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What kind of job can i get with a BS in physics

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  • Thread starter Altruist
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I will be graduating soon with a BS in physics, not applied physics. Ideally I would like to go to grad school and will apply, but my grades are not immaculate, and I'm tired of being poor lol. If I needed to get a job right out of school, what kind of job could I hope to find? (preferrably one that isn't purely data entry)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Do you know Angela Merkel ?
 
  • #3
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should i?
 
  • #4
lisab
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I have just a BS and I've worked in various labs my whole career (paper R&D, resin R&D, wood products testing). If you aren't sure in which direction you want to go, consider signing up with a temp agency. You could get assignments in several different places, which would help you figure out what kind of work you like.
 
  • #5
lisab
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should i?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angela_Merkel" [Broken]
 
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  • #6
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I have just a BS and I've worked in various labs my whole career (paper R&D, resin R&D, wood products testing). If you aren't sure in which direction you want to go, consider signing up with a temp agency. You could get assignments in several different places, which would help you figure out what kind of work you like.
Oh i definately know what i want to do but it requires more education than a BS, I just worry I wont be able to get into a grad school or find a job
 
  • #7
lisab
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Oh i definately know what i want to do but it requires more education than a BS, I just worry I wont be able to get into a grad school or find a job
OK, so what field are you interested in?
 
  • #8
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OK, so what field are you interested in?
particle physics or cosmology
 
  • #9
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so i wikipedia'ed angela merkel...and i don't really see what the chancellor of germany has to do with me question
 
  • #10
lisab
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so i wikipedia'ed angela merkel...and i don't really see what the chancellor of germany has to do with me question
Ah...she has a BS in Physics. And a doctorate in quantum chemistry, according to the Wiki article.
 
  • #11
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yeah i kept reading and saw that...but i'm still not totally sure why humanino posted that...note the "doctorate in quantum chemistry" part, not really relevant to my situation
 
  • #12
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yeah i kept reading and saw that...but i'm still not totally sure why humanino posted that...note the "doctorate in quantum chemistry" part, not really relevant to my situation
You were asking what you can do with a physics BS. Answer : you can do anything, it solely depends on you. If you want to work in particle physics or cosmology you probably need a PhD. And a good one.
 
  • #13
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lol yes, that was my point...what kind of job can i get in physics without a PhD...she had more a little more than just a BS in physics...at this point i would be happy to get into an REU about particle physics much less getting into a grad school for it. I'm also interested in rheology lately too, but i dont know about it for a career option
 
  • #14
TEACH HIGH SCHOOL!!!

It is a blast and you can get a job easy, even in today's economy. 45-50k starting and you get 3 months off in the summer!!!

I love teaching and the kids need good science teachers!!!
 
  • #15
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yeah i kept reading and saw that...but i'm still not totally sure why humanino posted that...note the "doctorate in quantum chemistry" part, not really relevant to my situation
I don't think that the doctorate made her any more qualified to be a politican...
 
  • #16
Choppy
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It's difficult for us to suggest career options for you when all we know is what you majored in. A degree in physics can give you a lot of skills and can put you in demand in the workplace, but you need to identify what it is that you bring to the table.

You have to start looking at the specific classes that you've taken and which ones you enjoyed. Which ones that you excel at? Lots of physics graduates get into computer programming for example, but if you hated every minute of your computational physics course and barely scraped through with a passing grade, then it probably isn't for you.

Have you considered fields like risk management or corporate/industrial efficiency? What about scientific journalism? Health physics?

You can also look at extra-cirricular activities. The example given above of Angela Merkel is one of a person who pursued the physical sciences academically, but obviously discovered an interest in politics which emerged out of extra-cirricular involvement.
 
  • #17
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well honestly, we haven't been required to take more than the most basic c++ programming class, I FREAKING HATED IT, but i made an A...honestly, its hard because I don't have even a remote interest in any of those things...aren't there any fields where they just need a tolken physicist standing by to check their work? lol
 
  • #18
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TEACH HIGH SCHOOL!!!

It is a blast and you can get a job easy, even in today's economy. 45-50k starting and you get 3 months off in the summer!!!

I love teaching and the kids need good science teachers!!!
no offense, but I would rather do anything else on the planet before teaching highschool. I'm not even super fond of the idea of teaching college someday beyond the perk of engraining whatever you teach about into yourself, since you really have to understand something completely to teach it. plus that sucks, its all the garbagetiness of teaching highschool without all the scholarships that come from going to school to be a teacher
 
  • #19
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I don't think that the doctorate made her any more qualified to be a politican...
I don't think a BS in physics did either
 
  • #20
ZapperZ
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At some point, we may have to put in a Sticky thread this link.

Again, as has been mentioned several times already in many other threads, if you want to know what type of jobs are available to you at any degree level in physics, the first place you should check is the AIP website that has the latest and most comprehensive statistical analysis on this and other topics.

http://www.aip.org/statistics/

Zz.
 
  • #21
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Aerospace hires many many BS grads in physics. Aircraft and missile design requires A LOT of physics. Mostly it is in software, but it is not dumb user interface type stuff. It involves a lot of math and is really quite interesting. If you are a US citizen and can get a clearance, it is actually quite an fine job.
 

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