Careers Outside Academia Richly Rewarding for PhD Physicists

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(Title should read "for" PhD Physicists... I can't type today)

From Science Daily:
According to the report, in 2011 more than three‐quarters of physicists working in the private sector earned in excess of $100,000 a decade after receiving their doctorates -- many enjoying salaries higher than their academic counterparts.

Private sector physicists also identified their jobs as intellectually stimulating, challenging and rewarding because they regularly worked with smart and interesting people from a wider range of backgrounds.

The one graint of salt to take this report with is the fact that 10-15 years before 2011, was well into the dotcom boom, where physics PhDs were aggressively recruited for their number crunching skills. It would be interesting to look at a similar study for a period that incorporates the economic downturn after 2008.
 
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A point of disagreement: The economic downturn occurred in 2000, driven by PCs and internet speculation, compounded with speculative trading, on expectation of increasing value, driven by the same technology: the personal computer and the internet. It was a double hit delivered upon greed, no different than the 1920s.

In 2004, crap Chinese nock-offs were still flying off the shelves at Walmart. It was like nightmare, watching a slow motion train wreck, unable to run away with my legs stuck in molassses.

Various politically driven federal economic patches, doomed to failure, were implement to recovery from the 1990s feeding frenzy, notably the housing crisis. Boom, bust. The piper wasn't paid, and the debt was deferred, but increased through bad federal management.

Now, it's been my experience that a standing R&D staff is not something maintained, for long, by an economic sector during an economic downturn within that sector. I haven't done any research on this, so I take this as premise until shown otherwise.

It makes $ sense. Why throw resources into a better beaver trap when the market for beaver skins is stagnant or declining.
 
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