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Is the job market good for astro physic majors or general physic majors?

  1. Oct 6, 2008 #1
    I am considering changing my major to Philosophy and Physics with a astrophysics minor, since my school doesn't offer astronomy and astrophysics as a major. My current major is biotechnology. I was reading some article that was a little scary, it is about how the job market for physicist isn't as great as it seems, so I am a little concerned.
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  3. Oct 6, 2008 #2


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    The job market for smart people with a science degree from a good university is as good as ever. There aren't necessarily that many jobs with physics in the title but most physicists aren't working in those anyway,
  4. Oct 6, 2008 #3
    Where are they working at than?
  5. Oct 6, 2008 #4


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    Engineering, technical consultancy, software, Wall St (ha ha)

    In most countries there is also a huge demand for science teachers.
  6. Oct 6, 2008 #5
    You can get paid $500 USD in China if you decided to teach overseas. Its not much but over there with that type of money coming in a month you'll be living a moderate life style.
  7. Oct 6, 2008 #6
    From what I can see, there are jobs for physics majors, but you should supplement your physics degree with a second major in engineering. As long as you don't mind working in a field that has nothing to do with physics (i.e. programming, engineering, etc.), you'll be able to find a job. If you want to actually do physics for a living though, you need to get your PhD.
  8. Oct 6, 2008 #7
    Yeah I planned on going for the PhD. So instead of doing a double with philosophy, I should do it with engineering? Does it matter which kind of engineering? Cause I always wanted to do philosophy, but I'll drop it if I have to or try to squeeze in a third major.
  9. Oct 6, 2008 #8


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    You may want to be careful and make sure that a "philosophy and physics" degree actually qualifies you to get into graduate school if you really want a Ph.D. Some schools can be particular about the degrees that you apply with.
  10. Oct 7, 2008 #9

    So you basically want to study metaphysics?
    Remember the best philosophers have no degree...They just sit and think.
  11. Oct 11, 2008 #10
    No, I don't want to do metaphysics, and also I don't want to do philosophy as a career choice. I just wanted to learn more about it, because I am interested. I would drop the philosophy major though if I have to. Would general physics PhD level doubled with mechanical engineer PhD with a astrophysics minor be adequate?
  12. Oct 11, 2008 #11
    It's definitely not worth anything more than a casual glance, in my opinion, at least. This is coming from someone who studied philosophy by himself for about 2 years. It's subject to arbitrary fashion and is pretty silly about it, much like art.

    Basically, stick with the science, not the bull.
  13. Oct 11, 2008 #12
    Getting a PhD in both those subjects will be adequate if your goal is to be a poor graduate student for 8-12 years and end up in the same place you'd have been if you'd just gotten 1 PhD - or maybe worse. Is that what you're looking to do? Good luck with it.
  14. Oct 12, 2008 #13
    I don't know, it's why I am asking you, but I don't see having more knowledge as being worst. So there's no point in getting the PhD in engineering is what I am gathering, but is it still a good idea to do it in undergrad? Physics doubled with engineering
  15. Oct 12, 2008 #14
    When you get to the PhD level, you are extremely specialized in the field you are in. Being super specialized in two fields is just stupid, as you can only dedicate yourself to research in just one, realistically.
  16. Oct 12, 2008 #15


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    When you are young, the point of college is to learn something that will be useful as a career. If you can do a double-major without taking any more time or lowering your grades in your "real" major, then it won't hurt you - but that would be unlikely.

    At least you are here asking the questions, though: too many people put no thought into how what they are doing in college will help them once they get out. Starbucks is littered with college educated coffee pourers who took art history because they felt like it.
  17. Oct 13, 2008 #16
    Okay so, it doesn't matter if I do engineering with physics? As long as I just get my PhD. in physics, I should be able to find a place in the job market?
  18. Oct 13, 2008 #17
    Yes, you will find a place. What you might not find is a job worth having. . . but yes there will probably be a chair to sit in - or a classroom to stand in front of. Depending on what you get your PhD in, how well you do, and the job market at the time, that place could be valued at anything from $26k a year to $90k a year.

    Choose wisely.
  19. Oct 13, 2008 #18
    Hm.. that's a little depressing, so even with a Ph.D., I could still wind up behind a desk or just teaching a classroom? (If that includes college, then it's not so bad.) Well taking that into account, maybe I should pick up that second major in engineering, just in case I don't like where I end up in physics.
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