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Masters or Ph.D for a Research Career?

  1. Jun 4, 2012 #1


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    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.
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  3. Jun 4, 2012 #2


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    This is not making much sense. If you realize that "jobs in this field are few and far between" in astrophysics, etc., then what makes you think getting just a Masters degree makes it any better? You do know that for that type of jobs, you'll be competing with those who have PhDs. Who do you think potential employers would tend to hire?

  4. Jun 4, 2012 #3


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    Ideally, astrophysics would be my first choice but I'm being realistic at this point and moving onto my second and third choices. I'm just generally inquiring into the options I would have for a research job in physics with a masters degree alone or is there no such thing? I'm willing to do a Ph.D program if it's absolutely necessary for any type of research position.
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