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Physics Physics as a degree

  1. Apr 24, 2017 #1
    Hi Everybody,
    Currently I am finalizing my Comp Science degree, and will be starting my degree in physics after this.

    I have an incredible thirst for knowledge in what drives our world, unfortunately the field of of physics is so broad studying it all would take a lifetime. While still deciding between studying 'normal' physic or astrophysics, I have a few questions about the path forward in general:

    Our Universities pair a physics degree with either Theoretical or Applied math, what is the difference and which is the better pair?

    Besides teaching and working at research labs (CERN etc.) what other career opportunities are there in Physics? What sort of careers are there in the private sector for graduated physicists?

    Thanks so much for everyone's insight and input :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2017 #2
    NASA, NOAA, NIST, APL, Lockheed, Ball Aerospace, EXELIS (if you like GNSS), dozens of government laboratories (e.g. Sandia Labs) , are one option. \
    Also, FBI, and law enforcement may hire some physicists.

    In the 1980's I interviewed at ATT, Eastman Kodak, Xerox, MITRE, Booz-Allen, and 9 other places, I only had two plant trips and one offer, but I think things are even harder now.

    Teaching is another option, it usually requires a Masters though for colleges, and high school teaching also may require a Masters in the career, eventually.

    What sort of careers are there. Every physicist I know work in a lab or an office (private sector or not). Both types use computers extensively. Office physicists do a lot of math modeling. A few experimentalists that I know write proposals for grants (money), just the same as physicists in academia. I'm sure some theoreticians also compete for grants, but I cannot come up with a name right now.
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