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Job for a mathematician or a physicist

  1. Aug 9, 2003 #1
    i am not yet a physicist nor mathematician but i wnated to know what kind of other are there for them beside research in acadamy and tutoring?

    some examples ive come to are:
    cryptographer, opticicst (if that's how you call someone who is working in optics).
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2003 #2
    I think it is very important that you find out what kind of job you'd really like to do. Please take my advice that you should spend at least as much energy on that question, as on math & physics themselves. And when you have found out, do everything you can to get maximum qualification for exactly that kind of job. Math and physics hold the great danger of losing yourself in complicated abstract 'ivory-tower' problems, and when you finally apply for a real job in a real company, the personnel manager will go "You specialized in WHAT?"
  4. Aug 10, 2003 #3
    i still want to know what kind of jobs are there?
    besides it's good to be prepared.
  5. Aug 10, 2003 #4
    It's hard to go into what's available without knowing more about what area of physics you're interested in. If you're not interested in a faculty position, then most jobs would be in the industrial sector. Some examples of jobs include:

    geophysics - lots of work in the oil and gas industry, as well as related mining (diamonds, coal, etc)

    astrophysics - jobs could include working at observatories or telescopes, or research positions at NASA or APL, as well as more theoretically oriented projects

    condensed matter - this is a huge area, especially in industry. There are dozens of labs studying semiconductors, superconductors, material and interface physics, optics, lasers, laser spectroscopy, nanotechnology, electron microscopy, etc, etc, as well as related areas in biophysics applications

    medical physics - research in radiation techniques, diagnostic imaging, MRI, NMR. This could be done at independant labs, hospitals, cancer centers, etc.

    nuclear/particle physics - research in nuclear energy, or various things at particle accelerator facilities

    As you can see, most of these involve research in one form or another, generally in a non-academic environment. Keep in mind that these are just examples, there's no guarantee that some of these would be available at any given time.

    Also, physicists often branch out into other areas beyond physics. Typically, physicists are not only highly trained in physics (of course) but also mathematics, computers (programming, numerical analysis, etc), electronics, and various other skills that apply equally well to other research areas. Examples include chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering positions.

    Here are some quick links I found that may provide some further info:

  6. Aug 11, 2003 #5
    One of my teachers told me a lot of out facultiy's graduates have gone into banking ?!?!?!?!
  7. Aug 11, 2003 #6
    With mathematics, you don't have to limit your career to science. You can go into actuary science or work in business.

    WIth a physics degree, you can work as an engineer (although employers will tend to favor engineering degrees over physics degrees).

    A background in Statistics is really useful. You can work in forestry, biology, chemistry, business, actuary, genetics, and so many other fields.

    My recommendation is that you don't place so much emphasis on job opportunities. Just focus on getting your education completed.

    I'm saying out of personal experience. I'm still an undergrad but thinking about whether a job will be out there for me drains me emotionally and mentally. It's not worth stressing too much over.
  8. Aug 16, 2003 #7
    Some of the very top Physics/Maths Phds can find work as quantitative analysists at Investment Banks. They need C++ also.

    Actuary is also popular for mathematicians.

    Chemistry/ Engineering are good because you can actually do a job in that field. Aside from academia, there are very few professional mathematicians.
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