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Getting job with BSc. in physics with astrophysics

  1. Jun 4, 2012 #1

    I have just completed a BSc. in physics with astrophysics with a decent GPA (I got a First or 1.1 - but I would have just barely scraped into this bracket).

    My situation is that I decided not look for a PhD position during my final year (a PhD is ultimately what I want to do) so that I could focus on course work.
    Since all the application deadlines have passed for PhDs it seems very unlikely then that I will be able to secure one for this coming September/October.
    What I would like to do then is get a graduate-type job that would make use of the skills I have learned during my degree.

    A problem for me is that although I have got a decent GPA - the subjects that I have done the best in are somewhat detached from practical applications. eg. astrophysics, E&M, QM. I say that E&M and QM are detached from practical applications in the sense that I have learned them in a more "theoretical" way and so would find it difficult to apply my knowledge of these subjects in an engineering context... I hope that makes sense!
    Further, the more practical subjects that would be very useful for getting an engineering type job such as optoelectronics, solid state physics, nanotechnology are the ones that I have done worst in - I got a C in all of these. I did quite well in my applied optics exam, scoring a low A but this is the only significant exception.

    I feel I do have some points that would perhaps make me attractive to employer such as two good references who have seen alot of me and who would both vouch that I am capable and hard working.
    Another point that I would try to put a positive spin on is the fact the I have shown very large improvement with each passing year of my undergrad degree. Scoring a mid range Third in my second year, a mid range 2.1 in my third year and a lower range 1.1 in my final year. The reason for my poorer performances in my earlier two years was that I transferred into physics course from mechanical engineering (.... I will not bore with further details but the main point is that I never did first year of my physics course and found the transition difficult - but showed strong improvement with each year.).

    So my question really is, in light of everything outlined above, could anyone provide feedback on how realistic they think it might be that I could get a decent job for the year (perhaps lab technician... or something...) before I hopefully get a PhD position.

    Finally, I should say that last Summer I was chosen to do a Summer internship within the physics department of my university - I largely gained experience with general computer skills writing UNIX scripts etc. also astronomical data reduction and analysis) also, this was another demonstration that I worked hard and could produce decent work for one of my referees.

    Any thoughts would be good - also any recommendations of websites and resources that may advertise the type of jobs that may interest may would also be great!
  2. jcsd
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