Switching Career to Physics-- Desperately Need Advice I have to make a fairly critical decision in the coming days, and though I have tried to read up as much as possible on the relevant material, I am in desperate need of some guidance. Please, any help at all is extremely appreciated! I’ve been a general science teacher for three years, but find the career quite dissatisfying and even disillusioning. Over the past year I have been taking night courses in physics and math, so that I have enough experience to jump into taking classes full-time. And that has essentially been the plan—I intended to leave my job this year and had what I felt was a detailed course-by-course plan of what would allow me to acquire a Master’s in physics within two years. From there I would be interested in a Ph. D program. My wife works, and so we can get by for two years on her income and I don’t have any doubt over my passion for the field of physics, but from what I have read and in general heard about the job outlook in physics, I am suddenly doubting whether my plan is a prudent one. Currently, it seems very difficult (to say the least) to acquire a career in physics, and what I don’t want is to is quit my unfulfilling job for something that will take my approximately 10 years (b/w the two years prior to the Ph. D, the Ph. D and then a post-doc or two) to find out that there is very little available. As I am 29 and married, I can’t ask my wife to leave her job and switch cities every year. I am in NYC, which has more options than other cities, and I wouldn’t be opposed to moving if the right opportunity came by, but it can’t become a routine. Some say the job market will improve after the baby-boomers retire, others do not see this happening. Some also say the condensed matter physics is a blossoming field—but is that only relatively or are there really reasonable prospects? I am open to alternatives to academia, but the key is that I want to be involved within a career where I employ physics on a daily basis—and though not 100% ideal, I would even consider engineering if it allowed me to stay reasonably close to physics. I have also heard mixed reviews on careers in defense or other forms of industry, in terms of the likelihood of securing a career. Certainly some of these paths would not require the physics Ph. D, but all would need considerably more than I have right now in either physics or engineering. My heart is sold on physics, but I can’t let myself run into a dead-end at this point in my life. Could you please help provide some insight into my situation?