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Physics PhD: industry jobs abroad

  1. Sep 23, 2013 #1
    Hi guys, I did have a search through the forum but I didn't find anything quite like my question. Perhaps someone might offer me some advice.

    I'm a UK physics PhD student, with about 18 months before I graduate (in principle). At this point I am beginning to get a little fed up of academia and I think that this sort of life is not for me. I have no firm plans at the moment, but suffice it to say that I'm considering careers in oil and gas, other industry, or perhaps even something as left-field as management consultancy.

    In any event, my priority is to move abroad for a few years, preferably to the United States.

    The main issue I think here is visa issues: I am a British citizen and (so far as I can deduce) currently ineligible for US citizenship.

    I am aware that some employers will sponsor a foreigner. Unfortunately the only places I know who will do this for someone in my rather junior position are the US national labs, which is less than ideal.

    Does anyone have any experience with making this sort of a move?

    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2013 #2


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    Gold Member

    You don't need citizenship - you only need a work visa for now, and if you want to stay you would need to obtain a "green card" ... which requires that you have a job. Your employer will obtain the visa for you if they want you.

    So first you need to find a job.

    Why do you think oil and gas would be a good fit? You want to fit your skills to the employer; computer skills are widely needed, so extensive computer modelling and high performance computing may be attractive to oil and gas, especially if you have some geological physics.

    Or if you have solid state fabrication experience - clean room, etc - then silicon valley always has jobs.

    I have known many young scientists who spent a few years in the national labs, then went on into industry. The experience beyond the university can be very valuable.
  4. Sep 26, 2013 #3


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    Why are national labs less than deal? I work at one, it's great fun.
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