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Physicist. Stay with intellectual tasks. More people contact. -> Consulting, ?

  1. Aug 28, 2008 #1
    I'm graduating in physics and got the feeling that I prefer a career with more team work unlike being a sole researcher. I know they meet and discuss stuff, but yet I prefer something more dynamic than standard research. And also more multifaceted tasks would be ideal. I like to analyse problems find innovative solution, but leave the execution to others :-)

    Any ideas what job areas offer a balance between dynamic work in industry and intellectual work in science research?

    "Consulting" sprung to my mind, however it shouldn't be the big companies that have a huge work load and mostly tasks which require a lot and efficient work rather than original ideas.

    Is there a "consulting" branch closer to analytical thinking? Or any other suggestions where to search?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2008 #2
    I believe this is called engineering design.
  4. Aug 28, 2008 #3
    Management consulting is the occupation where you apply this procedure to the organization and operation of businesses. A number of consulting firms--most notably McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, and Boston Consulting Group--like to hire scientists and engineers as management consultants.
  5. Aug 28, 2008 #4
    There is lots of travelling in consultancy, and long hours. This is no different to academic research I guess, but I doubt you become as passionate about consulting problems as academic ones, and the passion is key to why most researchers put in those hours and sacrifice some lifestyle elements.

    In the UK the most notable tech/IT consultancies are Accenture, IBM, Deloitte, Cap Gemini but also check out places like Detica which works primarily in the National Security area, could be interesting.

    Personally if I was planning on a career outside academia, and was willing to put in long hours, I'd go with an investment bank. The hours are prob a little bit longer than consultancy, but not much and the pay will be much much more , also there is little travelling. You could work in there technology department so you still have a hands on technical role, and if you have a PhD you could join as a 'Quant' and prob start on ~£50k (100USD)
  6. Aug 28, 2008 #5


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    Have you considered medical physics?

    In medical physics you work as part of a dynamic team in your clinical duties, solving problems for physicians, radiation therapists, and treatment planners. On top of that you can be active in some very multifaceted research that is often translated very quickly into the clinic. Of course, you definately need to follow through with the execution of any solutions you provide.
  7. Sep 3, 2008 #6
    Medical physics is one of the classical areas, but I had excluded it so far, since I thought I don't know anything about biology and I do not want to work by just executing some real experts order and not knowing the whole picture. Am I wrong on this?
  8. Sep 3, 2008 #7
    I absolutely want to avoid having some stressful work for long hours. But actually I don't find travelling that bad, so I wouldn't count that as working hours (apart from not having time left to meat friends). On the other hand I hate writing any kinds of report or doing "stupid" fact collecting. This kind of "assembly work" I find very hard to do for long.

    I searched for some information on these. I think IT would not be interesting for me, as there isn't really anything new that one can be curious about. Maybe technology is an option though. I should check which consultings specialize on this.

    I want to have a job that I find exciting. Usually anything complex and new I do find exciting. However in a bank I would be afraid of just crunching numbers and programming well known algorithms. Is that correct?
    The only interesting part of economics would be the theory with all the game theoretical approach, but that's again a different realm.
  9. Sep 3, 2008 #8
    I did original research when I was working at an investment bank.
  10. Sep 3, 2008 #9
    What was that?
  11. Sep 3, 2008 #10


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    Generally you are taught the biology/anatomy/physiology you need in graduate school or in a residency program. The programs are designed for physicists, not biologists or physicians.
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