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!

What are the chances of me being able to do research and how can I improve them?

  1. Oct 20, 2012 #1
    My goal is to be able to get a Phd in physics and do research, particularly in theoretical physics. Most of the posts I've seen so far have been very depressing on this subject. I am in my sophomore year of highschool, straight A's all honors core classes (or ap if available). I've talked with a professor of theoretical physics to do research with him this summer, but is there anything else I should be doing to raise my chances of being able to get a career in research, and are the chances of getting a postdoctoral position in research really as small as they seem?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2012 #2


    User Avatar

    It's not hard to get a postdoc. Theoretical physics isn't as employable as other fields, but a PhD in physics means you can get a job somewhere, even if you're not doing what you hoped to be doing. But it's extremely early to worry about this, since you haven't even had a real college physics or math course yet. It's very likely you'll change your mind about some part of that once you realize what you'll actually be studying. Did the professor agree to take you on? It's not common for professors to take on high school students; we're not paid to do that, it doesn't help our career, and even grad students often are more work than they're worth. High school students are next to useless, so if he does take you on, remember he's doing you a great act of charity.
  4. Oct 21, 2012 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You are probably at least twelve years away from finishing a Ph.D. and looking for a postdoc. A lot can happen in twelve years, both in the world's economy (which affects the financial support for fundamental research) and in you own preferences about what you'd like to do.
  5. Oct 21, 2012 #4
    If you are already doing research your sophomore year in high school, you're already doing extremely well. Just keep it up, and try to learn as much mathematics as possible. In college, don't do just what is asked, but go above and beyond.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook