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Where to find entry-level jobs? B.S. in Physics

  • Physics
  • Thread starter peppies
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. I graduated with honors, 3.30 GPA (cum laude) but have no internships and no experience except for undergraduate research and independent study.

Where are some good places, other than USAJOBS.gov, where I can find good entry-level physics jobs?

Thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. I graduated with honors, 3.30 GPA (cum laude) but have no internships and no experience except for undergraduate research and independent study.

Where are some good places, other than USAJOBS.gov, where I can find good entry-level physics jobs?

Thanks
Check out the US BLS article for physicists and astronomers.

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos052.htm
 
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  • #3
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Your college career website should have listings of entry-level positions.

Physics is a pretty broad field. What area of physics are you interested in? What area was your undergraduate research in? This will help with knowing what types of jobs to search for (since there really isn't an entry-level position listed as a 'physics' jobs).
 
  • #4
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Don't waste too much of your time with USAjobs.gov. You'll have no chance vs. those with veteran preference. This based on experience and from a friend who was in the U.S. military and works for HR in a federal department. I spent a year applying for jobs every week there as a physics graduate and some professional experience/research experience. Just got rejection letters one after another.

I was in your shoes about 2 years ago. Best advice I can give you it to go for a graduate degree, as you won't find much "physics" jobs with just a undergraduate. Otherwise, go for a certificate in a more applicable area, ie. IT, computers, etc.
 
  • #5
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  • #6
Job opportunities for a B.S. in physics:

http://www.mcstate.com/careers/?search=careers
Not true and not particularly helpful!

I face the same problem right now actually... But while its tough to get an entry level position that is reasonable - it's not impossible.

One caveat though: if you don't have a Ph.D. or at least a M.S. - most likely whatever you do will be outside the field of Physics and will just be drawing on your analytical skills and other transferrable skills to find a different vocation.

When I type "B.S. Physics" on various job boards, invariably the job titles that come up are "QA engineer", "Test Engineer" or "Reliability Engineer" - mostly within Computer software, but some with semiconductors, optics, etc. So its possible to still do *something* that is relation to what you studied.

On the other hand, at least in my area, the market seems flooded with unemployed QA engineers and with the economy as it is - many highly educated and talented people are having to compete for "survival jobs"... But even at the worse, your "survival job" shouldn't be something involving flipping hamburgers or pushing a broom. Undoubtedly, you've picked up skills at a Physics major - and these are skills that everyone does not necessarily have. Every undergraduate Physics curriculum is different and some undergraduates have managed to do some serious research, have been published or in recent years - it seems standard that Physics undergrads end up writing and defending a thesis. Most Physics majors pick up programming skills, as well as knowing and using a huge variety of applications, like LabView and Mathematica. Not everyone is going to be able to use these tools and all of these are marketable skills. Any application and programming language you feel comfortable with should be on your résumé. Many people who have degrees in Physics go on to jobs in computer programming... and some of these jobs even *require* a degree in the physical sciences.

Don't get discouraged and don't let people tell you there is nothing out there for those who don't have the money or resources to go directly to grad school right now. Granted, if you genuinely want to do Physics for a career - then getting the Ph.D. is your best bet. But having a B.S. in Physics doesn't make you unemployable. If you're finding it slow going - the worse case scenario is that you should sign up with temporary agencies that specialize in scientific staffing. Even doing a stint as a lab rat isn't that bad... and sometimes that can lead to better things.

Check out the list of companies that have hired recent B.S. in Physics recipients for your state as provided by the AIP and see if those companies are still hiring:

http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/states/state.html

Good luck!
 

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