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Getting a physics-related job?

  1. Oct 18, 2013 #1
    Greetings, everyone.

    First off, sorry for my English, especially some of the terminology, as I am not that acquainted with it yet.
    I am a second year student in Physics (bachelors) and I've been thinking about my future and what I will specialize in as well as make the bachelors thesis. So I concluded that one of the best choices (maybe the best, I really have no real way of knowing yet) would probably be mathematical modelling of physical processes. It actually sounds a bit complex, but I must say I do like the idea of simulating physical processes and see the awesome 2d and 3d graphs that come with it, showing all kinds of data so you can make your own conclusions. I talked to a professor who does projects around that and he asked me what I like doing most - go out there and measure things yourself (gather data), work with software (work the data) or develop the software. I was a little torn between the latter two. I have next to no experience in programming but it's always been something I'm interested in a little at least. And working a program? Well I have about as little experience with those so far. Though, if I can modify the software and make my own scripts and such (not that I know how!), I think I would like that.

    I am aiming for a sort of a meterological direction that involves some geography and geology too (the projecgts themselves), since there seems to indeed be such an option and I do like the idea of graphing out various statistics of the regions of world (at least my local region) - at least some way of being close to nature.

    Another concern I have is that I am not a very good student (partially due to lack of a real job in it, hence getting one). Probably below average. Not sociable either. Not very smart, to be outright. And so I fear that I won't be able to stand next to all the clever people and just be pushed out. I think I'll stop beating the horse here as it also probably belongs in a psychology forum more.

    I hope I wasn't being too specfic here or too vague. I know I was a little chaotic, which is part of the reason I was posting here - so that if anybody replies who is also knowledgeable in this, he'd make a coherent post and set my mind a little straight. Maybe I'm fooling myself with this, but hey, I did make it in the university this far, might as well go all the way. And I'm hoping that I do fit in to the environment and do like the work I'd be doing so much to even continue doing it as a "career" (living).
    So yeah, to end my long-winded post - suggestions, anyone? Corrections on any of my "facts"? Any contribution/addition will be appreciated. :)

    P.S. I guess Numerical Analysis will come into play with this quite bigtime. It's such a hellish subject to study, but it seems to be a fun and useful thing to know.

    Edit: Oh if this belongs in Academic guidance or some other forum more then please move it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2013 #2


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  4. Oct 18, 2013 #3

    Let me tell you this, admitting that you think you're not smart or a good student is a sign of intelligence. Most folks are pompous and think otherwise. Your ability to look at yourself in a realistic, if perhaps slightly deprecating manner, is a good thing.

    Fix those things! If you have an interest in Physics, and are obtaining a bachelor's degree in it, force yourself to be a better student. Especially if you're not sociable, that should mean you have some time to seriously devote to your studies.

    I will advise against not being sociable, which is also something that can be fixed. Being sociable will get you far in academia, work places, and life in general.
  5. Oct 19, 2013 #4
    Thanks for the replies!

    UltrafastPED, that does indeed look interesting and I'll give it some thought, though I've somehow always managed to not have a very strong connection to geology. Partly due to the fancy terminology and just having to know things that all look like the same thing on the first look. My (potential) involvement in the upcoming project will also tell me more about what I like and what I can do. Hopefully I can get into some fancy weather predicting.

    If anybody knows, can they tell me how much mathematical modelling is actually involved in, say, predicting the weather? I suppose, that pretty much everything there depends on that, as they are the guys responsible for the graphs, hmm?
    I'm just asking this for reassurance from somebody who actually does this (or something similar). I don't want to get the wrong idea of something and end up in something completely different than I imagined (to some extent this will happen anyway, I know) that isn't very related to my interests at all.

    MrTheBard, thanks for the encouragement, I really need it sometimes. And yeah I completely agree, I'm trying to be more social this year. It does impact surprisingly much... It's actually when the social factor fails me when I am the most demotivated. Difficulties in studies just magnify the effect. Anyway, that is pretty slightly offtopic.
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