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Physics Switching Fields from IT/Networking to Physics

  1. Sep 13, 2012 #1

    Okay so I got a BS in physics and was so eager to work and get financially stable that I jumped into the IT world. Job outlook is pretty good. My pay has been steadily increasing and after only about 3 years of being in the field, I'm in the low 60k range. This was also due to a pretty aggressive pursuit of experience, training, self-study and certifications on my part.

    So now I have a good career that I see endless growth potential for, except for one problem: I am bored to tears!

    My field of expertise that I focused on was networking (firewalls and security, routing and switching, Microsoft products like Active Directory, Exchange and Sharepoint). But I miss physics and math and I am slowly getting frustrated and resentful with what I am doing. The more stuff that I have to learn for my current field, the more I feel I am wasting my time.

    So I realize that I can't drop what I am doing and magically become a "physicist". I am realistic. What avenues can I pursue? Maybe an interdisciplinary field where I could use my experience? I am also very interested in developing strong programming skills, where I've had some experience. Should I focus on growing my programming skills and find something where programming and knowledge of networking skills could be handy?

    Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2012 #2
    Oh also I realize that I will need to pursue more schooling...I am not set on a specific field of physics, but I am hoping to find something where experience in networking or communications and programming could come in handy...
  4. Sep 13, 2012 #3
    In general a PhD is a necessary for most actual jobs in physics. A PhD provides no guarantee of a job though. Lots of physics PhDs end up doing jobs like you are now... It depends on lot on what you specialize in during grad school and what skills you pick up.

    The only other advice I have is to stay away from high energy experiment a.k.a. LHC related stuff. After you've finished your classes there really isn't all that much need for advanced math. Doing research is almost entirely a software and hardware problem. Your current experience would be helpful, but you'd doing things very similar to what you're doing now. Might not help with your current boredom.
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