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Does age matter?

  1. Aug 14, 2006 #1
    Many people finish their BSc in physics at an average age (21-23). What i was wondering is, for a career in physics does age play a role in it? many of the smartest or well known physicists have their phd by 23, would getting it at 27 or 28 be any worse?

    What matters more age, experience or the university you attend?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2006 #2
    Dont even worry about that question unless you are on your 60s
  4. Aug 15, 2006 #3
    I dropped out of college when I was 19. I'm now 23 and I recently started going back. This fall I will be starting the equivalent of my sophomore year of pursuing a BS in physics (hopefully a Masters after that). I've also worried about being older than other applicants when I get out of school and go to find a job, but I generally subscribe to the theory that if you get good grades and perform excellently, your talent and skill will overcome the age difference. That not only keeps me going, but pushes me to excel over the "kids" sharing my classes.

    Just study hard and no one will have room to diss your age.

    *And stay in school, kids*
  5. Aug 15, 2006 #4
    I went back to school at 35 and finished my B.S. at 41, so you have a way to go before you need to worry about it.
  6. Aug 16, 2006 #5

    No one gets their PhD at 23 anymore. Different era buddy. Average time for a PhD these days is 5+ years, after finishing a Bsc
  7. Aug 16, 2006 #6
    yeah if you got a phd by the time your 23 I don't think you would have really had the time to grok all of what you studied.
  8. Sep 5, 2006 #7

    I'm just curious...did you major in physics? What's your career path?

    I'm 35 and just got my BS in physics last spring, and now I'm working toward an MS. The degree took a whole lot longer than I expected due to circumstances out of my control, so now I'm trying to figure out what career options are open to me at my age. I'm thinking academia's out of the question, but NASA or something like it would be extremely cool.
  9. Sep 5, 2006 #8


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    After High School, I took a three year break before starting school, and even then I pittered around, poking at core classes. I'm now 25 and on my third year as a physics major towards a BS. I wont' have my Bachelor's until I'm probably 27 (I'm not one to take 18 credits a semester, I like soak time) and I'll probaby take a year here, working where I graduated before I go to grad school (which is another five plus years) so I probalby won't have my phd until I'm 32. I can't even imagine being 30.
  10. Sep 6, 2006 #9
    My B.S. is a double in math and physics. Originally I had planned to get a job (not career) during the day and finish up a masters at night so I could teach community college (I enjoy teaching but don't want to teach HS, and the life of a PhD student is not for me at this point in my life). I work as a health physicist right now and am trying to get into Ohio State's Nuclear Engineering graduate program for a masters. I'll try to take the CHP exam in a few years once I qualify.
  11. Sep 6, 2006 #10
    PhD at 23? Yeah, right! :rofl: Not anymore.
  12. Sep 6, 2006 #11


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  13. Sep 6, 2006 #12
    Why would acedemia be out of the question? I don't think universities put THAT much an emphasis on age. Or do they?
  14. Sep 6, 2006 #13
    Not the ones I looked into. I just didn't want to tlive the life of a penniless grad student, so I didn't pursue a PhD.
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