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Programs Job Market for PhD in Physics

  1. Nov 9, 2006 #1
    I couldnt find any threads by using the search function on this topic. The US department of labor predicts that the competion for jobs up through 2014 is going to be competitive. Can anyone who currently holds a PhD in physics tell me what the job market is like in academia and in industry. Which industrys hire the highest percentage of physicists in the US and where do you guys think the demand will be for physicist outside of academia in the in the future? Lets say about 5-10 years from now. Also I would like to know, what what kind of physicist has the highest demand in our current market?
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2006 #2
    you could become a college professor. those are always in demand...sometimes kinda in a way

    or try to get a job with jpl/nasa
  4. Nov 9, 2006 #3
    Not a physicist, but I have read that the next 10 or so years will be a good time to get into physics. Basically, during the cold war there was a huge demand for boomers and pre-boomers in the area of physics for research and development and such. The level of demand was met and there was a huge bulge of physicists in those years around which industry formed. Now these cold war era physicists are beginning to retire and expire thus opening up a rich cavity of opportunities for young physicists.

  5. Nov 10, 2006 #4
    I like to look at the AIP statistics -- http://www.aip.org/statistics/
    There are lots of stats on employment trends over time and in different areas and different degree levels.

    Considering undergrad degrees have been pretty steady at ~5k/year, grad degrees increased drastically in the Cold War era to ~1-1.5k/year but has hence remained fairly steady (with some significant dips and a projected increase to about the peak of Cold war production)... I think it bodes well (for "our" employment... not really for our society). The number of university degrees conferred in all fields has increased from the 60's/70's... but the number of physics graduates is about the same? Yikes.

    While demand in general will probably be high, US citizens may have some opportunities that foreign-born scientists cannot have... due to both visa regulations and some restrictions on positions in military-industrial-complex work.
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