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Job opportunties for physicists in the UK?

  1. Jan 19, 2008 #1
    I've been considering studying physics in the UK but looking at the threads here has me a little worried about job opportunities afterwards. Does the same apply abroad, specifically in the UK? I did a search on employment prospects through


    and was so depressed at how few end up as scientists or researchers, maybe 15%. The stats improve hugely with a masters though, between 25-60%. Ok not so unexpected, the universities all say you can get any kind of job with the analytical skills a physics degree will give you, but they recommend a masters is necessary to stay in science, which I would be prepared to do.

    I was just wondering if anyone had any personal experiences in the UK or could give me a broad view about job opportunities with and without a masters?

    I already have a degree in business. I would love to study physics but not if it means ending up with a career as a banker at the end of it! It makes more sense to study engineering in the long run. It's just that doing the pre-uni course I'm doing now, my heart is breaking a bit at all the stuff I'm going to miss out on, like theoretical physics and astronomy, if I stick with engineering.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2008 #2
    Well, keep in mind, when someone is desperate and has no job, they don't hesitate to post places looking for solutions.

    When they get their dream job, they rarely go to forums to celebrate.

    This isn't to say things are looking good out there, but I don't think we're getting a good random sample here.
  4. Jan 21, 2008 #3
    Thanks, I'll certainly keep that in mind. I suppose I shouldn't let all the threads get me down about the idea of studying for a physics degree. But I'm applying as a mature student, and I'm paying for another degree out of my own pocket, so I want to be sure I'll have a good chance of employment with a MEng or an MSci in the UK, I don't think I'll get another chance after this.
  5. Jan 21, 2008 #4
    Given the current climate for fundamental physics research in the UK right now, you want to avoid it at all costs. Because even if you do get a job as a researcher, you will get no encouragement or support from the government. And the UK scientific community is extremely partisan, political and unsupportive, and frankly cares more about grants and links with industry than it does on actual physics research.
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