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Graduate Degree In Quantum Mechanics?

  1. Sep 10, 2014 #1
    You've probably been asked a similar question countless times I presume but please just hear me out.
    I am currently in my junior year of undergraduate and majoring in physics. For some time now I have really loved doing physics and I enjoy it, mostly the theory. But is taking it further and getting a Masters or PhD in Quantum physics sensible if:
    • I want to make good money.
    • I do not want to work in academia and have no interest in teaching.
    • Want to work in the industry, hopefully quantum computation, quantum electronics, materials science, solid state or other future areas of applications of Quantum theory.

    Now as you can see my requirements are specific, so after reading several other threads on here on similar topics I felt the need to make one for myself.
    Should I pursue quantum physics or join the rut and get a masters in engineering or something of the like?
    I would ideally love to work where I can think daily and see it applied(of course related to physics/engineering).
    Please consider the current state of the job market for applied QM, the reality of the field, etc.
    It would be of great help and this is the only place I know of where I can ask.

    Thank you,

    P.S I know it's not an area of specialization but hopefully you still understand what I'm looking for.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2014 #2
    There's no such thing as a Phd or Masters in Quantum Physics; it's more of a research tool than a research area nowadays. All of the areas you mentioned quantum computation, quantum electronics, materials science, solid state can be researched from a physics or engineering (normally electrical engineering or material science departments) standpoint. Therefore it wouldn't really matter what the title of your degree is unless you want the background theory component that a physics degree would give you versus the engineering degree. You don't have to work in academia if you don't want to, there's plenty of industry jobs for material science and solid state electronics and quantum computation is an up and coming research area that will probably take off in industry eventually if it works.

    There are engineering physics or applied physics departments which straddle both disciplines and research applied areas of quantum mechanics, look into departments like Michigan's Applied Physics Program (I'm assuming your American). Good luck.
  4. Sep 11, 2014 #3
    Thanks for the reply. Sure, I'd like to know whether I can take up graduate studies in applied quantum physics after a degree in pure physics. Also would love to know whether it will give an advantage or disadvantage later on. I'm not American but I am open to studying in any decent university with English being the language used. Also, I would ideally love to work in industry: private company or startup. So knowing my interest(applied quantum physics) I would be extremely grateful if you could advice on which masters degree I should get to be able to get into this industry with a physics bachelors. Also, what are your thoughts on nanotechnology? Is employment good there?
    Again, much obliged by any help. Thanks a lot for helping a young and confused fella :)

    Edit: I should add that I have a good foundation in mathematics. I love learning it but it would be even better if I could actually apply partial differential equations in my work sometimes :D
  5. Sep 11, 2014 #4

    Dr Transport

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    A Masters or PhD will allow you to work in industry and make a comfortable living. Applied Physics is a better choice if you want to go that route...
  6. Sep 12, 2014 #5
    Thanks, and any idea what should I get a masters degree in to compliment the physics bachelors degree?
  7. Sep 13, 2014 #6

    Dr Transport

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    Pretty much any of the areas you mentioned originally, materials and solid state more so.
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