Noob questions on behalf of my daughter, who graduates with a BS in Physics from a research uni next semester and has a decidedly deer-in-the-headlights approach to post-graduate career path. 3.3 GPA in a program with a fair bit of chemistry/biochem/biophysics experience (contemplated MD/PhD route but no longer interested), and working in a nanotech lab. Enjoys hands-on problem solving, technical challenges, non-academic career, good at math, not a programmer. I know this is vague but her interests are simply not that refined at this point. As an academic myself I see intrinsic value in spending the time in training that is required to get a PhD, but perhaps this is not necessary (or even desirable). However, I suspect it is relatively rare to enter a doctoral program after being out in the real world (correct me if i am wrong), and I'd hate to see that door shut if there is value to having a PhD in applied science.