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Career change question

  1. Jun 24, 2010 #1
    I'm currently working in IT as a senior system administrator and I've gotten to the point I'm just burnt out on the field. I've finally settled down and the other half has encouraged me to change careers like I've talked about for a while now.

    I have a bachelor of arts in history with a computer programming minor. I was an EE for 3 years and had to drop due to a variety of reasons I won't go into here. My grades are good I've got the math background but I'll need a refresher as I simply have used it in 5 years.

    I'm wanting to go back and get a physics degree as I really enjoyed physics especially the lab work, even when it wasn't doing the "fun" things.

    We are moving to the Phoenix area for her new job and I'm curious of any programs recommended in the area and how is the job market there for the physics degree. I'm more hands on in my liking so lab work or maybe ME type work.

    Any suggestions are welcome.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2010 #2
    I was thinking of changing my career but don't know if I am too old at 45 for engineering career? I have an associates degree in automotive technology and is it worth all the time in college?
  4. Jun 28, 2010 #3
    Thanks for any experience that may guide me.
  5. Jun 30, 2010 #4
    Wow that sounds almost exactly like me. I've been a network admin for about 5 years and I'm sick and tired of IT in general. I spend most of my day doing anything but technical work.

    I was not exposed to a lot of science when I was younger so I always assumed it wasn't for me. Yet I got a 790 in math for the SAT and I think (can't remember exactly) I got 780 in the GRE for math. It's not that I'm some amazing genius, it's just that love math and physics. I took an upper level physics course while in college to satisfy a general ed requirement (I did not finish the course, because I could not learn the math fast enough and I had only had Calc 1).

    Right now I have a decent job but I don't want my life to be defined by just getting by. I'm not looking to get rich or famous, I just want to do something that interests me on a fundamental level. I got into computers because I was a bit of a gamer when I was younger, even though I had done 0 research on what my personality was. I'm not gonna sit around and regret it - I just want to learn from my mistakes going forward.

    To start, I'm working on easy math stuff just to refresh myself. I bought myself Spivak's Calculus book and can't wait to get started. I think while I'm going through that I will work through Feynman's lecture. If I'm still loving the field after all that work (done on my own time and through my own will), shouldn't I pursue the field further?

    I know many of you can find the negatives - competition, funding, many years of study. But there has to be positives, right? I can't imagine I'll find myself without a job if I had a PhD in Physics from a respectable University. Will I be rich and famous? Probably not... but please don't make that assumption about me. I'm an INTP, and we like to be on the cutting edge of knowledge.

    Couldn't I at least make a menial living teaching on contract or in secondary education? That's still a respectable job.

    Other info about myself: I'm 27.5 years old and I love reading Physics books, especially Hawking and Feynman (but I'm branching out!)...
  6. Jun 30, 2010 #5
    To the OP:

    Have you looked at IT consulting, or technology consulting?
  7. Sep 25, 2011 #6
    Why are so many Physicist in computers and other fields and not enjoying Physics work?


    Your little friend Jimmy Carter signed a piece of paper STOPPING the construction of over 100's nuclear plants. He and he alone caused us physicist to end up in non physics jobs. Otherwise we would be having a demand for high paying physics jobs. A nuclear plant creates hundreds of Physics jobs for colleges research and profesionals.

    You might not see the connection but it is real.

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