Masters or phd to work at natioanl lab or industry?

In summary, the speaker is graduating with a BS in physics and is considering pursuing a career in renewable energy. They are unsure about whether to attend grad school and are wondering if an applied or engineering physics program would be the best path for them. They are also unsure about which degree would be appropriate for their desired career path, as they are interested in both physics and engineering. They currently intern at a company and enjoy the hands-on work, but want to explore other options. The suggestion is made to pursue a Master's degree and potentially a PhD in the future to gain practical research experience and increase job opportunities.
  • #1
pablo4429
19
0
So, I am going to be graduating with a BS in physics next spring and I am unsure about what to to about grad school. I think I would like to work on renewable energy at a national lab or in an upcoming industrial company. I was thinking about going somewhere with an applied or engineering physics program, is this the correct path to seek? I really enjoy physics but almost equally enjoy the hands on, applicable side of engineering, so I figure a mix of the two would be ideal. Which level of degree would be appropriate for this type of career? would a master limit me to how far I can move up or whether or not I could oversee a project, which is what I think I would most like to do. Would a phd over qualify me for many positions and limit my job opportunities? I read the sticky and it helped a little, but the section about industry was lacking. I currently intern at general atomics and love what I do there and could really imagine working at a place like that for a career. However, I know there arent a whole lot of places like it so I want to expand my options.
thanks all, i really appreciate it
 
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  • #2
I think you should definitely do a Master! After that you could do a PhD in the R&D of company that works in renewable energies or the like. You get to do hands-on practical research, supervised also by a university professor and you get already also some insight on how a company works.
 
  • #3
After 20 years of experience if won't matter if you have a phd or masters. But in the short term it will matter which degree you have. If you want to do research then a phd will not over qualify you. If you don't have a phd then you are only handicapping yourself compared to other in your field.
 

1. What is the difference between a Master's and a PhD degree?

A Master's degree is typically a two-year graduate degree that focuses on a specific field of study. It is considered to be a more advanced level of education than a Bachelor's degree. A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is a more specialized and research-oriented degree that usually takes 4-6 years to complete. It is the highest level of academic achievement and prepares individuals for careers in research and academia.

2. Which degree is more beneficial for working at a national lab or in industry?

Both a Master's and a PhD degree can be beneficial for working at a national lab or in industry, but it ultimately depends on the specific job and company. A PhD may be more necessary for research and leadership positions, while a Master's degree may be sufficient for technical and entry-level roles.

3. What skills are important for working at a national lab or in industry?

Some important skills for working in a national lab or in industry include strong analytical thinking, problem-solving abilities, technical expertise, teamwork, and communication skills. These skills can be developed through both Master's and PhD programs, as well as through internships and practical experience.

4. Are there any specific programs or courses that can help prepare for a career at a national lab or in industry?

There are many programs and courses available that can help prepare for a career at a national lab or in industry, such as engineering, computer science, and data analysis courses. Additionally, internships, research projects, and participation in professional organizations can also provide valuable experience and skills.

5. Is it necessary to have a Master's or PhD degree to work at a national lab or in industry?

While having a higher level degree can be beneficial for certain roles, it is not always necessary to have a Master's or PhD to work at a national lab or in industry. Many positions may only require a Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience. It is important to research the specific job requirements and qualifications for the desired career path.

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