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BenAHMS

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I'm wondering if anyone here can help me try and get things straight in my mind about what I'm going to do next. I'm currently studying Part III (the courses in QFT, Symmetries, Strings etc) and already people are starting to talk about PhD applications, since it seems to be assumed that if you're on Part III you're probably going to do one (fair assumption!). However, I don't know if this is the path for me. While I'm certainly very, very interested in what I'm studying I don't know if I have the right mindset/attitude for postgrad research. In my mind, doing a PhD in this area is only going to be advantageous if I want to go into academia, and I'm not sure this is what I want. If I plan to do the PhD and get a 'normal' job afterwards, I might as well not do the PhD and get a 4 year headstart!

On the other hand, I haven't yet managed to find a job that appeals to me. The careers offered to mathematical physicists tend to revolve around programming, mathematical modelling, finance and so on, which aren't the areas of my subject that I enjoy. I'm not a programmer or a computational mathematician, my mathematical interest lies more in algebra and group theory. Similarly, I'm not a laboratory scientist, I'm a theoretician, and there don't seem to be any non-academic careers for physicists whose specialty is quantum field theory and the like.

So do I just have to accept that if I want a 'real job' I'm going to have to sacrifice my specific interests, and that if I pursue a PhD in theoretical high energy physics I'm confined to a career as an academic? Or have I got it all wrong? I've been grappling with this issue for about a year now, have made pretty much no progress whatsoever, and in all honesty it's driving me slightly insane. Any words of wisdom or advice would be greatly appreciated.

PS: I'm not implying anything derogatory towards academics when I say 'real' job, it's just easier than writing 'non-academic job' each time :)

tl;dr: Is a PhD in theoretical high energy physics only worth doing if I want to be an academic? Are there any 'real' jobs that involve interesting maths/physics (quantum field theory, group theory etc)? Should I just quit it all and tour the world playing my guitar?!