Getting a physics job with a Ph.D in physics

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  • Thread starter geekmax
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  • #26
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That's not considered "big bucks", and secondly there is more demand for physicists than astronomers.

That's not true if you look outside of academia. Theoretical astrophysicists with computer experience don't have any trouble getting jobs as computer programmers, and observationalists that want to go into industrial also don't have too much trouble designing electro-mechanical instruments.

If he loves astronomy, then it won't matter -- he'll go for astronomy anyway. But just based on the number of jobs available and their salaries, vanilla physics beats astronomy.

For jobs outside of academia and the national labs, employers really don't care much what your field of interest was. All they care about is that you spent lots of time in front of a computer.
 
  • #27
WarPhalange
That's not true if you look outside of academia. Theoretical astrophysicists with computer experience don't have any trouble getting jobs as computer programmers, and observationalists that want to go into industrial also don't have too much trouble designing electro-mechanical instruments.

Not what I was talking about. I meant specifically as a scientist researching in his/her field. But I am surprised that an observationalist would be good at designing electro-mechanical instruments. I was under the impression that they took data from telescopes too big and expensive to make in the university's student shop or whatever. Is there a lot of hands-on work involved?

For jobs outside of academia and the national labs, employers really don't care much what your field of interest was. All they care about is that you spent lots of time in front of a computer.

Sure. They want your skills, not your knowledge.
 
  • #28
6,814
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Not what I was talking about. I meant specifically as a scientist researching in his/her field. But I am surprised that an observationalist would be good at designing electro-mechanical instruments. I was under the impression that they took data from telescopes too big and expensive to make in the university's student shop or whatever. Is there a lot of hands-on work involved?
The telescopes themselves are civil engineering projects (which are often managed within astronomy departments), but the instruments that are used in the telescopes are custom made in a machine shop. Also there is a huge amount of software involved in observational astronomy (most of which are open source freeware that you can download).
 

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