How Is High Energy Physics as Career?

  • #1
Lot of people asking about the jobs and salary of Astrophysics and i have also asked before. Now i ask about high energy physics..What about salary at CERN and Fermilab ? and is it has more job opportunities than Astrophysics and theoritical physics at usa or europe?

What do you say?
 
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  • #2
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It's funny, because HEP was in a terrible state career wise not long ago. With the LHC coming online everyone talked about how things would be better, and I thought it was reasonable.

We were naive. The LHC has created huge demand for graduate students, but has increased the number of actual permanent positions by a very small number. So more people than ever are on the train to nowhere.

A similar thing happened six or eight years ago, where the NIH had its budget doubled and yet permanent positions increased by around. . . zero. Why hire permanent positions that are really expensive when you can haul in graduate students who are cheap?

What do you say?
I say that the top 3% of all students who study HEP - the ones who excel at ever level, the ones who attend the top schools, the ones who get the big-name advisors - will have excellent career prospects and lead fulfilling lives. If you aren't sure you're in that subset, look elsewhere, or at least have a great backup plan.
 
  • #3
ZapperZ
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Right now, with the current budget debacle in the US and UK, high energy physics does not look very attractive as a career. It wasn't that attractive before when compared to condensed matter/atomic/medical physics, but it is worse now.

Zz.
 
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  • #4
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ZapperZ, what would your thoughts on the current career for HEP be? More attractive than 08? Less attractive than 08?
 
  • #5
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I think it has a lot of POTENTIAL.............get it? :)
 
  • #6
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was that stemming from sarcasm or were you serious?
 
  • #7
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Grad student in high energy astro here. Question: if you're not doing condensed matter, then precisely what can you do with a PhD in physics outside of academia that still involves doing physics? Because I really don't want to become a quant on Wall Street who writes ROOT scripts to predict market forces.
 
  • #8
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I think there is also demand in industry for people with a Ph.D. in optics.

But for astrophysics, I think your alternatives are either academia or NASA.
 
  • #9
vanesch
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Are you talking about experimental or theoretical HEP ?

As an experimentalist, there are a lot of opportunities in instrumentation, like in medical imaging, on synchrotrons or in the nuclear sector, or in the data acquisition business which is even larger.
 
  • #10
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What about theoretical HEP? or theoretical nuclear physics?
 
  • #11
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Because I really don't want to become a quant on Wall Street who writes ROOT scripts to predict market forces.
Don't lay awake at night worrying about ending up with a job on Wall Street. It probably wouldn't happen if you wanted.
 

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