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Physics Security clearance worth trying to keep for physics career?

  1. Nov 3, 2012 #1
    I am currently a physics major undergraduate and i hold a security clearance from previous work. It expires in 2014 and I wanted to know if it was worth the hassel of trying to get it renewed? keeping in mind that i plan to pursue a phd in physics. getting it renewed wont be easy as i currently dont do any work that uses it. basically how useful is it in the physics world and should I worry about keeping it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2012 #2


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    Education Advisor

    Usually, I would say having one can only help you, but the last time I applied for one, I could've sworn there was a section about why I needed one. I don't think "just because it looks good" would suffice.
  4. Nov 3, 2012 #3
    well i was going to try to keep it open by applying to an internship where it would be needed, think cia, nsa, fbi or something. Even though it woundnt be work i was necessarily intrested in. thats why I wanted to know how valuable it is. lucking into an internship at one of those places isnt easy and i didnt want to waste time when i could be doing research.
  5. Nov 4, 2012 #4
    The latest numbers I've seen (in the academic pyramid thread in this forum) suggest that more than 50% of physics phds are forced out of science (by lack of opportunity) immediately after the phd, and that within 5 years, more than 75% of physics phds are totally out of science.

    In such a competitive environment, any edge is worth courting.
  6. Nov 4, 2012 #5
    If you end up in defense work, already having a security clearance would be a huge benefit. Given the time and expense of getting one, it is a powerful incentive for an employer to hire someone who comes with a clearance. If you can keep it, it will be useful. At the least, you will have a competitive edge later.
  7. Nov 4, 2012 #6

    Dr Transport

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    Gold Member

    to keep your clearance, you need a sponsor, if you are in school full time and not working for someone who requires a clearance, it'll expire
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