I'm still in lower division so I know this is jumping the gun, but I wanted to ask this now while I still have time to ponder. Originally my end goal was to get a Ph.D because I want to do research ideally in astrophysics, although I'm well aware that jobs in this field are few and far between so my second choice would be atomic physics. However, I've recently changed my mind to settling on a masters degree because I know that also involves independent research and I'm not so sure I want to spend the extra years obtaining a Ph.D. But is a Ph.D necessary if I want to do any type of research in physics? Or will a masters degree suffice? I'm not dreaming about a university position. I'd probably either go into a government or industry job. Thanks for any responses I do get.