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What to do after college?

  1. Feb 22, 2013 #1
    Well, I'm getting to that period where I need to really start thinking about what I want to do after college. I'm currently getting a double major in Physics and Spanish, but I have no idea what I want to do whatsoever. So what can you do right out of college with a Physics degree?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2013 #2
    Just to be clear, that period where you need to start thinking about what you want to do after college occurred before you started college! The time spent in college can then be used to ensure you have skills that will allow you to do what you want to do. I broke this rule, too, but that doesn't mean you're in good company.

    So the question now is - what skills do you have? Labview? Matlab? C++? Java? Are there particular instruments you can operate (SEM, TEM etc.) or processes you are familiar with (CVD/PVD, polishing/etching etc.)?

    Your mix of skills will determine what options are available to you. Note that there are lots of skills I didn’t list there, so give us an idea of what you can do.
  4. Feb 23, 2013 #3


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    After college you must get in a grad school and try to get a Phd.
  5. Feb 23, 2013 #4


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  6. Feb 23, 2013 #5
    I have basic computer skills available, am proficient in all microsoft products, some html, and some C#. I'm more proficient in computer hardware than software but I know how to learn programming languages relatively easy.

    Rolen, why do you say I must get a PhD?

    Astronuc, thanks.
  7. Feb 24, 2013 #6


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    Well, it's normally the path of any undergrad in physics.
  8. Feb 24, 2013 #7
    If you don't know what to do at this point, then going back to school isn't likely to provide many answers.

    If you are a US Citizen, have you considered joining the Peace Corp? It is an opportunity to travel, meet very different people with very different backgrounds, and yet discover that you have many things in common. I know several people who tried it and loved it.

    I suspect that many people get degrees in physics because they don't have any definite ideas of what they'd like to do when they graduate. I would think they're leaning toward a technical endeavor, but nothing really catches their enthusiasm.

    This is when you might want to figure out what you feel like doing. You don't have to pick one thing and stick to it, you can pick something that happens to catch your fancy right now and pursue it until you find something better. It is not a marriage. The job won't care.
  9. Feb 24, 2013 #8


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    One should probably obtain an MS in physics, and perhaps computational physics. I knew physis majors who went into industry (energy, electrical/electronics, aerospace, . . . ) after their BS degree, and they basically did programming of various kinds.

    An MS degree provides more experience than BS, and particularly with respect to doing research, usually under the guidance of one's faculty advisor, who in theory is familiar with the latest research, and who may have contacts industry.

    There are companies like ANSYS (http://www.ansys.com/, http://www.ansys.com/About+ANSYS [Broken]), which specialize in computational physics, e.g., FEA.

    Others are Dassault (http://www.3ds.com/), which bought HKS and the ABAQUS FEA system - http://www.3ds.com/products/simulia/portfolio/abaqus/latest-release/

    and COMSOL (http://www.comsol.com/)

    I'd recommend browsing the webistes, reviewing the technology and also noting the industries and companies which use the software.

    There are jobs in development of such software, as well as applying the software, either at the developers or users.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Feb 24, 2013 #9
    Without a graduate degree or specific marketable skills you look like a prime candidate for "Teach for America". Particularly since you dual majored in Spanish.

    In my graduating cohort, the second most popular option (after grad school) was teaching via "Teach for America". That is the only organization I know of that specifically tries to recruit physics BS holders.
  11. Feb 26, 2013 #10
    Choosing right carrier after college is not always an easy task. It depends on the candidate's ability and willing to do something special. If you have interest in technical field then can think for developing with higher study and if you wanna go in similar field that you have own interest then you can do well. Think a while before choosing any field then decide best of Luck.
  12. Feb 26, 2013 #11
    Based on these types of jobs I suspect the OP would be better off getting an MS in Electrical Engineering.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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