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Bad undergrad education overall

  1. Jan 31, 2010 #1
    I received a crappy undergraduate education and now will be receiving a BA rather than a BS in physics. This was the result of a combination of my laziness over the last two years and the lack of support and complete apathy concerning my academic and career ambitions in physics I received from the physics faculty at my school, and my overall frustrations with the way my education was structured. With my abysmal GPA, I don't think I will get a job when I graduate. I sort of want to make a 'comeback' and retake some classes that I did terrible in , and get a better shot at going to graduate school in physics , but I think the first thing I want to do is get a job first, and I am not sure that I would be able to get a job once I get out. This has lead to sleepless nights and overall worry about employment attainability in my future and deep seated fear of living on my parents couch jobless at age 32. The only real jobs I ever had was working as a maple consultant , working at a few fast food joints and working as a lab assistant for like two months, I have never done any real job skills that would make me a viable candidate for an employer and certainly don't want to work at fast food type jobs after I graduate . What do you think I should take into consideration concerning my future job prospects given my current undesired circumstances?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2010 #2
    In my experience, employers don't look at your GPA when you apply for a job.

    I think the biggest thing you should take into consideration is your p***-poor attitude. If you walk into a job interview with the same mindset with which you just wrote your post, you have a 0% chance of getting hired.

    I know it isn't a ton of money, but I was able to make 40,000 just a few years out of high school with no college education doing sales. And you're worried about flipping burgers with a physics degree?

    Fix your attitude, and go make some money.
     
  4. Jan 31, 2010 #3
    You really think just having a positive attitude would magically make all of my woes about my job prospects disappear? You really think life operates in that manner? I don't think it does.
     
  5. Jan 31, 2010 #4

    Pengwuino

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    Gold Member

    Having a horribly negative attitude will make your job prospects disappear however.
     
  6. Jan 31, 2010 #5
    Attitudes, whether they be positive or negative, will not increase my chances of finding a job after graduation. I know this because I held a positive attitude before and it absolutely had no effect on my progress in my academics or job prospects. What do you suggest that I should do ?
     
  7. Jan 31, 2010 #6

    Landau

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    What does a Bachelor of Arts in Physics mean?

    You could take one year to fill in the holes in your knowledge, and then apply for grad school. Why do you want a (full time?) job first?
     
  8. Jan 31, 2010 #7
    It won't scare off your interviewer the way a negative attitude would. Your grades probably aren't so hideous that you can't qualify for a teach for America grant. If you feel up to it, that's two years of solid work experience right there.
    As Jack said, lots of companies don't even look at your GPA, so it's all a matter of how you sell your experiences on the resume. Yeah, burger-flipping isn't glorious, but you pick up a lot of the skills you'll use at any other job (patience dealing with customers, doing repetitive boring tasks, responsibility/reliability at showing up), and every interviewer understands that it's a standard first job.
    Talk to the career center on campus. They should know who hires from your school and be able to help you package yourself properly.
     
  9. Jan 31, 2010 #8
    Attitude affects chances of finding job, what is easy to proof.

    If you have no attitude at all, you don't even try to find a job, which means you got 0% chances.

    Which any kind of attitude you atleast try to find a job, so you have chances > 0.

    It would be harder to prove that low attitude is worse that high attitude, but it atleast show that attitude matters and your statement that attitude does not increase chances is wrong.
     
  10. Jan 31, 2010 #9
    A positive attitude does help in interviews. It is the interviewer's job to read people and make judgements. They want to see that you are enthusiastic about the job and that you are self-confident

    Small sample size. One person's experience does not reflect what really is.
     
  11. Jan 31, 2010 #10
    I want to go back to school later and attain a full time job immediately because right now , I am just fed up with the way college is structured in general and overall not satisfied with my own college experience. I wanted to take a breather , but my parents greatly insisted that I continued my college, even though I was not up for it. I want a job so I can gain full time financial independence from my parents.
     
  12. Jan 31, 2010 #11

    jtbell

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    Staff: Mentor

    Depends on his university. Some (including Harvard!) offer only a B.A. Some offer only a B.S. Some offer both. If a university offers both B.A. and B.S. in physics, the difference may be in the number of physics courses required. Or the difference may be only in the "general education" requirements (e.g. math versus foreign language).
     
  13. Jan 31, 2010 #12
    I suspect I have about 7 more years of "real life" experience than you, and I can tell you that yes, life does operate that way.

    You have a PHYSICS DEGREE. That shows you have good critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It also likely means you have good computer skills. Did you do any group projects or research? Then you have experience working as part of a team.

    USE THESE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.

    Conversely, you could continue whining about your "woes" and enjoy your pity party, at which I suspect you'll be the only attendee.

    Your choice.
     
  14. Jan 31, 2010 #13
    A lot of financial companies hire physics graduates. I would suggest getting a master's degree in physics, and applying for these jobs. Else you can get degree in applied physics , and get a nice job in semiconductor industry. You can easily scout for colleges where you can finish masters in a year instead of two( in case you want to get over with it asap).

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  15. Jan 31, 2010 #14
    I don't have such a good GPA right now in any of my physics courses , so their is no way I would be considered a worthy applicant for those type of jobs nor would any master program in physics accept.
     
  16. Jan 31, 2010 #15
    Usually the requirements are more relaxed if you apply for masters at your own university. So if i were you I would look that up. Overall there are a lot of colleges , and if you apply to right places you will get a place in masters program. Since employers only look at your most recent degree, if you perform decently in master program it will 'erase' your bad undergrad record.
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  17. Jan 31, 2010 #16
    You've been told twice in this thread that many companies don't even look at your GPA, yet you ignored that, and continue complaining about your GPA.

    Did you post this thread for advice, or did you just want us to feel sorry for you?
     
  18. Jan 31, 2010 #17
    The last thing I want is pity. non-physics companies might not look at GPA, but certainly if I want to have a career in physics or continue m;y education physics , my GPA will certainly be a factor.
     
  19. Jan 31, 2010 #18
    NOT TRUE..scientific companies look for knowledge and your ability to deliver rather then your GPA. I have given interviews multiple times without even mentioning my GPA.


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  20. Jan 31, 2010 #19
    Do you get called to interviews without first sending a copy of your diploma? If not then this doesn't say squat since they already know your grades.
     
  21. Jan 31, 2010 #20
    Yes I don't generally mention GPA on my resume unless the company requires it, and usually get called for all the jobs that I apply.
     
  22. Jan 31, 2010 #21

    G01

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    Then what do you want from this thread?

    People who have gotten jobs are telling you what you need to do and change to get a job, and your response is to argue that they are wrong, even when they have way more experience in this area than you do. If you want to just complain about your situation then fine, but don't pretend like you actually looking for advice if all your going to do is turn down any advice given to you.

    Everyone who posted in this thread is right. Subjective first impressions with employers are crucial. If you hold your attitude and carry it into an interview, you will give off a bad, depressing vibe. You will not seem confident, and that will kill your prospects more than anything else.

    The best advice I can give you is to come to terms with your situation. You have a BA in Physics. (Not a bad thing.) You do have skills that come with that degree. Your GPA is not great. Accept this, and figure out a way to work with it. Your job now is to convince employers that even with a low GPA, you still have the skills they can use. And you're not going to do it with that attitude.
     
  23. Jan 31, 2010 #22
    What kind of jobs and what kind of degree and what kind of experience do you got? When did you apply for your first job related to your field?
    I mean, of course as soon as you get work experience your grades stops mattering and if you took the degree a long time ago the whole job climate was different back then.

    I have a relative who took an engineering degree with quite bad grades. He graduated during the last low business cycle and he had to wait several years till the business cycle got better before he got a proper job.
     
  24. Jan 31, 2010 #23
    I am a junior in Electrical Engineering. Usually employers are interested in the research and hands-on projects you have done. While doing an internship before is an advantage, getting an internship even during their freshman year is not that tough. Likewise the seniors from my college that I know got a job as long as they knew their stuff. Also getting a job right after college is much easier when things like work experience don't matter.
     
  25. Jan 31, 2010 #24
    Nowhere in your posts did you state you wanted a job "doing" physics. You just said "a job." There are many jobs that look favorably upon a physics degree that have nothing to do with physics. Maybe you should look into those?

    It'd be better than "living on your mother's couch at 32" as you put it.
     
  26. Jan 31, 2010 #25
    That may also have to do with location. I know guys with GPAs <3.0 who are working as engineers 'cause there are lots of engineering jobs in New York and they started out at all the places that usually recruit from our school/have lots of alumni. With programming, the really big companies (generally better jobs) use GPA as a filter/require it, but most of the smaller shops/less shiny places don't care. And after the 1st job, generally nobody cares.
     
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