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Is getting a MS or PhD the only option to get a good job?

  1. Sep 17, 2013 #1
    Are there any low level (B.S. Physics) jobs out there that pay well? I'm split between Geology and Physics and I just learned that the job prospects for a B.S. in Geology are bad. My goal is to get a job as soon as possible, regardless of my major, and then means I am not interested in spending an extra 2-3 years in college getting a masters/phd. Am I being naive or is this actually feasible?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2013 #2
    I think you should switch to some sort of engineering then. "Pure" science degrees are largely academic and best complimented with a graduate degree.
  4. Sep 17, 2013 #3
    Hi ModusPwned,

    Engineering is the field I want to go into, which is why I'm not interested in pursuing a masters/phd at my current university. That's confusing, so let me explain a bit. My current university is the only one I can go to right now for a variety of reasons (the majority being financial). It does not offer any engineering degrees, but it does offer other interesting degrees in other interesting fields. Therefore, my goal is to finish at my current university with a degree that has great job prospects and a decent salary so that I can begin saving up for a top notch engineering college as soon as possible. To clarify, I'm not just getting this degree so I can eventually study engineering so I want it to be interesting (which isn't hard, since I find many fields interesting), but engineering is definitely the long-term plan.

    So what you're saying is that the chances of getting a decent paying job with only a bachelors in physics is low?
  5. Sep 17, 2013 #4
    Thought I'd better quote you in case you get updated this way.
  6. Sep 17, 2013 #5
    "Decent pay" and "chances" are of course relative. It depends more on what you do and what you can do rather than your degree. If you want to just do a BS in physics be sure to try getting marketable skills. Try to do an internship rather than undergrad research, but if you cant fine a relevant internship be sure to do undergrad research. Try to foster actual skills that an engineer might have, coding is a big one that physics undergrads do (its not usually in the curriculum, you have to seek it out yourself via classes, research and personal time). And know that you will be fighting an uphill battle to compete with engineers for engineering jobs.
  7. Sep 17, 2013 #6
    I mean 50k a year or more by decent pay (as far as these types of fields go). You're right, it's subjective though.

    I think you may misunderstand me, though. I actually intend to go get a degree in engineering eventually, but for now I'm content with working in practically any science job. And thanks a lot for the reminder about programming. That is definitely something I will look into!
  8. Sep 17, 2013 #7


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    For the record, the "degree" does not have job prospects and a decent salary.

    You have to remember, particularly with something like physics, the degree is an advanced level of education. It's not job training. People who graduate with a physics bachelor's degree tend to do okay on average in terms of median starting salary and job prospects compared to say, other science majors. But as Modus pointed out, finding a job with a physics degree can be difficult because you're not "qualified" to perform a particular professional function.

    It almost sounds to me like what you really should be aiming for is a community college and getting a basic qualification - say in engineering technology. This will allow you to work faster and will help to qualify you for your eventual goal of completing an engineering degree.
  9. Sep 17, 2013 #8
    Hi Choppy,

    I will look into the community colleges and engineering technology nearby. Thanks for the suggestion!
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