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Please I really need somebody's opinion

  1. Jul 16, 2010 #1
    Hello everybody, can somebody please answer for me, in detail, what can I do with a physics degree? I am asking this because it is a passion of mine to go to school for astrophysics or theoretical physics (I am currently attending a community college and I don’t really have money). In the past have been indecisive about what I wanted to do for a career. But physics has always been the thing that popped out at me. I mean, I really want physics and math. However, my sister is discouraging me saying that I should not shoot for that and that I should go into something that will most likely guarantee me a job, something that has high demand like radiography or something. I definitely would like a job when I am finished with school. On a different note, there are too many people trying to be a nurse and I’m more interested in the physical sciences, especially physics and mathematics. I just don’t know what to do. I have thought about trying to be a teacher/professor in math and/or physics. Somebody please help me out with their advice! Thank you.
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  3. Jul 16, 2010 #2
    Follow your passion. I won't try an mislead you and say that a career in astrophysics or theoretical physics, or even a University Professor are the easiest things to do, but even if you can't attain one of those lofty goals, you will do well even in falling a little short. If you believe in your passion and your ability, just go for it.
  4. Jul 16, 2010 #3


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    I have a BS in physics and I've not had much trouble getting a job. But that's mostly because I work in a limited field, and your reputation gets you the job, not so much what's on your resume.

    But I would say that if you plan to stop at a BS, it's probably easier to get a job with an engineering degree, than with one in physics. Many engineering fields overlap significantly with physics (mechanical and electrical, e.g.). Have you considered engineering?
  5. Jul 16, 2010 #4
    The quantative and analytic skills you will learn as a physics student will serve you well in most any susbequent career(s). Math majors, for example, have do really,really well on Wall Street as analysists, developers of financial models, and even those now maligned "derivatives". A friend with a physics degree decided to work in a wine store for several years, then got a job working on gyroscopes, and now travels to a number of countries doing failure analysis.

    A physics student would make a good wall street analyst of technology companies if that student also learned finance....or could be a technology consultant to financial analyists...a finance student doesn't know beans about physics....or technology....

    My daughter just started working for an Opthamologist (doctor) as a technician...The doctor first got a degree majoring in optical engineering (or optical physics, I forget which)...then decided to study a LOT more to be a doctor....I wonder who designs contact lenses, for example, those are changing all the time....

    Try taking an electrical and/or mechanical engineering course(s) if any of those interest you...or take extra math...you might not use it, but you'll not reget it either....or a course or two in materials science....

    I'll bet they have some physicsts working the oil rig leak in the Gulf of Mexico....for example. maybe even designing the original "cap" for example. I studied electrical engineering and nuclear physics..reactor theory...never worked either. Went into management. Companies loved that technical training...proved I could learn complex stuff...and likely manage technical people, which I did.

    Also, consider taking a lower level job in a technical area without a degree, and going to school while your employer pays to further your education. I did that for a while, too, and it was time consuming and tiring...but worthwhile.

    I have seen MANY similar posts in the careers section in these forums...check the list of posts, you find many of interest....
  6. Jul 17, 2010 #5
    Physicists are extremely employable. Look around the forums and you'll find literally thousands of threads exactly like this. I don't know why, but it seems many physics students are totally unaware of the skills they're learning during their degree. Desirable skills that apply to many different fields. The important thing to consider is that to most employers your undergraduate degree is very little about the knowledge you have learned, and much more about the skills set i.e. you have proved that you can do it.

  7. Jul 17, 2010 #6

    Dr Transport

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    Plain and simple advice, get educated in your area of passion, you'll figure out a way to make a living when all is said and done.
  8. Jul 17, 2010 #7
    When you have an interest in your career you will work harder and therefore prosper. Go with what you like to do, not have to do. I believe in people who are of the areas of math and science. This is because I have the same problem.
  9. Jul 22, 2010 #8
    Yes Lisa, I have highly considered engineering in my near past. I really adore the subject of physics as a whole, but I would really like to get into astrophysics or theoretical physics... The ones that explore the questions and answers of our universe as a whole. I would have to go passed a Bachelor's for that. What do you think? Thanks for your advice!
  10. Jul 22, 2010 #9


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    If that's what makes your heart race, by all means, go for it :smile: and best of luck to you!
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