What Career Opportunities Exist in Physics and How Can I Prepare for Them?

In summary: I hope you take the time to read this post and make a decision that is best for you. Thanks.In summary, an initial undergraduate physics course will not have any specific emphasis until perhaps the third or fourth year when you'll take courses that are more relevant to a specific area of your choice. This is because you need a good grounding in the basics of physics before you can specialise. However, if you are interested in a career in physics, or science and engineering in general, then I would recommend going into a different field.
  • #1
hemotep
6
0
I graduated from high school about a year ago, during which time i had taken some college classes and had managed to get my A+ certification, along with 2 lvls of cisco certification. after that i got a decent job, but decided the field was not for me. so here i am now, trying to presue my child hood dream of becoming a physicist. I am about to start attending college but I am a little lost, id like to major in condensed matter physics, with maybe a minor in bio-chemistry or something to that nature, but I am not sure exactly how to do so. all the colleges i look at offer 4-year degrees in "physics" but there's no specialized devisions(i.e. solid state, quantum mechanics, theoretical) are the course I am looking for later in my educational career? like during grad school? sorry if this seems like a really stupid question, but unfortunately i payed little attention during high school to anything college related, i was sure i wanted to do computer networking for a living.

also if anyone could suggest a minor, or possibly another major that would coincide with my physics major(solid state, condensed matter) and would help my chances of employment, i would be very grateful. thanks.
 
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  • #2
An initial undergrad physics course will not have any specific emphasis until perhaps the third or fourth year when you'll take courses that are more relevant to a specific area of your choice. This is because you need a good grounding in the basics of physics before you can specialise.
 
  • #3
Kurdt said:
An initial undergrad physics course will not have any specific emphasis until perhaps the third or fourth year when you'll take courses that are more relevant to a specific area of your choice. This is because you need a good grounding in the basics of physics before you can specialise.

thanks for the reply.

so i shouldn't just look for a college that offers a masters in physics, but also one with condensed matter courses? also how many classes on condensed matter would i need to take in order to be considered a physicist in that category?
 
  • #4
hemotep said:
thanks for the reply.

so i shouldn't just look for a college that offers a masters in physics, but also one with condensed matter courses?

Well if that's at all possible and what you're interested in. Most places will have a course on condensed matter but if you plan to take it beyond undergrad then find a university with a good condensed matter department and try there.

also how many classes on condensed matter would i need to take in order to be considered a physicist in that category?

I couldn't possibly answer that.
 
  • #5
I would like to give an advice, if you accept it.

I do not recommend pursuing a career in physics (and science and engineering in general). I would suggest going into a better field in terms of career prospects, such as business management, finance & accounting, law, etc. I know you might not like what you're hearing, but bear on with me.

These days, almost everything related to technology, science, R&D is being moved to China and India. This is becoming the norm, not the exception. And I'm not talking about day-to-day manufacturing and assembly, I am talking about innovative advanced R&D.

I totally understand your position. I know how excited you are about solid state physics, condensed matter, and quantum mechanics. These topics are indeed intellectually stimulating. However, as a career choice, as a way to bring food on the table, don't waste your time. I hate to be rude, and I know you are ambitious, but sometime in the future, these issues of career and salary would be very significant.

But by all means, if you like these topics, don't give up on them. Consider it as a hobby. Read some books on these topics every now and then. This has the benefit of studying as a hobby, which is way more interesting than studying as a career necessity.

I am writing this post because I wish someone would've given me some advice on these issues when considering college majors. This period of your life is very confusing and the options are many.
 

Related to What Career Opportunities Exist in Physics and How Can I Prepare for Them?

1. What does "I'm a little bit confused" mean?

"I'm a little bit confused" is a phrase used to express uncertainty or lack of understanding about a particular topic or situation.

2. How do you respond to someone saying "I'm a little bit confused"?

A helpful response could be to ask clarifying questions or offer to explain the topic in a different way. It's important to be patient and understanding when someone expresses confusion.

3. Is it okay to be confused?

Yes, it is completely normal and okay to feel confused. It is a natural part of the learning process and can lead to a better understanding in the end.

4. What are some strategies for overcoming confusion?

Some strategies for overcoming confusion include asking questions, seeking clarification, breaking down the information into smaller parts, and taking breaks to process the information.

5. Should I be afraid to admit when I'm confused?

No, it is important to communicate when you are confused so that you can get the help and support you need. Admitting confusion shows that you are actively trying to understand and learn, which is a positive thing.

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