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Programs Physics PhDs with the most programming

  1. Jan 2, 2017 #1
    I should rephrase the title slightly.

    My question is: which physics PhD makes a student most qualified for a job in Google or Facebook?

    In other words, which physics PhD uses the most comprehensive set of programming tools and theoretical computer science techniques?

    Certainly, a PhD in conformal field theory is not useful, but then how would you distinguish between astrophysics, computational physics, theoretical nuclear physics and experimental high energy physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2017 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    2017 Award

    First, I think you should give up on the idea of a PhD. A PhD requires 5 or 6 years of concentrated work on one topic. You can't even start a MS program without bailing out after a few months. Heck, your plans on Saturday aren't what they are today. All this flitting around is simply inconsistent with the sort of long-term, focused effort you need to earn a PhD.

    Besides that, getting a PhD is a collaborative effort, and you have a history of treating people who help you badly. There was the time you wanted a professor to hold an offer for you, just in case you didn't get your first choice. There is your current professor who has a right to know that you are really pursuing another program entirely. Heck, even here you have a history of trying to skirt the no-duplicate messages rule by carefully crafting your messages so they aren't exactly the same. And for that matter, who hear have you helped? It's all been "me me me me!". This doesn't make people want to help you, which is absolutely necessary if you want to succeeed in graduate school.

    As for your specific question, it's not the subject of study that matters, it's the skills you acquire. That's determined much more by your research project than the field in which your research project sits.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  4. Feb 28, 2017 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    It's good to have a backup plan when attending college in order to be confident of getting a job when you escape the academic life.

    I was a physics major with an interest in programming and when I graduated was picked up by a well-known company in my hometown and trained as a company programmer. That was the way things were done before the advent of the CS degree.

    Now specialization has taken hold in nearly every white collar job. If companies want programmers to web apps then they hire CS people who've taken some web, database or systems courses. They don't select other majors usually unless you have a backdoor, a friend or relative who can get you an interview.

    BME folks suffer a similar fate when looking for jobs as the degree is fairly new. Companies either want to hire a biologist or and ME and sometimes look at BME folks as half biologists half ME and so are viewed as lesser candidates.

    In your case, if you are worried about job prospects then just major in CS with some business course backing or science course backing as your backup plan and pursue your physics interest when you have some working experience under your belt and the money to,further your education. Many companies will pay for your courses as part of your benefits package realizing this makes a more valuable employee.
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