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Physics Jobs in Physics?

  1. Apr 27, 2010 #1
    I'll soon be studying Physics at the Univerty of Waterloo (Canada) and I was wondering what type of jobs are available once I have graduated, assuming I have a bachelor degree in Physics.

    Second question, if I get a Master's in Physics, what kind of jobs would there be?

    Third question, how does one attain a PhD in Physics? I see people posting that they have completed/are in the process of completion of their PhD in Physics and I was wondering how, such as in this thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=398268 Don't you have to publish twice amongst other things in order to get a PhD?

    I'm extremely uninformed.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2010 #2
    I don't know about the Canadian system. As far as I know, for Ph.d study, you have a couple options available. For example, my professor did a 5-years Physics concentration that gave him BS and MS in Physics. He moved on to Ph.D and received it in three years. So he spent eight years. Another way is simply finish your 4-years BS, and then apply for M.S. Similarly, you can also choose to apply M.S. + Ph.D program. The amount of time varies from one school to another. There are many exceptions, in particular regionally.

    What I am trying to point out is that regardless which option you choose in the end, you will expect a minimal of 8 years before you get your Ph.D (assuming you are not the next Steven Hokpins or Sir Issac Newton).

    On behalf of physics career, beside academic career (researcher, professorship, and etc), one usually finds physics major are well-fit in almost any science and engineering fields that require intensive science and mathematics knowledge. Although physicists are not necessarily the greatest mathematicians (in fact, many famous physicists are not great mathematicians), but those who understand physics often find themselves more prepared while working at a different field.

    While you think that engineers do engineering stuff, that's not true in the industry. It is true that electrical engineers and computer engineers work together to design the circuity of a CPU. But physicists, chemists, and even biologists are also working hard behind these guys.

    Physics, like engineering, requires intensive thinking and solving skills. After graduation, many engineers work in financial sectors, because they are very good problem solvers.

    Whatever I say only reflect what I hear from other physics graduates and professors that I normally hang out with. They always tell me that being a physicist is like being a conductor.

    Last but the least, just another emphasis: physics is THE fundamental study of nature. One may become a specialist, but a physicist is often very knowledgeable about science.
  4. Apr 30, 2010 #3
    Thanks for the reply, I understand more now :)
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