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Other What physics careers are even really possible for me?

  1. Jan 29, 2017 #1
    I am currently 16 and from Scotland. I plan on completing a masters in physics once I go to university, however I am now starting to wonder what fields of physics are the best to go into. My preference would be to do research, which leads to my other question of how possible is it to have a career in research, whether that be in nuclear physics, particle physics, condensed matter physics, or even research in quantum mechanics and string theory?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2017 #2


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    If you haven't already done so, I would recommend a read of the "So You Want to Be a Physicist" essay.

    As a general rule, the fields in physics with the most career options are the ones with the most direct practical applications, or the ones that solve the kinds of problems that other people are willing to pay money to have you solve. But at 16 years old, there isn't much point in spending a lot of effort trying to figure out which sub-field to aim for. That's a decision that's best made as you complete your undergraduate studies. At your stage of the game you should read up as much as you can on the areas that interest you and focus on learning the basics and building as solid of a foundation as you can so that when it is time to pick a direction you can do so in as informed a manner as possible.

    It may be - depending on how close you are to entering university (I don't know the Scottish system) - a good time to start thinking about whether you really want to pursue physics itself as a course of study. Data on careers and such are available from the APS - although generally it is specific to the US.
  4. Jan 29, 2017 #3


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    If you wish to be employed as a professional physicist, then you need to aim for a PhD. After that, your "employability" depends very much on where you are seeking employment, what area of specialty you were in, what skills and ability that you have, the economic situation at where you are seeking employment, etc... etc.

    At this stage, since you are in the UK, I strong suggest you check out the IoP website


    In particular, check out the resources available for students:


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