General Masters Advice after Bachelor's Degree in Physics

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  • #1
Hopy
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I am in the second year of my Physics B.Sc and will soon have to make the decision how to continue from there. My grades are generally good, and I certainly want to continue my education, specifically a Masters. My goal is to be employed in industry, where I would strongly prefer actually working on technology.
I do realize that a lot of Physics Majors end up working far from their studied field if they do go into industry since what you learn in a physics degree generally doesn't have enough application for you to be chosen over engineers for instance.
Now some universities in my country offer these kind of interdisciplinary degrees such as Engineering Physics, Technical Physics, Biophysics, etc.

My question is how degrees such as these are perceived on the job market, and whether they would give me a better chance at landing an industry job than a regular physics degree.
I have also found out that, assuming I take some additional coursework, it is possible for me to follow up my bachelors with a masters in Electrical Engineering. How would this option compare in terms of employability?
 

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  • #3
CrysPhys
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OP: If you want proper advice, you need to disclose what country you are in now. Do you plan to continue your education in the same country? Do you plan eventually to seek employment in the same country?
 
  • #4
gmax137
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My question is how degrees such as these are perceived on the job market, and whether they would give me a better chance at landing an industry job than a regular physics degree.
I think it depends on what type of work you want to do, or what type of "industry" job you're after. And I know, you may not know that now, yourself (most people do not).

I worked with several people who had physics bachelor's and then Engineering Physics masters. They were all competent and well-respected. But I think if you have some traditional engineering job in mind, it would be better to stick to the well known disciplines. Examples: if you're interested in heat transfer and thermo problems then stick to mechanical or chemical engineering; if you want to design airplane wings, stick to aerodynamics. It is not that an "engineering physicist" couldn't do a fine job at these, it is more a case of conforming to the stereotypes to make landing the job easier. OTOH, if you're interested in more fringe areas, or in working for smaller companies, then something like engineering physics might be what they're looking for.
A finance or especially actuarial science Masters has excellent job prospects,
Don't skip over this idea - I have a friend (math major) who then went to dental school and practiced dentistry for many years; he later got his actuary license (I'm not sure what it is called, but you need it to do that work). He's been happy doing that for a while now.
 
  • #5
Hopy
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OP: If you want proper advice, you need to disclose what country you are in now. Do you plan to continue your education in the same country? Do you plan eventually to seek employment in the same country?
As for my country, I live in Germany and am planning to stay here for the remainder of my academic career. As for actual work, I'd be more flexible.


Also, I do realize that the job prospects, as well as the jobs themselves, can actually be quite nice for fields that aren't directly tech-related, but I do have a particular interest in working on technology. I wouldn't hate going the actuarial or financial route for instance, but I am certainly more passionate about technology.

As for more "traditional" jobs and traditional engineering degrees, I don't know if I could see myself doing mechanical or chemical engineering for instance, and I'm not sure if I'd be allowed to either, but I have found out that Electrical Engineering is a possibility here after having finished a Bachelor's in Physics, and it is also definitely the type of traditional engineering degree that interests me the most. How would the prospects of an Ms in EE compare to Engineering Physics?
 

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