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Jobs immediately post-PhD

182
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bingo. As an EE PhD, I know that the exact specialization of your grad work really matters for PhD level positions. I was once flown out to a company for an interview, and found that only their computational electromagnetics group was interviewing me. With minimal coursework and no research background in that exact specialization (I was in plasma physics) they were not interested at all - the manager all but told me that to my face after she perused my resume in front of me.
This is the kind of stuff I was referring to earlier when it comes to interviews. Wouldn't everyone have been served better by NOT flying you out there first? Couldn't they have accomplished the same thing by looking at your resume first, and maybe picking up the phone?

This also aligns with my experiences. I'm also from plasma physics. For the most part, companies don't seem to have a need for anyone from that specialty. Material scientists? Yes. Know how to use a SEM/TEM? Yes. Know how to do something that might be useful to them, but takes more than a sentence or two to explain? Not so much.
 

jasonRF

Science Advisor
Gold Member
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This is the kind of stuff I was referring to earlier when it comes to interviews. Wouldn't everyone have been served better by NOT flying you out there first? Couldn't they have accomplished the same thing by looking at your resume first, and maybe picking up the phone?

This also aligns with my experiences. I'm also from plasma physics. For the most part, companies don't seem to have a need for anyone from that specialty. Material scientists? Yes. Know how to use a SEM/TEM? Yes. Know how to do something that might be useful to them, but takes more than a sentence or two to explain? Not so much.
Sure. I was eventually hired (by a physicist!) to become a radar systems engineer. She wanted someone who could understand enough about the hardware, signal processing, physics and phenomenology to be able to make sure all the pieces of our projects worked together in a way that really made sense. It is the kind of thing most PhDs are not really prepared for so employers expect some amount of training will be required, and the kind of thing it takes at least a few years to become reasonably competent at. Those kinds of jobs are where physicists are more likely to get serious consideration, especially experimentalists.

jason
 

analogdesign

Science Advisor
1,132
347
Jason hits on a good point. Defense contractors (and National labs) typically have very large, complex, interdisciplinary projects where no one is a "perfect fit". So they, by necessity, are open to more general people who have demonstrated they have what it takes to learn a new area and get things done. That sounds like you, kinkmode... maybe you can look at the defense industry?
 
182
7
Jason hits on a good point. Defense contractors (and National labs) typically have very large, complex, interdisciplinary projects where no one is a "perfect fit". So they, by necessity, are open to more general people who have demonstrated they have what it takes to learn a new area and get things done. That sounds like you, kinkmode... maybe you can look at the defense industry?
See the PM I sent you yesterday for my specifics.

Defense industry is a possibility, but for the fact that due to non-career related circumstances, I'm geographically limited in my search. I realize this seriously interferes with my ability to get a job. Such is life.

I just find it depressing that my background limits my opportunities so much when limited to a metropolitan area of only 3.5 million people.
 

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