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Physics Careers in physics?

  1. Aug 17, 2011 #1
    Careers in physics??

    Can anyone tell me or list the jobs of physicists?? What are their roles in defence industry? can they work/experiment the integration of mechanical and electrical engineering (like mechatronics)? Can physicists design/develop/work with AAMs (anti-air missiles)? or physics is just a broad field and they can work anywhere??
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2011 #2


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    Re: Careers in physics??

    Physicists can do pretty much anything and everything; the hard part is convincing the person doing the hiring that you're the best choice. Oftentimes you might not be.
  4. Aug 18, 2011 #3
    Re: Careers in physics??

    You mean everything, as in, like in robotics field, they can invent robots? also, what are the skills of a robotics engineer? CAD? programming? and etc.?
  5. Aug 18, 2011 #4
    Re: Careers in physics??

    Directly from physics you can't really do that engineer job because most of these jobs are very specific, require university training, studying time etc....

    Some of the things are very difficult to practice unless you make that degree in university!

    So, can a physics be a programmer?Sure he can, but he might have to self study some things and he will not have that specific diploma that most companies are aiming at!But he can be better programmer than someone with a cs degree!

    But for specific thing like robotic engineering things are harder!

    You normally have to put way to much lab training, usually only in universities you can get the specific training!

    So , if you want robotics engineering bet thing is EE and not physics!But you might get some robotics in your physics degrees anyway!

    That's my path by the way!

    Good luck!
  6. Aug 18, 2011 #5
    Re: Careers in physics??

    Kalakoi: thank you. I want double major, which one do you prefer: EE/physics or EE/computer science??
  7. Aug 19, 2011 #6
    Re: Careers in physics??

    It depends what you want!

    I would go for EE (my actual) and physics because i would love to know more about physics, but then again that might be too hard to deal with because they both require a lot of studying time!

    And EE requires practice in sometimes specific machines, programs etc...that only your uni lab has!

    But for what today economy is, and for working in the industry with very good skills , being it in robotics, or whatever, without any doubt EE/CS!!

    It will pay off!

    But then again, college is not just about what will be my future job!So the decision is yours, but i would give you the advice of sticking to EE!
    Everything else would be considered a plus anyway!
  8. Aug 19, 2011 #7
    Re: Careers in physics??

    EE is actually my main goal. but I want double major............. hmmm........... theres a high percentage that I will go for EE/CS, because I want to be involve in robotics..... But if I take EE/Physics, I can get to work on mechanical stuff (cause physics is both mech and elec), plus I can also work as computer scientist because EE is very close to computers and computer science.........
  9. Aug 19, 2011 #8
    Re: Careers in physics??

    Things are not that linear!

    But anyway i wish you good luck and the best of the choices!
    Best regards!
  10. Aug 21, 2011 #9
    Re: Careers in physics??

    My little brother (well, not so little, but still younger than me ;) ) wants to learn physics, too. I believe that if physics is his passion, he will be able to make a good career somewhere in this field, but our parents don't approve of his choice, they think it's not a much beneficial choice for him. They'd rather see him a lawyer or something...How can we convince them that career in physics can provide him with a successful future?
  11. Aug 23, 2011 #10
    Re: Careers in physics??

    Although not directly, Physics can do everything, that's right. The main skill that physicists have is that they understand many things faster than anyone else. I bet that if you are a BSc in physics and you want to get into robotics, six months of training in robotics are good enough and you're okay to go.
    Good luck!
  12. Aug 23, 2011 #11
    Re: Careers in physics??

    The most beneficial choice for anyone is to do what he likes (or he loves). This was the case for me, my parents wanted me to do biology but i could convince them. Now am doing my PhD in softmatter physics and I find it awesome.
  13. Aug 23, 2011 #12


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    Re: Careers in physics??

    You could look at the statistics for unemployement rates between PhD physicists and lawyers.
  14. Aug 23, 2011 #13
    Re: Careers in physics??

    Well, according to this: http://20somethingfinance.com/top-20-jobs-with-the-lowest-unemployment-rate/
    lawyers are better off than physicists. But these sorts of statistics are probably just misleading anyway.

    Everything? No, definitely not. There are many fields that require certification and to obtain certification you often are required to have a relevant degree. Obvious examples are things like law, medicine, mental health, etc. Those things will require getting an extra non-physics degree.. And that can even be true for engineering, depending on your location and which field (civil engineering is particularly strict). Another thing is you have an uphill battle. You are underestimating the amount of foundational work that is done in engineering classes. Why should an employer hire a physicist instead of an engineer when they know that the engineer will only need a few months training, but the physicist will require at least twice that to get in the foundational work.

    (PS. If you're not speaking from experience about the job market for physicists, then you should refrain from giving advice.)
  15. Aug 25, 2011 #14
    Re: Careers in physics??

    I agree that not everything but frankly, almost anything. I was just referring to engineering. Of course a physicist can work in medicine. Find out what radiologists do or what is medical physics.

    Long time performance and innovation for his firm.

    Compare the percentage of unemployed lawyers to unemployed physicists.
  16. Aug 25, 2011 #15
    Re: Careers in physics??

    Why? That's a terrible statistic that tells us nothing.
  17. Aug 25, 2011 #16
    Re: Careers in physics??

    Unless you got your PhD in medical physics, you're not getting a job in medical physics. You won't get hired in medical physics if you walk out of a PhD doing string theory or cosmology.

    What does that mean? Do you mean compared to hiring an engineer? I think you're underestimating how performant and innovative a good engineer can be.

    Let me put it this way. If you were at a job interview and the hiring manager asked you "why should I hire you, a physicist, who I'm going to have to train for the better part of a year instead of an engineer who will only need a few months training for this job before they're productive?"

    The article I linked to put lawyers in the top 20 of professions with the lowest unemployment rates. Physicists weren't even on the list. Where are you getting your numbers from?

    In any case, these numbers are going to be horribly misleading. Someone in either field working as a bartender would be counted as employed, but that's not the kind of information you want.
  18. Aug 26, 2011 #17
    Re: Careers in physics??

    I don't think that's a particularly useful mindset to have, especially in this economy.
  19. Aug 30, 2011 #18
    Re: Careers in physics??

    college isn't just about your future job. the poster's mindset is perfectly fine
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