physics, as I love learning how the things I often take for granted work. A school I applied for has not only Physics, but also Applied Physics. Are the job opportunities much different with either degree? Would I possibly be able to work in an environment with engineers (for example, working in a nuclear power plant; I was wondering about becoming a nuclear engineer, but not many schools nearby offer it, and none in my state whatsoever)? What other jobs could I get? I realize many jobs won't be directly related to Physics, but I would still like to weigh out my options. Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2011 #2
    Physics is a pure science and applied physics is analogous to engineering. Can you expand further on what the applied physics curriculum entails?
  4. Nov 23, 2011 #3
    This was pulled right off of their website:
    The Curriculum: In Brief
    The Departmental curriculum for majors begins with a calculus-based General Physics sequence followed by courses in the major fields of physics: Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics, Optics and Laser Physics, Quantum Mechanics, and Electronics. These courses provide a solid background for students whether they plan on entering graduate school, becoming educators, or working in industry.

    Senior Seminar
    The high point of a student's physics major at Bridgewater is his/her participation in the Seminar in Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science during the senior year. The student selects a topic for research (either library-based or laboratory-based) and, working with a faculty advisor, completes a major project consisting of an extended written and oral presentation.

    These projects demonstrate the skills and knowledge that each student has learned as well as the student's readiness for a career and studies beyond Bridgewater. A few examples of past projects are the construction of a robot arm, experiments on the effects of friction on bullets, ultrasonics, and the study of superconductivity.

    It doesn't go much more in depth than that though. It's more of a general statement about the three paths they offer (Physics, Applied Physics, Physics & Mathematics focused for teaching high school).
    I'm not sure how this school's program is compared to others, but it's one of the few in my state that I know of to offer Applied Physics. I'm applying to other colleges/universities as well, but I was just hoping for more information on what might be best for the most job opportunities.
  5. Nov 23, 2011 #4
    All engineering degrees have great job opportunities so there isn't really much to worry about. Although, this curriculum seems very similar to an Engineering Physics degree which in a lot of cases isn't ABET accredited and it will be very difficult to get an engineering job at a company. In light of this, you should check if this program is ABET accredited.
  6. Nov 23, 2011 #5
    Thanks, I probably wouldn't have thought to check that! I'm still deciding on whether a Physics major would be right for me, but I figure it's a great thing to look into. I took a tech course in my freshman and sophomore years of high school that seemed to be a high school applied physics class, and I loved the challenge and that I was learning about how many of these things I overlook on a daily basis work. It's very interesting.
    Could I possibly get a job working semi-closely with engineers after studying theoretical physics as well, or are theoretical and applied too far apart in that sense? I know they're different, but I wasn't sure if theoretical physics majors are ever employed in these same environments.
  7. Nov 23, 2011 #6
    I wouldn't be able to tell you haha. Just stick it out for a little bit, there are people on here that have better information than me.
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