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Physics Physics Major to related career?

  1. Feb 11, 2010 #1
    Sorry about the title of the post (typo) it should read "Physics Major to Finance Related Career"

    I've a BSc in Physics at the moment; majoring in Experimental Physics and minoring in Mathematical Physics. I wanted to know how hard would it be for a physics major like me to transfer to a finance related career. Should I change my minor to statistic or just leave it as Mathematical Physics?

    Also, I found out that it is possible for me to apply to a Masters program in Quantitative Finance (as long as I have a good degree) as a possible conversion course into finance. However, how good would this option be to help get me a decent job in finance and would there be more preference give to a person with a Finance degree rather than a person with a Physics degree and a Finance masters.

    Further, would it be more acceptable to have a Ph.D on top of this?

    Is there anyone here who has experience or knows of someone with experience in a simular situation.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2010 #2


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    a Physics degree means you have the proficiency and the stomach to handle the math in Finance Analysis. I recommend the minor in Statistics, and I recommend a Master in Financial Engineering.
  4. Feb 11, 2010 #3
    There are tons of different jobs within finance, so do you have an idea of what you're kinda interested in? And are you still in school? What year?

    Generally your major doesn't really matter, but if you're coming straight out of undergrad, just a physics major alone probably isn't enough to get you a decent job. You should try getting some sort of experience (internship, part time job, etc...) to show that you're interested in finance and can actually add a bit of value right away. The Quantitative Finance grad program isn't bad idea, as long as you do it at a good school (as you may have noticed, the prestige of your school and your network matter a lot in getting a good gig). But these programs do pigeonhole you somewhat into the more "quant" roles, so be aware.

    Of course, another way to go about it is to get a PhD in Physics first and then try to transition into finance. This route is completely different though than breaking in with only a BS, but you should check out the other thread that talks about getting into the field with a PhD.
  5. Feb 12, 2010 #4
    I was looking into trading or maybe financial analysis, however I'm not too sure yet. I'm only in first year of university and I'm just basically weighing up what I should be aiming for.

    I was looking at University College Dublin or Trinity College Dublin for this grad programme (I don't know if you've heard of them). There the two best universities in Ireland so I say they provide a good course.

    How about BSc in Physcs >> MA/MSc (??) in Finance >> Ph.D. in Finance?
  6. Feb 12, 2010 #5

    Well I know absolutely nothing about the job market in Ireland, or even Europe in general, so your best bet is to probably speak to people working over there. But if you're still a first year and you really do want to head into finance, why don't you just major in finance or economics or something else along those lines? Or double major in Stats/Math and Finance, or major in math with a economics minor. But of course, there's nothing wrong with majoring in physics either (I did!). And since you're still in your first year, my best advice would be to get as much formal internship/work experience as you can, as your experience is much more important than your major.

    I know nothing about the schools in Ireland, but you should try to check out what sorts of jobs people get after graduating from those schools.

    Nothing wrong with the path you mentioned above, assuming your ultimate goal is the have a PhD in Finance. PhD programs are long and tough though, so you better be absolutely sure that its what you want. Again, I don't know about the EU, but here in the US, a PhD is absolutely unnecessary to get a good job in the financial industry; you can make decent money just with a BS, although those jobs are very competitive to get, but definitely not impossible.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  7. Feb 12, 2010 #6
    Unfortunately I can't change my major at all, however I can change my minor, just the system we have over here. We have to choose our major at the end of secondary school (high school). The only way I can do that is to drop out and reapply but that has financial implementations. I have to remain in physics, not that that's a bad thing, I love physics and maths.
  8. Feb 12, 2010 #7
    Yep, nothing wrong with Physics at all... its probably one of the most versatile majors out there.

    Best of luck with everything.
  9. Mar 1, 2012 #8

    i am a graduate in bachelor of science(physics) and currently working in a failure analysis company through microscopy .... everyday we are dealing with SEM and SEM-EDX...i have intention to pursue stdy in master of manufacturing sytem engineering (part time mode)...is it ok to pursue study in manuf. system engn while working in a nanotech and microscopy company?is it relevant?
  10. Mar 1, 2012 #9


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    Now that I am finishing a PhD in Economics. I recommend go for a PhD in Statistics or at least MS in Statistics. MS in Financial Engineering are not a good investment.
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