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[HELP] my life in physics

  1. May 15, 2008 #1
    I just finished my first year of a 4 year physics degree, and it made me realize that although I love physics and I am really good at it, but I do not want to be a physicist. This has a lot to do with my first taste of research life with a condensed matter group I had been helping. It made me realize that I really do not want to waste 10 to 15 years of my life going between lowpaying postdoc positions, being someone's lab monkey for the chance of getting a stable and well paying tenure/tenure-track position by the time half of my life is gone.

    I love physics, but I can't see myself devoting every aspect of my life to it like some of my friends are able to do.

    I am looking for a way out, and into a well payed profession, but I dont think I want to leave physics completely, i.e. change degrees.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to make a physics degree useful for maybe a life in finance, or industry or anything? (I am open to possibilities)

    Could maybe trying a differing field have an impact on my attitudes?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2008 #2
    Have you considered that there are other options besides going the route of being a post-doc lab monkey?
    What about engineering?
    Many schools are beginning to offer degrees in engineering management. Perhaps you could go this route if you are looking for something more money oriented. It seems to be a sort of merger of physics, engineering and a bit of business.
    Either way the are a plethora of jobs in industry hiring physics majors but not directly doing physics. Search around on this forum a bit for threads about physics salaries and jobs there have been some recent ones.
  4. May 15, 2008 #3


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    You could do a two year masters in math with a concentration in finance. I don't know what other universities offer this, but here's a link to the curriculum for the one at LSU:
    https://www.math.lsu.edu/dept/grad/fincrs [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  5. May 15, 2008 #4
    Thank you guys for your advice. The masters in mathemtical finance thing seems interesting. A lot of uni's seem to offer it.
  6. May 15, 2008 #5
    If you want to stay with a technical field you should consider Engineering Physics. I received my undergrad in regular physics. In the fall I am going to be starting in the masters in engineering physics program at Appalachian State University. The program is designed to teach you real world work details and information. Most classes have labs associated with them and you receive much hands-on experience.
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