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Do physics

  1. Jan 22, 2004 #1
    Greetings everyone, i'd like to hear some words from you all =)

    I recently ran a search, and its seems that 99% of job opportunities in the field of physics requires a Ph.d in Physics. Does that mean those who failed to complete the Ph.d course somehow or didn't even get a chance to qualify for the course will never land up in a job that deals with physics( like Lab. work or research and development)?

    I'm particularly concerned because it is my dream to study Physics at the college level...and possibly go on further from there...but it's quite uncertain from now, i mean i don't know if i'm that cut out for the Ph.d realm(since obtaining a Ph.d is a criterion)...so it's pretty scary, in the sense that i may not even get a decent physics job after i graudute without a Ph.d

    Any views?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2004 #2

    That is incorrect. Where did you get such an idea?
    If you are cut out for a BA and you get decent grades then you're cut out for a PhD. Getting a PhD is not hard just because of the work its also hard due to the time it takes. I was working on my PhD but had to do it in night school since I had financial responsibilities and people depended on me. I unfortunately had to stop school in order to take care of a sick family member. So if you can handle the work load you still have to be able to handle the finanical load as well as the life load. Even then life can get in the way. I was very very very unfortunate in this respect. As mentioned above I had to stop to take care of a sick family member. When that was over I got layed off (division of company shut down). Then when I got a job the University switched the night courses to day courses. When the switched them back I got leukemia and had to stop everthing altogether just to be able to stay alive. However the chances of you being as unfortunate as I have are a gazilion to one! :smile:

    However you may not need a PhD depending on what your goal is. For example: Suppose you want to get into Medical Physics. Most of those positions don't require a PhD.

    What are your goals?
  4. Jan 22, 2004 #3


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    There are few jobs with Physics in the title for Bachelor degrees in Physics. But....

    You have qualifications for may engineering type jobs, either Mechanical or electrical depending upon your interest and your interview skills.
  5. Jan 22, 2004 #4
    There is a web page here which disucusses this topic


    While most jobs require at PhD it gives the false impression that all jobs as a physicist require a PhD, which is certainly not the case.

    One shouldn't get too attached to a title. One can be a physicist and not have the title "Physicists" per se. For example: When I first got my BA the job I was hired for was "Scientific Programer" by the person whom was hiring me and whom I worked for told me tha the posion was for a Computational Physicist. Many jobs for a physicist does not have the word Physicist in it at all. For example if you search the Monster Board you'll find that they're looking for a physicist for the job of "Ceramic Scientist/Engineer"
  6. Jan 22, 2004 #5


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    I am not sure, but I think that is exactly what I was saying.
  7. Jan 22, 2004 #6
    It is. I was elaborating and trying to give explicit examples.
    Think of it as an addition to your comments.
  8. Jan 24, 2004 #7
    thank you everyone for your replies, espeically Arcon

    So sorry to hear about your plight and misfornute Arcon. =/

    Well...If you don't mind, could be please briefly tell me what are the steps one has to take from the moment he enrolls for a BSC Science(physics) course?

    Arcon, could you explain a little more on your experience during the time while you were doing your professorship? I would love to learn some more about the process and some facts regarding the subject of professorship.
  9. Jan 25, 2004 #8
    What do you mean by "professorship?"
  10. Jan 25, 2004 #9
    Interesting topic. Where does a master fit into this?

    I'm currently following a double program, and if all goes well, by the end of the year I will have a BSc in both physics and mathematics. I will most likely go on and get my MSc in physics after that, most likely theoretical physics.

    I'm not sure what to do after that. If my grades are good enough and I can get a job as an assistant or get a government grant, I would love to go and try and get a PhD. If that doesn't work out, physics masters are also allowed to take a one year master in Air- and Space engineering.

    So what is the value of a master these days anyway?
  11. Jan 25, 2004 #10

    Good man! That's what I did.

    What kind of stuff do you want to get into? Have you tried going to


    and browse around and see what kind of stuff is out there? It's mostly about US stuff but it can give you a rough idea.

    I also depends on your personal goals. Mine were changed with the Leukemia thing. I'm now more interested in working in a Hospital now and that's someting I wouldn'd have considered before. But now it seems like a great idea. Awesome salary, I get to fight cancer and I get to work around tons of nurses!
  12. Jan 25, 2004 #11
    Well, there are a few interesting things to do at my university (Free University of Brussels)

    Within the department of theoretical physics, there is research into soliton theory, relativistic few-body problems, string theory (I believe they focuse on 2-branes), and something that interests me a lot, advanced classical mechanics (dealing with satellite orbits, the mechanics of the solar system,...). I'm not sure yet, but then I still have time to make up my mind.
  13. Jan 25, 2004 #12
    Ok...i sound i know rather vague here, but that's because i know very little about college studies and the life there since i'm still in high school now.

    So do theoretical physicsts deal with experiments? Or they almost purely work around with theories and eqautions?
  14. Jan 25, 2004 #13


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    Theoretical Physics is dealing with equations. May or may not ever do an experiment. Though at some point in time, if they do good work. The theories must be put to experimental tests.
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