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Computational Physicst prospects?

  1. Jul 10, 2014 #1
    I'm wondering what kind of work a computational physicist does outside of academia with, lets say, a masters degree. Looking at internships, it seems like the degree is overly general and in most cases a computer science, engineer, business, or math major could do better unless I happen to have a substantial amount of experience in one of the fields. And from what I'm gathering, the more specialized, the better, making a general field less useful.

    Are there any good paying fields in industry that would prefer a computational physicist? I'm assuming the numerical analysis and high performance scientific computing experience would be advantageous but I'm not sure where.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2014 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

  4. Aug 1, 2014 #3
    I think computational physics was once a good option. But the sectors that would be hiring you can also choose from candidates who have been trained to develop code for sector specific applications.

    For example, there's now a branch call financial engineering and computational finance. The sector used to hire physicists, and they still might, but financial engineers are specifically trained in various computational techniques.

    Same story for mech, EE, semi-cond. Once upon a time, since so few people were qualified for such jobs, physicists were taken on b/c they could do it. Now that schools are churning out people specially trained for these jobs, physicists are no longer as competitive.
     
  5. Aug 10, 2014 #4
    Congrats, your job prospects will be better than other physics graduates. You can check out these fields:
    • Quantitative finance
    • Algorithmic trading
    • Data science
    • Computational neuroscience
    • Artificial intelligence (e.g. IBM Watson)
     
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