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Engineering Applied Physics PhD v. Masters Engineering v. getting a job with BS

  1. Aug 11, 2010 #1
    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.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2010 #2


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    while I do not know the statistics, I went to grad school with several folks who worked a number of years after undergrad before going back to school. I also work with a lot of people who went back after working a few years. My company is often "losing" people to graduate school, although many times they come back when they are finished. The group i work in is losing one such person this fall. So not doing graduate work right out of undergrad does not automatically close any doors as far as I can tell.

  4. Aug 12, 2010 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    I spent time in industry before grad school, and I would estimate 1 or 2 people per entering class did. I know of one gentleman who retired, earned his PhD (at 55), and spent the rest of his working career as a physicist. (He was also the son of a famous academic)
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