How Is High Energy Physics as Career?

In summary, HEP is in a bad state, but the top 3% of students will have excellent career prospects. It is not as attractive as it was a few years ago, but there are still opportunities in experimental and theoretical HEP.
  • #1
SuperStringboy
74
0
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
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
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
ZapperZ, what would your thoughts on the current career for HEP be? More attractive than 08? Less attractive than 08?
 
  • #5
I think it has a lot of POTENTIAL....get it? :)
 
  • #6
was that stemming from sarcasm or were you serious?
 
  • #7
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
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
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
What about theoretical HEP? or theoretical nuclear physics?
 
  • #11
arunma said:
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.
 

Related to How Is High Energy Physics as Career?

1. What is high energy physics?

High energy physics is a branch of physics that studies the fundamental particles and interactions that make up the universe. It involves the use of powerful particle accelerators and detectors to investigate the smallest building blocks of matter and the forces that govern their behavior.

2. What does a career in high energy physics entail?

A career in high energy physics can involve conducting cutting-edge research, designing and building experimental equipment, analyzing data, and collaborating with other scientists on experiments. It also often involves teaching and mentoring students, writing grant proposals, and presenting findings at conferences.

3. What skills are needed for a career in high energy physics?

In addition to a strong foundation in physics and mathematics, a career in high energy physics requires skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, programming, and collaboration. The ability to communicate complex concepts to both scientific and non-scientific audiences is also important.

4. What job opportunities are available in high energy physics?

Job opportunities in high energy physics can be found in universities, research institutions, and government laboratories. Some physicists also work in the private sector, using their skills in industries such as technology, healthcare, and finance.

5. How can I get started in a career in high energy physics?

To start a career in high energy physics, it is important to pursue a degree in physics or a related field. Many universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs in high energy physics. It is also beneficial to gain research experience through internships or working in a laboratory. Networking with other professionals in the field and staying updated on current research and developments can also help in starting a career in high energy physics.

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