Graduating this summer and clueless about field for master's

In summary, a 28-year-old physics student from Turkey is graduating this summer and is looking into master's programs in Germany. They are struggling to decide on a specific field within physics and are worried about job opportunities. They are currently working on a project in solid state physics, which they have no background in. The student is seeking advice on how to figure out which field suits them best, as they will soon be writing their statement of purpose. The conversation concludes with the advice to keep an open mind, stay updated on skills and job market trends, and to pursue one's interests and happiness.
  • #1
Hello physicsforums,

I am a 28 year-old undergrad physics student from a decent university in Turkey and I will be graduating this summer. My undergrad education has been a bit problematic at first so it took me this long to graduate but I achieved a very good GPA and I am currently looking at possible master's programs in Germany. I want to continue my education in physics but the problem is my restricted electives(concentration courses in physics) are all over the place and I can't seem to figure out what field I want to study. I am terrible at making decisions and I think this trait of mine will cost me some day.

Things can change but after my master's I want to work in industry so right now I don't plan on pursuing an academic career. For this reason, I took some electives in optical-electronics but I didn't like it much. Then some particle physics which I enjoyed more but I'm worried about job opportunities in that area.

During my last semester I will be working with my computational methods professor on graphene in B-field which I will be looking into. Thing is I have no background at all in solid state physics so that scares me a little bit.
My question is; what are some possible ways I can figure out which field suits me best? Since I will be writing my SOP soon, I will probably make up many things regarding "career goals" in the statement.
I attend as many seminars as I can but they are usually very basic so they don't give me enough idea to decide.
Right now I'm thinking that my best bet is condensed matter/solid state as career opportunities go but I am probably being very naive in thinking that way.
Any help is very much appreciated.
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  • #2
The world has changed. You, & I, and most other young people are most likely going to change jobs every four to five years! Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do with the rest of your life - you have the rest of your life to enjoy figuring out that problem.

I worried about the same problem. I just spent the last five years teaching science. I'm getting ready to change careers in the next year.

The only advice I can imagine is to keep your doors open, maintain communication with your profs (as references later), and pursue fields that are most likely to grow. You want to be a person with skills people want. The skills people want are going to change as quickly as technology & the fruits of science change. Keep your skills up. Enjoy life. Take some time each day to think about what makes you happy.

1. What factors should I consider when choosing a field for my master's degree?

When choosing a field for your master's degree, it's important to consider your interests, skills, and career goals. You should also research the job market and potential salary for the field you are considering.

2. How can I determine which field will be the best fit for me?

One way to determine which field will be the best fit for you is to talk to professionals in your desired field and ask them about their experiences and the day-to-day tasks of their job. You can also consider taking on internships or shadowing opportunities in different fields to gain hands-on experience.

3. Can I switch fields for my master's degree if I am already graduating in a different field?

Yes, it is possible to switch fields for your master's degree. However, you may need to take additional courses or complete prerequisites in order to be accepted into a program in a different field. It's important to research the requirements and speak with advisors at potential universities.

4. Will having a master's degree in a specific field limit my job opportunities?

Having a master's degree in a specific field does not necessarily limit your job opportunities. In fact, it can make you more specialized and competitive in the job market. However, it's important to also have transferable skills and be open to job opportunities in related fields.

5. How can I make the most of my master's degree and find a job after graduation?

To make the most of your master's degree and increase your chances of finding a job after graduation, it's important to network, gain relevant experience through internships or research projects, and tailor your resume and cover letter to each job application. It's also helpful to attend career fairs and utilize resources provided by your university's career services department.

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