1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Should I being worrying about choosing a specific career?

  1. Jul 6, 2009 #1
    Just recently I have began to panic over what I will do after uni even though I have two full years left. I am studying towards a Bsc physical science with honours but I don't think I can afford to stretch myself financially to carry on in education full time. I would love to study part time (taught masters) and get a job but even if the job market picks up how likely am I to get a job that would be flexible enough?

    I keep reading articles about how sought after physicists are but surely it would be optimistic to assume I will be employed straight away? I am also constantly worried that I have taken the wrong path and I should have gone down the engineering route.

    I chose physics as it is the only subject that I have really wanted to know more about but I have no idea of what I want to do after this degree. Should I just concentrate on my studies or should I also think about my long term career plan?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2009 #2
    I don't understand - you don't believe you'll be able to finish your BS full time? Or you won't be able to get your masters full time? Or both? Most Masters programs pay your school and even pay you a stipend. It isn't much, but you shouldn't have to worry about working during it.

    Personally I would suggest putting aside the idea of working while schooling if you can help it (and I hope more people comment on this). There are certainly examples of how to do this, but it seems a tough road. On the other hand, I would treat your research time as your "internship", and use it to leverage your way into your future job.

    I strongly advise you to do both.
  4. Jul 6, 2009 #3
    They are sought after, remember that physicists are hired across many fields like defence, technology, energy, teaching etc. Normally a bachelor's degree will take you to teaching in schools, working at a technological firm etc. If you aim for a Masters or PhD, you probably will be able to look at a wider selection of occupations.

    They say it over and over again at career fairs in university, think long term. You probably should do your own independent research on different career paths in physics, talk with career advisors etc.
  5. Jul 8, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    It's always wise to have a long term plan.

    The question of a career isn't necessarily one you have to answer over night. You figure it out by trying different things. You have an interest in physics, and now, at your level, you should be trying to figure out what branch of physics you enjoy the most as well as learning as much as you can of the fundamentals and picking up some skills that will increase your employability. Do you like programming? Modeling? Electronics? Are you finding you have an interst in other fields like biology or business?

    Other things that can help you figure out your path include part-time jobs, summer positions, research positions, volunteer work, and work that you do in various clubs (physics students for example can join engineering teams that build solar powered cars amd the like).

    Also, it's not too early to start attending career fairs. Speak with recruiters directly and ask about the skills they're looking for.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook