I'm a Junior physics major, and right now my goal is to stay in science. I want to read physics papers, and go to conferences, and do research, the whole science thing. As of now I haven't specialized in any branch of physics, and I have no immediate qualms with any. So my question: What are some good branches of physics is to specialize in (for a PhD), if the goal is to not be a market analyst, or an IT guy, or a quant? Example: Particle physics. Very interesting, very fundamental, my first choice by the "cool" factor. However: Apparently, nearly everyone who gets their PhD in HEP ends up not in the field. I'm not putting down people who get good jobs, I just don't want to invest 6 years of PhD work into something I won't be doing for the rest of my life. Counter example: Solid state physics. Most of material science is based on condensed matter physics, and solid state is a major component of that. According to my professors and the internet, most people who get their PhD studying in this field end up working in this field.