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Physics graduates that take teaching jobs, and later move on...

  1. Aug 10, 2017 #1
    Hi all! It's my first message. I am Nice to meet you! I would like your thoughts about the fact that many physics teachers leave profession during the first 5 years of teaching in UK mostly due to low income. What kind of jobs do you believe those physics graduates (who started their career in teaching) will pursue after leaving teaching and what skills are needed ? Is there anyone here , that left teaching for something else? Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2017 #2
    I'm in the US. I taught for one semester between Masters and my career change - I thought I would teach for more, but got very lucky with a quick job offer. I think this meets the requirements you mention, but barely.

    I switched from teaching into actuarial work. Since I'm in the US, the process of becoming an actuary is different than it is for you in the UK. However, I think it may still be a path of interest. After 7 years in actuarial work I switched to decision science.
  4. Aug 10, 2017 #3
    I am a (retired) engineering Professor in the US. I have switched back and forth between industry, consulting, and teaching quite a few times. It is not a very good way to get to the top (although was a full prof with tenure), but it has been fun and very, very interesting. I'm quite sure that I am a much better teacher after the industrial experience than I was before. Every new industrial experience gave me quite a few new insights (I was never in the same industry twice), and I bring all of that to the classroom.
  5. Aug 11, 2017 #4
    Thanks alot for the replies.
  6. Aug 31, 2017 #5
    For what it's worth, the pay is only low if you live in the South where everything is expensive. Up North I live like a king.

    It's not really the money that drives people out of physics teaching. It's the workload and not getting to do that much physics teaching. Stick around long enough and you'll develop some discretion about what is worth spending time on. Younger staff don't have the experience to do that and they are easier to push around. As a result they get worked half to death and then quit.
  7. Aug 31, 2017 #6


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    If one wants to teach and has some degree in Physics, understand that Physics might not be most of what the schools will want you to teach. You will be a SCIENCE teacher, maybe "general" or "physical" science teacher -- NOT a Physics teacher specifically. Later, if you are trying to find a job in industry after only teaching, the prospective employers may misunderstand your knowledge and skills initially toward favorability until they are informed rightly, or judge against you for not having relevant industry experience.
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