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What does 'Industrial Physics' look like as a degree program?

  1. Aug 11, 2012 #1

    I've known for some time that I wanted physics to be the core of my education but I wasn't sure what branch to go into to meet the goals that I wanted to meet. I ran across industrial physics and it hit the spot. I'm pretty confident at this point that's what I want but I have no idea how to go about it from an educational standpoint.

    At this point is just seems that 'industrial' physics is simply a class of physics programs that revolve around skills that are useful in industry. I am definitely looking for something a little more concrete than that. The school I plan to transfer to this coming year (MSU) only lists these majors:

    Chemical Physics: UN and Doctoral
    Physics: Masters and Doc
    Astro Physics: Masters and Doctoral

    So, at this point I'm not sure where to go with it.

    Some tidbits about me that may or may not help provide some sort of scope for answers:

    I have my associates in mathematics/physics from a local CC and ultimately plan to push through a PhD program at MSU (or wherever I might be down the road) unless industry pulls me out before that point. Although, I have a feeling that I would return to academia to top it off before I croak.

    My long term goal(s) are to contribute to industrial applications with a liberal sprinkling of research (when/if it can be found) of any of several fields under the premise that a rising tide lifts all boats. If there is something I can do to bring asteroid mining, green tech, or gerontology on steroids to the level of wide spread economically sound investing I'm there; what an incredible wave any of those would be to ride.

    I have a background in architecture/drafting and 'non-formal' programming (game botting/scripting). Both of which I love.

    Anywho, thanks for your advice!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2012 #2
    You sound like a good candidate for industrial physics. I've heard it is pretty interesting with enough job opportunities. Definitely go for it if you are interested.
  4. Aug 13, 2012 #3
    I appreciate your advice, thank you.

    What I am looking for, more so, is what the education of an industrial physicist looks like. Is this just a term for a physicist who works in industry rather than academia? In whatever case, knowing I want to go into industry rather than academia, what should I be looking for in my classes?

    I understand that if it's simply a physicist who ends up in industry there really is no way to answer the above question in any specific way. Although any recommendations on what classes -not- to take would also be helpful i.e. classes that are mostly only useful for academic purposes.
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