Many undergraduate students run into a wall as they near graduation. They need to decide what to do with their new degree. Thankfully, the physics major is rich with options. Physics majors can branch out in many directions including engineering, research, and education just as a few examples. Physics majors are trained to think critically when approaching any problem which provides a breadth of options when seeking employment.
In many cases physics students look to engineering as a post graduation option. There are many opportunities with varying focuses to choose from. Mechanical, electrical, and civil engineers are fields commonly discussed because of the national and international demand for these skilled laborers. However, engineering is not limited to these fields. Sound engineers, for example will work with musicians to develop optimal sound conditions for concerts or recording sessions. Some physics majors even go on to be DJs through sound engineering (Careers)! Engineering is a very popular choice among physics graduates as a career choice but it is not the only option. Physics majors are known to have the capability to do almost anything they set their minds to.
Some physics students will chase cutting edge research as technicians or assistants. Research positions tend to be funded by large corporations or by the government making these positions reliable and constantly sought after. These positions require advanced technical knowledge on how to operate and maintain equipment. With a bachelor’s degree most research positions will focus on working with equipment or data analysis. Large to small projects could be looking for applicants. In the best situations projects like C.E.R.N. may have open positions. In these cases the job would involve working with people from all around the world on one of the largest experimental physics projects. Each day could lead to a new and exciting discovery that could shape the future.
Finally, the American education system is always in need of teachers that are qualified to teach physics or mathematics (Voke). In some states, a degree in physics by itself is enough to teach in high schools. If not, then it is relatively simple to get a license to teach at a high school level. Teaching positions can have both state funded and privately funded positions. There is also the added benefit that education systems are numerous and in varied locations. Thus there is flexibility regarding where job opportunities can be found. Additionally, there is a possibility to teach in other countries! Last but not least, some people choose to educate the general population through other mediums. Books, documentaries, and public speaking are all used to teach people physics.
The struggle to decide what to do after graduating from college is made significantly easier with a physics degree. There are many options in a wide range of fields which leads to freedom in pursuing a more desirable career path. The fields of engineering, research, and education are ripe with opportunity among other math and problem solving base fields. Finding an enjoyable career path shouldn’t be an impossible task.
Word count: 503
Written by Shane Warga
Edited by Alexis
“Physics BS Jobs in Government Funded Laboratory.” American Physical Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.
“Careers.” Careers. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2017. <http://www.physics.org/careersector.asp?sectorid=4>
Voke, Heather. “Chapter 1. Responding to the Teacher Shortage.” Keeping Good Teachers. ASCD, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2017. <http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/104138/chapters/Responding-to-the-Teacher-Shortage.aspx>.