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Majoring in Physics

  1. Sep 27, 2015 #1
    What are you thoughts about people majoring in physics if they don't plan on going to graduate school for physics? Is it necessary to have a higher degree to have a good career in physics or engineering?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2015 #2
    Physics majors have a fairly low unemployment rate (probably as low as or nearly as low as engineers--and I say that as an engineering student). There are some statistics in some threads on this forum. It is necessary to have a higher degree if you want to work as a physicist. A bachelor's degree really won't do if that's your goal. However, a physics bachelor's degree can be a great starting point for a variety of careers. It's not really the degree that matters, but the skills you learn.

    Now, physics majors might have a harder time finding a job as an engineer than engineering majors. But as long as you develop some marketable skills with your physics major (like programming), you should be good. It's possible to get jobs teaching, in IT, programming, perhaps finance, and, if you have an appropriate background (internships would be the most useful thing to have here), engineering.

    That said, it might be possible to find out where physics majors at your school of choice usually end up after graduation. Since the amount of jobs available in certain fields is highly dependent on your geographic location, this could be a good indicator of whether a physics major is a suitable choice (it often is).

    But remember, the key is to be marketable. Definitely go out and search for internships, because knowing the right people can help you get jobs. I, personally, don't believe a physics degree by itself is very marketable, but physics majors who learn valuable skills are marketable.

    Take this with a grain of salt, but at the same time, I think it's never wrong to develop marketable skills.
     
  4. Sep 27, 2015 #3
  5. Sep 28, 2015 #4
    Department of defense hires physicists and engineers. NOAA, NIST, DO Energy, Department of Commerce hires bachelors in physics and engineering. You need to be a US citizen with a clean record.
     
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