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The economy and jobs

  1. Mar 4, 2009 #1
    I am physics major who has tried applying to all types of internships and jobs and have not had any luck? This trouble led me to apply to PhD programs were I have had greater success than finding a fulltime job I suspect this might be due to the economy but not sure. Are there any jobs other than with Northrop/Boeing/Ratheon that I should be applying to were I could get a fulltime position to gather money before graduate school/September?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2009 #2
    I'm guessing you're primarily interested in the aerospace/defense industry? Don't forget Lockheed Martin. And the billion other smaller start-up companies like SpaceX or Odyssey Space Research.
  4. Mar 4, 2009 #3
    I tried Lockheed but had the least luck with them and Boeing because they are constantly canceling positions and never have had a response from them. I am abit more interested in aerospace but am not limited to aerospace and am open to any industry.
  5. Mar 5, 2009 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    Are you asking to find a position that will only last ~6 months? No company is going to hire you for that (retail excepted). It will cost them a huge amount of money, and they will get near zero productivity out of you.

    Unfortunately, it's a really bad time to be looking for work. Find someplace to weather the storm.
  6. Mar 5, 2009 #5


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    One option might be to contact the department you're planning to do graduate work at and see if anyone in the department has funding to hire a student for the summer. It's not unheard of for some graduate student to start lab work in the summer immediately following their undergraduate degree before officially beginning in the fall.

    Andy has a good point that if you're looking for something for only 6 months, it will be a tough slog. That's not even enough time to cover most maternity leaves.

    The other advice I have is to consider what skills you currently have. What part time jobs did you have while you went through undergrad? What organizations did you volunteer with? What kinds of hobbies do you have? Essentially, you need to determine what your most marketable traits are and then identify target industires that need those traits.
  7. Mar 5, 2009 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    That's true even in the best of times.
  8. Mar 5, 2009 #7
    Im confused arent internships(contract jobs) especially summer < 6 Months that clearly is a contradiction with no
    one will hire you for 6 months or less. Sorry for being a little contrarian with that advice given but it is clearly not true and discouraging.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  9. Mar 5, 2009 #8
    I cant start as a summer student because a big part of wanting a job was the experience in a non-research environment and to save money to move to a different state.

    I have experience with programming, analysis, and tutoring.
  10. Mar 5, 2009 #9

    Andy Resnick

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    I thought you were looking for a job, this is very different from a internship.
  11. Mar 5, 2009 #10
    jo, internship, paid position of any sort to save money.
  12. Mar 6, 2009 #11
    In four years you will see people with signs "will work for food." In situation like this, you will take on any job. I mean literally any job. You want some good piece of advise? Get an entry level job in your field today (without any degree) and go to college part time. Before you graduate, make sure your degree will give you a promotion and you will not over-qualify.
  13. Mar 6, 2009 #12
    I want to hear more comments on this...
  14. Mar 6, 2009 #13


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    It's ill-informed speculation. Things arent as bad as mass-media depicts. Chill.
  15. Mar 6, 2009 #14
    There's always a market for smart people. When all else fails, get smarter. Learn more physics and mathematics.
  16. Mar 6, 2009 #15


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    Thats pretty naive/simplistic advice like if all fails start a business and become a millionaire.
  17. Mar 6, 2009 #16
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  18. Mar 6, 2009 #17
    I call BS on a lot of that (your link has a lot of refutations as well). Maybe engineers like engineering??? It can be more fulfulling than having 'fun in college' (I had plenty) and making it to 'management'. Who else is going to design the future?

    You can be an engineer and an entrepreneur and you technically have no salary cap.

    I don't see what you're trying to do here. Stir up the pot? Get kids to pursue management jobs, MDs, law degrees???

    Bottom line is I feel like engineering is a fairly important field on the forefront of the major problems facing human kind. All your complaints are just noise.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  19. Mar 6, 2009 #18


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    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  20. Mar 7, 2009 #19
    Unbelievably silly, even.

    The few true things in that article seem like advantages to me! (I like the fact that so much work is concentrated in a few areas... it makes it easier to find a job nearby. I enjoy workplace diversity, being a card-carrying liberal with all that entails.)

    I'll also add, I'm in my 40's, and have never worried about keeping a job. I've never been personally interested in management, but most of the managers I've known have been engineers, including the CEOs of a majority of the companies that I've worked for.
  21. Mar 7, 2009 #20
    When school districts are laying off 40% of the certified teachers because their budgets are slashed, then things are as bad as the mass-media depicts.

    I'm a physics teacher and I'm losing my job along with a few dozen other teachers in my district. When I started three years ago, people commented that while the pay was (relatively) low, the job security was GREAT, and that if science teachers were getting laid off it would be because everything was going completely downhill. Three of the seven of us in my department are being let go under a Reduction In Force (RIF).
  22. Mar 8, 2009 #21
    To all: teaching lost job security because of artificially created 'teacher shortages'. This way hiring committees can keep the starting salary low. It benefits them to close down schools and let people go, so next wave can be hired at the same or lower cost.

    To ks_physicist: my condolences to your situation and I hope you schmooze around (e.g. play golf with school principal or some prominent colleagues) to get back on-board. Teaching has never been more elitist than it is today.

    To other responders: thank you for keeping optimistic in this economic recession. Take whatever I say with a grain of salt, but remember: science and engineering are wonderful things that you and I love. When you have to put food on the table - there is a different story.
  23. Mar 10, 2009 #22
    Now that thread was semi-hijacked i have a question. Will graduating from a top 50 graduate school as opposed to top 15 matter when applying to jobs post PhD or is based more on the enthusiasm of my recommenders and networking?

    After graduating from top 15 I gathered it only open doors but doesnt mean as much between top 100 schools as work experience/networking at least post undergrad is it similar post -PhD?
  24. Mar 10, 2009 #23


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    Scenario 1:
    An employer looks at an applicant, immediately skipping through his or her resume/CV down to the education section, noting the school name, and then making a hiring decision based on the rank the school has been given based on a somewhat arbitrary set of criteria that likely have little to do with the employer's business.

    Scenario 2:
    An employer looks at an applicant, immediately skipping through his or her resume/CV down to the relevant experience and qualifications. The hiring decision is based on whether the skills the candidate can bring to the position match up with the current need within the employer's organization.

    It seems self-evident to me.
  25. Mar 10, 2009 #24
    On the hand I have seem people who have networked for their jobs create

    Scenario 3:
    An employer looks at an applicant, immediately skipping through his or her resume/CV down to the relevant experience and qualifications. Then hires because he knows C and can learn any needed skills on the job in C's opinion.

    That is what scares me abit.
  26. Mar 10, 2009 #25
    Why not try teaching for a few years until the job market improves? You will be competing with unemployed finance wizards for math teaching jobs, so maybe getting into physics teaching will be easier!?
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