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Graduate soon - ZERO experience

  1. Oct 27, 2007 #1
    Ok, so I'm about to graduate this December. It's time for the real world and I'm completely unprepared. I have a <3.0 GPA, ZERO work experience, ZERO research experience and soon a useless? BA physics degree. Is it possible for me to get a job that pays more than min wage with my horrid credentials?

    Well, I do have some type of work experience, but none of it is even remotely related to my major of studies (I worked as a assistant building manager for the school's center of events and activities). I do have lots of lab experience from physics and chemistry courses, including a physics-circuits lab. What am I suppose to do? I've thought about going to grad school and "start over" again and try harder to get internships or jobs related to my major...

    ...... but many people have told me that grad school is never the answer if you don't know what to do with your life after undergrad.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2007 #2


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    Watch for the term, "entry level", when you search for jobs. Also, can you interface computers to instruments, and can you write programs to make these interfaces work? If you can, you will find a job. If not, you will probably find a job doing something else. Also, CAN YOU WRITE COMPUTER PROGRAMS? If so, you may likely be able to make some useful programs for some independant companies or company for some good purpose.

    How do you feel about technical or scientific work with "rotating shifts"? If you can handle that, then with a few weeks searching, you may well obtain something. What kind of work do you want to find?
  4. Oct 27, 2007 #3
    I disagree! Graduate school would be a good choice for those who has no idea what they're gonna do after graduation. While in grad study, you get to think about what you wanna do at the same time you're getting professional degree rather than wasting time thinking about what you wanna do.
  5. Oct 27, 2007 #4
    Yeah, those people don't know what they're talking about.

    I know quite a lot of people who went to grad school with absolutely no clue about what they wanted to do. My wife is one of them. She worked retail for $8.50/hr after getting a degree in english. She went back to get a grad degree after one year out of school and now she works from home 5 days a week (she's gone into the office once in the past six months) as a consultant for a corporate archives firm and makes >60k/yr.

    I have about fifteen more stories like this about people who got useless undergrad degrees and ended up going to grad school because nothing else presented itself. Most of them make >50k\yr, and all of them are much happier than they were before.
  6. Oct 27, 2007 #5
    BA? You might want to stay an extra year to get a BS.
  7. Oct 27, 2007 #6
    Not all schools award BS degrees. For instance, Harvard only awards BA degrees.
  8. Oct 27, 2007 #7
  9. Oct 27, 2007 #8
    Is a BA that bad? I can't stay for much longer. I'm already over the maximum amount of credits my college will allow me to take. They were generous enough to allow me to go over in the first place.

    The reason people say grad school is never the answer is that it's a huge financial risk of loans and time if things don't go right. I'm lucky right now with zero debt at graduation.

    I've been looking through potential jobs all week. I've mostly looked for jobs titled "entry level BLAH BLAH". The majority of them seek 1-2 years of experience, which greatly confuses me why they even put entry level their title in the first place.

    I do a bunch of programming but mostly towards PC game area, like modifications, scripted levels/maps, etc. There's no proof of me being a computer whiz/programmer beside what comes out of my mouth, which isn't really hard evidence like a degree or industrial work experience.
  10. Oct 28, 2007 #9
    I recommend looking at a job search engine like USAJobs (assuming you're in the US). Type in 'physics' for the keyword and for pay level, make the range gs-5 to gs-5 (not a typo). GS-5 is typically the highest you're qualified for with just a bachelors right out of school. GS-7 would be if you're grades are high.

    Anyway, you'll find plenty of job postings. Many will be engineering related so you won't be qualified for. However, there are enough that someone with a physics degree can apply to. They may or may not be science jobs though.

    Good luck
  11. Oct 28, 2007 #10
    It's not that it's bad, it's just that usually you have to take more classes in the major for a B.S. degree, which means you have more knowledge of the field.

    You should get your tuition waived when you go to grad school. Everybody's told me that that's part of the deal. If you have to pay yourself, then they don't really want you.
  12. Oct 28, 2007 #11
    Thanks Mor, I've applied for a patent examiner job in the physics field. I'm still looking for some more at usajobs. It'll be a start if I can get this one after graduation.
  13. Oct 28, 2007 #12
    Patent clerk?!
  14. Oct 28, 2007 #13
    No, dude, you want to go into patent law. Some SERIOUS money to be made.
  15. Oct 28, 2007 #14
    Well I believe going into patent law, at least the part that makes 'serious money',would require a law degree. Why are you limiting yourself just to physics jobs?

    I suggest you try working through employment agency, as a temporary employee for a contract company. Since you have no work experience, thus no work references or practical skills, no company will likely want to take a risk of hiring you and then having to train you on top of this. Get a job through an agency, work with that for a few months, get good references and build some experience, and go from there. The contract company may even hire you.
  16. Oct 28, 2007 #15
    Ah, well i see now that you have worked a job. Again, I still suggest using an employment agency if nothing good comes up. You could find one specializing in scientific and engineering jobs, and work through that.
  17. Nov 30, 2007 #16
    Bumping this up. So I've applied for that patent examiner job last week. I've read and talked to some actually employees from the US patent office. From what I was told of those who worked/is working there, the majority HATES it. The management is incredibly awful and the work is very irritating. However, the job does offer a very flexible work schedule and huge amounts of benefits. The pay does become really nice (+$100k/year) if you climb the ladder.

    I also have them telling me I won't get an answer 2-3 months, so Ive given up on that.

    Employment agency? I've never heard of those and can you give me examples of some good agencies?
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