Career Planning

Career Planning

Career Planning

"Four decades ago, a liberal arts education was thought to prepare one well for any professional endeavor; the specific course work may have been irrelevant, but the education process instilled intellectual discipline and sobriety...Physics is the liberal arts education for a technological society."

— Joseph M. Pimbley, Physics Today, January 1997, p. 46

The most obvious career tracks for Physics majors include fundamental research and engineering, technical support for research & development activities, sales representative for "high-tech" companies, technical or scientific writing, and a variety of computer application and support opportunities, or secondary education. However, a degree in Physics provides strong preparation for any career where analytical and computation skills are important, such as economic analysis and actuarial work.

The American Institute of Physics provides a well done site on career preparation for physics graduates.  They also have a treasure trove of statistics regarding physics majors, physics careers, and graduate education.

The national Society of Physics Students has developed a Careers Toolbox to help you think about your skills, your résumé and/or cv, and how to prepare you for whatever career you might like to do.  The Department of Physics & Astronomy holds an annual Advising Workshop that will guide you though this tool.  All majors will receive notification via monthly newsletter or you can keep an eye on our Department Events page.

Finally, the Chronicle of Higher Education published a great article, So What Are You Going to Do With That Physics Degree? that summarizes some of the AIP stats in a narrative story.

See the links below for more information on your intended career path.  And, as always, talk with your faculty mentor and adviser about your options and goals.


Graduate School