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Thought about graduate school and

  1. Jan 12, 2006 #1
    Thought about graduate school and....

    I am a senior undergraduate student in Physics (last year is in progress with a GPA that is very close to a B+)..have been around these forums for nearly 2 years now and would like to ask a few questions regarding post-undergrad opportunities. I am planning to put in a grad school application although am curious about other options open to me. I have read through ZapperZ' s thread and several others on here, over the last 2 years.

    When I started out, it was only graduate school...I did not want to do anything but Physics...no Biology, no Philosophy, no Chemistry, no Computer Science..nothing else once I got my undergrad degree. Having gone through the strains of getting this degree, I have become perhaps more curious about finding out information about employment beyond the undergrad level that would be potentially open to a Physics student, should they choose to go down that road.

    I have been told of physics graduates going into accounting and computer science fields and have a few questions regarding such fields and employment options.

    Relating to the accounting issue, that is something that was mentioned in a differential equations course in relation to their modelling skills (professor trying to motivate students and, in his case, get us interested in the Boston University Ordinary Differential Equations Project). When they mean problem-solving skills...do they mean things like modelling ODEs and PDEs for example? And would these people be employed at places like banks or other kinds of financial institutions? Physics majors don' t usually have acess to such information (relating to a totally different field) about the workplace.

    In reference to Computer Science, I think that most Physics students who get employment in Computer Science positions would require a fairly indepth knowledge of programming and networking. These are probably the students who are double majors, in both Physics and Computer Science or maybe major/minors involving these two areas. From my experience, this level would no doubt be siginificantly higher than that expected of undergraduates who are just studying Physics. I can see an Engineer satisfying the required programming requirements and maybe getting very close to doing so in regards to the networking requirements, but don' t think that the same is true of a Physics undergraduate student.

    What about places like Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Bell, Sprint, Satellite Communications companies or Boeing...would an undergraduate degree in Physics (or Engineering) be sufficient to be considered for even junior (and be expected to work up) research and development related employment at such companies? Or is a masters' degree the minimum?

    James
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2006 #2
    Anyone? Surely someone can offer some suggestions.
     
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