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Working in Physics Research/Industry w/o a PhD (UK)

  1. Jul 10, 2015 #1
    I live in the UK and I am an undergraduate at the moment, due to graduate in 2017 with a BSc in Theoretical and Computational Physics.

    I have the option at the end of the next academic year to do an extra year as an undergraduate and come out with an MSci/MPhys (instead of the BSc) . I am already 26, and would be 28 when I graduate in 2017, or would be 29 if I chose to do that extra year.

    I really would like to do a PhD, but that would mean graduating with a PhD when I turn 32/33! So the only thing making me think otherwise is simply how old I would be.

    If I chose to just graduate in 2017 with a BSc, are there many jobs around actually in the physics research/industry for people with just a BSc? Anything really where I would actually get to use my degree, even if it was like a technician or even something like a patent attorney etc, but actually doing/helping with science?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2015 #2
    If it is only your age that is of concern and you do not feel or need to provide for a family, why not test the employment waters with some applications, but also apply to stay in school so if you do not get a premium job offer, you continue your education?
  4. Jul 12, 2015 #3
    Thanks, yeah I think at the moment I will apply for PhD places no matter what, as it will not hurt and can always decline if needs be. I have just been looking into part-time PhD opportunities, althought not sure if I could get funding for that; in the UK, many graduate get their science PhD places fully paid for with a healthy tax free stipend too which is more than enough to live on.

    Why would I not be able to provide for a family without a PhD? OK maybe any salary I would receive would be slightly higher but before I went back into education I was earning a measly £13000 per year, and with my physics degree I have seen many graduate schemes (although most not directly to do with physics) where the starting salary is double that ~£25000. Plus many people are able to provide for their families on much less than that. I know growing up my families household income was only ~£22000 and that was with two siblings, and we turned out OK :)
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