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New physics BS grad - job search help?

  1. Jul 7, 2014 #1
    Just got my physics BS, looking for any tips for job hunting and job titles that I could be qualified for. I've been running into constant walls trying to find jobs that I'm qualified for with just a Physics BS

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, and if anyone has tips for finance related jobs I am qualified for that would be appreciated too. I always heard from professors that physicists are looked at positively in the finance industry , but don't know what types of jobs I could qualify for
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2014 #2
  4. Jul 9, 2014 #3
    could anyone help out with specific "job titles" i'm qualified for ?
  5. Jul 9, 2014 #4
    Well, that's a point of contention here on this site. jesse73 was pointing out a specific case, but you can find dozens more if you do a search. This topic has been heavily discussed over the past decade.

    It would be better if you listed the skills you had. Programming languages, lab instruments (TEM, SEM etc), software packages, job experience, specialized training. Solving physics/math problems on paper doesn't count. That would help point you in one direction or another.
  6. Jul 9, 2014 #5
    Check with electric power companies that operate nuclear units. Their "reactor engineering" departments sometimes hire physics bachelors. They prefer nuclear engineering graduates or ex-navy nukes but many that I have been to also have physics bachelors on staff. The reactor vendors (Westinghouse, GE, Areva) also sometimes hire people with physics degrees.
  7. Jul 9, 2014 #6


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    Unless you are looking for a job like "Electrical Engineer", conducting a job search by job title won't work. Job titles mean nothing. In my current job, my job title changed three times, all while I was doing the same job.

    Use keywords like "analysis", "statistics", "laboratory", etc.

    Are you constrained geographically?
  8. Jul 9, 2014 #7
    Public school teacher and graduate student are the only obvious ones I can think of. Beyond that, it depends on your specific skills like Locrian mentions. Did you have any undergraduate research experience?
  9. Jul 9, 2014 #8
    Search for Research Analyst, Product Analyst, Data Analyst
  10. Jul 9, 2014 #9


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    Have you had any engineering courses? That is a natural for a physics majors. It used to be easy to break in with just a physics degree, but, it still isn't bad if you know your stuff. Talent is still has value. Any good recruiter knows you can the learn the engineering junk on the fly without being much of a burden. Engineering is just applied physics. It might help to take a cad course, or two, if you have the time - it will definitely elevate your stock.
  11. Jul 10, 2014 #10
    I disagree with this. It's very hard for Physics BS to jump right into an engineering job these days. This is why you see "Tons" of topics in this forum about job hunting for BS Physics majors. Even entry level double E jobs are asking for some experience. "CAD" courses will not give you an engineering job. It may give you a drafter position which is not a bad position IMO. You can learn a lot in a drafter's position specifically how systems operate in a real world scenario.
  12. Jul 10, 2014 #11


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    Nice satire! :)
  13. Jul 10, 2014 #12
    I hope so.
  14. Jul 11, 2014 #13
    Where do you live? In the UK, most graduate jobs require no specific degree. So your physics degree qualifies you to apply to most graduate jobs in the UK.

    Failing that, just type 'mathematics' into any job search engine and you will find jobs that say things like, 'Degree in mathematics or related ... Mathematics or other numerate degree'. A physics degree may help you get an interview here but bear in mind everyone applying has a similar degree so your application is not on this basis special. You may stand out more applying for the non-specific degree jobs.

    My anecdatum anyway is that the vast majority of jobs requiring numerate degrees are after people who can analyse data and program, so if your physics degree gave you any of those, it's something to think about.
  15. Jul 12, 2014 #14
    This. Be very flexible (read: willing to take unpleasant jobs nobody else wants, or unskilled labor) if you are unable/unwilling to get a graduate degree or cannot realistically network/talk your way into a low level technical job that makes use of a specific skillset you picked up during undergrad.
  16. Jul 21, 2015 #15
    I would like to comment that a graduate degree in Engineering, Atmospheric Science, or any Applied Science field is your best means of employment. That being said, a Physics BS can definitely do more than just teach. As others have said, look into studying to become an actuary or possibly doing some 6 month (or less??) certification programs for programming languages. A person having certified C++ , Java, Python, Fortran , etc. will be just as well off (if not better ) than just getting a CS degree. Certifications specifically focus on programming and its utilization in industry.

    I hate that BS Physics people have limited options (since I am one of those people), but the options for higher study can balance it out. If you have any quetions about more options, just message me.

    I was in a crisis in life, until I switched universities and got into an MS in Electrical Engineering with a Materials emphasis.
  17. Jul 21, 2015 #16
    How many more old threads will you bumb?

    Pretty pointless in case of advice threads. The OP is lone gone; july 18th 2014.
  18. Jul 21, 2015 #17
    Sometimes people will come back and read old advice threads. I just feel like I need to be an encouraging force since I have been stressed out about similar situations in my academic career.

    I am very realistic, but that does not mean I have to be dreary about every situation.
  19. Jul 21, 2015 #18
    I hope that's just an excuse and it was a honest mistake. I too once almost replied after I clicked on 'similar discussions'.
  20. Jul 21, 2015 #19
    No it was not a mistake. Granted I did not see the year, but the point was to let people know that they have options.

    I think we get so caught up in our research and knowledge on career and academia that we forget there is still a person who is asking us something. And granted everybody has the right to say what they want. But I want to make sure my messages are realistic yet helpful. I have said some things that have not been worded the best, but I wish everyone the best.
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