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Physics Which physics area has most job opportunities

  1. Dec 18, 2009 #1
    I am going to start my undergraduate degree in next year after that i need to do a job due to my financial problems.So if you can please tell which of following physics course has most job opportunities and please list them according to highest to lowest.

    1.Theoretical physics.
    2.Physics with Astrophysics.
    3.Physics with Nanotechnology.
    5.Physics with mathematics.
    6.Physics with Particle Physics and Cosmology.
    7.Physics with Computer Science.
    And if there any other courses which wasn't mentioned above please put them also

    Thanks !!!! Have a nice day!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2009 #2


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    From highest to lowest:

    Seriously, I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Job opportunities aren't associated with specific courses. And what you've listed there seem more like major and minor subjects than courses anyway... not that your major really limits your job choices very much.

    The point being, pick something you like because it doesn't make much difference.
  4. Dec 18, 2009 #3


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    I'm not a physicist but I'd imagine that fields with higher economic relevance would provide more job opportunities. Its unlikely that there would be as many opportunities in say astrophysics than say some applied math/physics type job or something involving building commercial products that make use of multidisciplinary fields (like math, chemistry, comp sci, physics etc)
  5. Dec 19, 2009 #4
    For an undergrad, the honest answer is engineering. But I would question your assumptions here too. If you do well in a physics program in terms of grades, courses taken, recommendations and some research, you can go to grad school, and the schools will pay your tuition and give you a stipend to live off of.

    It's obviously not a sure thing, but neither is getting the job you want with any major. You don't have to decide right away either.
  6. Dec 19, 2009 #5
    I guess the nanotechnology thing would have the most opportunities. But there's no field of physics called "nanotechnology." I'd say right now the most job opportunities are in condensed matter physics. But biophysics is also popular, and might have already overtaken CMP in terms of job opportunities.
  7. Dec 19, 2009 #6
    I really interest in physics so i need to do a physics undergraduate degree which has most job opportunities
  8. Dec 19, 2009 #7


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    Job opportunities that arise from physics at the undergraduate level are largely a function of what you have learned, not what the degree is called. In all of the programs listed, if you open up the course calendar and compare courses, I suspect you'll find that the core courses are essentially the same.

    For what it's worth, I think it's better to stay as general as possible through undergrad. A lot of people don't find out whether or not they really enjoy physics until their second or third year of study.
  9. Dec 19, 2009 #8
    The trouble is that it's not obvious what does and doesn't have economic relevance. Astrophysics happens to have a lot of economic relevance.

    I think it's a seriously bad idea to try be overly specific in these sorts of things, because it's pretty much impossible to make specific economic guesses for what things are going to be like in ten years (or even ten months). The other problem is that if everyone tells you that subject X is the latest hot thing, everyone goes into subject X, and then you have too many people.

    The job I do now just didn't exist when I was an undergraduate. I did astrophysics because I thought it was cool, and I just kept one eye on the market to see what I can do to make it useful.

    Just get good at math, good at computers, do what you think is fun.
  10. Dec 19, 2009 #9
    Also, most physics related jobs are going to require you to go to grad school anyway. The core courses tend to be the same, because there are only so many ways you can put together a partial differential equation. I think the most important thing for an undergraduate is not not learn specific skills, but rather to get a good basic general education that will let you rapidly learn whatever is the next hot field. It's important to focus on *literacy*. when you learn to read, the textbooks that you use to learn to read don't matter that much, it's the fact that you can read that opens doors.

    The other big mistake that I think physics undergraduates make is to focus too little on things like history, philosophy, literature, and business. If you take history and economics seriously, then you can make your own guesses as to what they next big fields are. If you take literature and philosophy, you can ask the question "so why *do* I care so much about a career anyway."

    There is a balance, but it's generally a very bad idea to do something you hate for career reasons.
  11. Dec 19, 2009 #10
    Short answer, nobody knows. In general, I would say none of the fields you mentioned are very good at preparing one for employment. Go with mechanical or electrical engineering, where they actually teach you useful stuff. You know, stuff that will actually get you a job.
  12. Dec 19, 2009 #11
    What about medical physics (or the disciplines that would lead to it)?
  13. Dec 19, 2009 #12


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    There are job opportunities in medical physics (of course, right now we're feeling the recession too). But to get in, you need an undergraduate degree in physics first. You specialize in graduate school. There are undergraduate programs that specialize in medical physics, but I usually recommend that undergraduate students interested in the field still do "regular" physics as it will keep more doors open.
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