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Career Options in Applied Physics

  1. Jun 2, 2015 #1
    Hello to all of you!

    This is my first post on this forum, though I have visited this site many times to learn from its wealth of information and insights. A bit about me, I just finished the second year of my undergraduate career and am looking forward to beginning my upper level physics courses (namely, Classical Mechanics, Modern Physics, and Optics+Lab) in the Fall, and plan to attend graduate school as the next step in my education. Though I am undecided as to a specific career path, some fields that have caught my interest are optics, nuclear physics/engineering, medical physics, and most recently accelerator/beam physics. Do any of you work in these fields? If so, what do you do and do you have any advice for someone pursuing a similar career path?

    Thank you all for your time!

    Best regards,

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2015 #2


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    Gold Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    Get yourself some back issues of magazines like Physics Today and similar things. These are the "happy gossip" magazines. They have stories like who has been hired by what university, what labs have expanded, what research is going on at what labs, and so on. Your university librarian should be able to help you, and possibly Google.

    Get the issues with recent graduates from various universities. Find out where they got jobs. Look for the jobs you find interesting and you would like to emulate. Apply to the schools where those people graduated from.

    Between now and application time, be sure to find out what those schools want for admission. Be sure to get those qualifications. So if they want you to take class x-y-z to apply, be sure to take class x-y-z. Find out their requirements from their web sites, their course catalogs (on line or by request), and from emailing their admissions office.

    I see you are interested in nuclear. It depends what country you live in and what languages you are fluent in. Right now there are not many nuclear plants under construction in the USA, for example. I am a nuke in Canada. We have not built a new station since 1992. Kind of depressing. I wish I was good at learning languages. China is building about 30 new nuclear power reactors right this moment, with plans for about another 30 after that.
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