Master's degree in physics seeks real work

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Rob in Columbus, Ohio

39 months ago

I'm 30 years old. I have a master's degree in physics which I got in 2008. After graduating I was unemployed (aside from a few dollars I made tutoring) for nearly two years. In March of last year (2010), I got a job teaching at Ohio State, essentially a TA, the same thing I did when I was a grad student. Right now I'm being hired for periods of three months at a time on an as-needed basis, and I have no benefits (health insurance, etc.). My earnings total $25k-$30k a year. I am appreciative that I have work, especially after having been unemployed for so long. My job now isn't difficult; it could be a lot worse. But I want something doing "real work" and something with better pay and more stability.
I've used Monster, Careerbuilder, Indeed, etc. - all those online job search sites - and applied to literally thousands of jobs, but over the past year I've essentially given up on that. My experience is that they simply don't work. I had one interview in 2008 and one in 2009, neither of which led to anything. That's all. I've applied to several places in person, but nowadays, everything's done online anyway, so I really don't see the difference. I've attended a few career fairs, but usually I just get told to "check out our jobs online." Yeah, I could've done that from the house. Now I'm just hoping to hear something from a friend or acquaintance that leads to a job. I do not want to teach anymore either. I just want to do something *else.* I know I could do a lot of jobs as well, or in nearly all cases, better than the engineering students who are in my classes - many of whom graduate and get jobs - but I don't have the word "engineering" on my degree, so I guess that disqualifies me for a lot of things.
I'd appreciate any real advice. What tactic could I use to find something?

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btc2008 in Sandusky, Ohio

39 months ago

I understand completely about your situation. I just earned my M.S. in pharmacology and while, I have lab experience, no one seems to want me to work in labs despite the fact most require Master's degree.

I find Monster and Careerbuilder to be utterly useless. Sure there are jobs on there, but I get no responses despite my qualifications and abhorrently large number of jobs applied to.

Have you tried usajobs.gov? I'm not sure what your area of physics entails, but I've had far more luck there than on Monster in terms of hearing back from employers and just the logistics involved.

Good luck.

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Toddd in Madison Heights, Michigan

39 months ago

I graduated with a BS in Physics and realized the only option for that degree was a PhD and teaching/research down the road. I worked in a lab and saw some bright people making $25K/year doing research and realized I'd rather work less and make more.

So I went back for just a year to get an engineering degree.

If you really think engineering is a valuable title, go back to the school you graduated from and you probably could complete an engineering degree in 1-2 years. Or do it at the school you're teaching at, I'm sure you'd get a discount.

Again, that's if you think there is a real benefit to having an engineering degree. From what I've been reading, recent engineering grads aren't doing terribly well either.

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Rob in Columbus, Ohio

39 months ago

Thanks for the replies. I have tried a few on USAJobs with no success, but I suppose that might be worth revisiting since it would maybe be less useless than Monster or Careerbuilder.
Yeah, recent engineering grads are not doing well either, certainly. But it appears to me that there seems to be this irrational prejudice against hiring people without that word "engineering" - people who are otherwise completely qualified, and in many cases better than those with engineering degrees.
I really don't think I want to go back to school. An engineering degree would certainly be easy in comparison to what I've already got, but still, I don't think I want to do it.
Would anyone recommend any sort of professional certification? I was thinking of getting some type of IT certification, but I've heard that that's essentially worthless without experience to go along with it.

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Rob in Columbus, Ohio

39 months ago

That is bad. Man, that is really bad. It is discouraging to hear that.
Of course, a lot of those Asian engineers they're hiring were trained here in the states.
I'm honestly not that surprised that this discussion is mostly producing discouraging stories rather than real strategies to help me (or whoever) find work. Things are really bad right now.
But you know, this brings to mind something I've considered before: I wouldn't necessarily dismiss the idea of going abroad to work. Any ideas on how to find good foreign jobs?

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Just someone in Newport Beach, California

39 months ago

I don't have a degree in physics. I can only speak from what I saw my significant other (SO) went through. My SO has a BS from Cal Tech and Ph.D from UCLA and had post doc training as well. He hated what he does in terms of the kind of research he does (mainly moral reason). He wanted to transition into computer/software kind of work. It took him three years to get a job that he likes. The (non-physics or physics related) job he got was a rather low paying job but he got a huge raise the next year because he is really good and dedicated at what he does. He remain with that company since then. He is now is software developer.

He is now doing well in the company and is one of the better ones and is highly valued in his company. Many of his coworkers also have Ph.D in physics but doing software related stuff and good at it. The moral of the story is that physics people are a smart bunch and most companies know this. I am not sure if you had to do programming or writing codes when you were in school for physics. If you had that experience, you might be able to find work in the software development area. Then again, you might not like software stuff and that is another story.

Sorry to hear that you have go go this. I saw my SO went through this and it was not fun. It was mostly about intellectual satisfaction and not about money for him. My SO also goes to various Java User Group meeting to network etc. If you are interested in going to this kind of meeting, you can try www.meetup.com and see if there are groups in your area that you want to meet up and network. Best of luck.

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Rob in Columbus, Ohio

39 months ago

Thanks. Yes, generally speaking, people with physics degrees are pretty capable people. I've applied to lots of software jobs. I have a fair amount of programming experience. I'm not surprised that your SO is doing well in his / her job, but the issue with me (and others like me, I assume) is *getting* that job, not showing that you can do well once you get it.
I am not convinced that most companies are willing to hire physics people, though; my experience hasn't shown me that. If anything, just the opposite (also, remember, I have a master's & not a PhD). I'm willing to do software-related work. From what I've seen, employers aren't just looking for people who've done *some* programming in school. They want someone, usually, with a LOT of experience. I hate to sound like I'm just a naysayer with a negative attitude, but that's been my experience.
Anyway, thanks for your reply.

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Just someone in Westminster, California

38 months ago

Are you familiar with "What's Color of Your Parachute" book? There seems to be lots of useful information there. I did omit one important piece of information. It was his Ph.D friend who pulled him into the company and there was not a real formal interview either. The company was rather small at the time (100 people or so). One of the founders has a Ph.D in physics so I guess they were more forgiving about hiring physics people. One of his co-workers has a BS in neuro science degree. So it is possible. Just don't give up. I guess the job market is really tight and that is the worst part of it all.

How about finding independent work? Perhaps you can look for someone who has work and let you work at home. For the future interview, you can bring programs you wrote to the table (or cover letter). I am sure you have thought of this route as well. Just in case. I wish you all the best.

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Rob in Reynoldsburg, Ohio

38 months ago

Yes, actually, maybe about three years ago, around the time I was finishing my master's degree & seriously starting to think about jobs, I had bought the book, based on a friend's recommendation & the strength of its reviews on Amazon, etc.
To be honest, it didn't tell me that much that I didn't already know about myself, my interests, my strengths / weaknesses, or the best ways to find work (it essentially said that you're much more likely to find work through a friend / personal contact than a brute force approach where you apply to anything & everything you find on the internet).
Yes, I've pretty much thought of & tried all this already, but thanks so much for your ideas & well wishes.

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Absurdity in Leesburg, Florida

35 months ago

I don't want to bring the forum down, but I just want to say, I feel your agony. You're not the only one, you're not a negative nay-sayer, it's just simply true. They don't like hiring physics guys for "engineering" positions. You at least have programming experience and teaching experience. But I wouldn't be a good fit for those anyway, personally.

By the way, I also am 30, got my masters in 08, and have yet to land even an interview with a career-worthy job. Best of luck to you my friend!

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Rob in Columbus, Ohio

35 months ago

Just to update my situation:
Well, finally I've just recently gotten a position teaching at a branch campus of Ohio State. I will start in about a month. What's good about the job is that I'll have a contract for an entire year, I'll be making more (about $40k annually), and the class sizes there are much smaller. It's really not that bad. But if you can consider this a "real" job, it took me over three years post-graduation to find one, and honestly it's still far from ideal since I really would rather do something besides teach.
I think I've been typecast as a teacher at this point. All the job advice I receive from friends (appreciated but almost always leading nowhere) is trying to point me in the direction of teaching. I'm worried that I'll never be able to break of out this mold and do something else. But again, although not what I was hoping for, at least now I do have "real" work.
Absudity, I wish I could give you useful advice, but at this point, I think getting work for almost anyone, and especially someone with our degree, is more a matter of dumb luck than anything. I wish you good (and dumb) luck, though.

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Absurdity in Leesburg, Florida

35 months ago

Funny thing, I have the same fear of taking the teaching path -- which everyone also typecasts me for! As difficult as it is to find a decent job outside of the education system, I'm afraid they'd surely laugh at my applications at seeing something like teaching for 3 years on top of already being out for 3 years thus totaling 6 years since graduating! And yes, the luck of the draw = right contact or right happen-chance meeting at the right place and time. Simple as that!

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benny in Aurora, Colorado

34 months ago

have any of you thought of going to europe, france particularly, and work at a nuclear plant, i met this guy with a ms in physics making 300k plus housing in france, just a thought...

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Absurdity in Leesburg, Florida

34 months ago

I have looked into some overseas jobs like Australia and some in Europe, most other places usually want you to be bilingual. But I haven't heard or or seen anything like that. Any idea if jobs like those are posted on global job sites? ...Since it would be difficult for me to navigate a website in French to find a job such as that :)
Thanks for the input by the way!

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Don

34 months ago

Damn and here I thought it was just us lonely liberal arts degree holders who were having a ridiculous time trying to find work. I guess that's another myth, BS degree holders are finding work easier than BA holders.

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Absurdity in Ocala, Florida

34 months ago

Haha, yea, they're finding work easier than MA holders too! Especially when they have a specially worded major consisting of "Engineering"
No surprise Don, everyone seems to have a myriad of misconceptions about others' degrees/job potential/status/etc. :)

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Don

34 months ago

Absurdity lol I am just up the road from you in Gainesville! Small world, been trying to bust out of this place since I graduated, yet to find a job. How's life down there in Ocala?

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Absurdity in Leesburg, Florida

34 months ago

Ha! Pretty dead actually. Thought I busted out of here, but somehow I am back. Speaking of physics, I am observing evidence that there may be a black hole present in this area. What was your major Don? From UF?

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Struggling in Cambridge, Massachusetts

33 months ago

It's a horrible situation to be in when everyone you talk to admires your intelligence, but can't help you get a job. Everyone just assumes that having a degree in physics will open doors, and it's just not true. I have been looking for jobs for years while working on the PhD. I have the MS, and it may be "possible" to earn the PhD in a year or so... if support continues. I have applied to jobs while in school, and I have even had interviews for teaching jobs... The jobs are going to the education majors! I am a valuable candidate for teaching mathematics, physics, and chemistry at the college and high school level, but I am getting nowhere.

Add to this that my work has kept me away from computer science coursework... I taught myself C++ for specific purposes, but find that is irrelevant for most jobs.

Even Community College jobs are looking for PhDs. It's absurd. Welcome to the education bubble that will soon explode!

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Rob in Columbus, Ohio

33 months ago

Struggling,
I agree completely with everything you said. Like I mentioned above, I was fortunate to finally find something, & it took a long time. It is definitely an education bubble. A college education has, for a long time, been billed as a magic ticket to employment; the reality now, I think, is that there are too many people out there with college degrees.
I notice that you are in Cambridge. Are you at MIT?

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MD in Seattle, Washington

33 months ago

Rob in Columbus, Ohio said: the reality now, I think, is that there are too many people out there with college degrees.

TRUE! Quite the paradox that education is very expensive nowadays yet so cheap (i.e., cheapened)! Today I had a job interview with a recruiter and she only asked about my experience but didn't even notice that I have a B.S. in business management. When I mentioned it, it was like she didn't really care that much.

Don't neglect looking for work with state or federal gov't. They pay quite well and love to promote from within.

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Avg in Medford, Massachusetts

32 months ago

Struggling in Cambridge, Massachusetts said: Welcome to the education bubble that will soon explode!

If you stop and think about it, the "bubble" is a symptom of another, larger,problem.

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Lisajo in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

31 months ago

Well, I have a Master's in physics and work at a national lab for the DOE. I can tell you that I do make nice money, but I hate my job and am trying to go into teaching. I feel stuck and am paying back loans I took out to get that Master's.
I don't think there's a way around that "who you know" factor, even with an advanced degree. But, they won't even want to get to know you without a PhD if you're an outsider looking to work normal hours.

My friends with Master's degrees that hated their jobs did a couple of things to get out of the rut:
One applied for a job in Virginia with a materials science firm. He's now an engineer.
The other dropped back from making $80k to get his phd to get away from his job.

My advice to you would be to use your year of teaching to get to know private firms (working for the Feds right now sucks and they cut out a huge chunk of our benefits and froze our pay to the point where we actually lose money because of inflation). You can always talk to them from the viewpoint of being a teacher and they'll get the reward of doing something good while you're getting an inside perspective on what that company needs.
After building a lengthy rapport with the inside contacts, you'll be able to maneuver into a tour and then an interview.

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

31 months ago

Weird. I'm 32, got my Master's degree on '05, and can't seem to land a job either. I'm currently working for minimum wage at a retailer.

See a pattern, on this thread? Do higher degrees scare off potential employers? I've also applied to hundreds of opportunities that I could do easily, and I mostly don't even get a call for an interview. Very frustrating. I'm ready to move because of it.

BTW, I've been on USAJobs for years. Took two tests for two positions. Neither of them called me back, and I know I did well on the tests.

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Donald in Royal Oak, Michigan

31 months ago

KIIT School Of Rural Management. Admissi in New Delhi, India said: Guys....
Admissions are now open for two-year MBA (Agribusiness Management) programme from 2012-13 academic section along with its flagship (Rural Management).

Eligibility: Graduates in any discipline with minimum 50% marks or equivalent CGPA for MBA(RM) and Graduate in
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Selection: Short-listing through IRMA Written Test scores or national level exams - CAT, XAT, MAT or TISS.
The shortlisted candidates will be called for GD/PI to Bhubaneswar/Bangalore/Delhi/Kolkatta/Mumbai.
For More details on admission check: www.ksrm.ac.in

Sadly this has become the reality in the US labor market especially in science and engineering, a bunch of Indians.

It's not bad enough that the jobs are leaving the country, but the ones that are here are being done by foreign workers on H1b visas.

Democrat or Republican, they care more about low wages for employers than keeping Americans employed...or more importantly keeping Americans in highly-technical fields.

Follow the money, that's why we're in a depression.

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sonja in Miami, Florida

29 months ago

I also have a masters degree in physics and it's been a real struggle to find work. Since graduating I have gone through long periods of being unemployed ... it was even worse than not having a high school diploma cause I couldn't even get a random temporary job in retail as I was overqualified. Currently, I'm teaching math and physics at an art school, but it's only part time. Basically, I get as many classes as they feel like giving me each semester and I have no paycheck during the time between semesters (not to mention, I can't live off of part time work). The worst part is that I really have no clue what to do. Should I go back to school and get a more useful degree?

At least I feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only one going through this ...

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Avg in Medford, Massachusetts

29 months ago

sonja in Miami, Florida said: I also have a masters degree in physics and it's been a real struggle to find work. Since graduating I have gone through long periods of being unemployed ... it was even worse than not having a high school diploma cause I couldn't even get a random temporary job in retail as I was overqualified. Currently, I'm teaching math and physics at an art school, but it's only part time. Basically, I get as many classes as they feel like giving me each semester and I have no paycheck during the time between semesters (not to mention, I can't live off of part time work). The worst part is that I really have no clue what to do. Should I go back to school and get a more useful degree?

At least I feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only one going through this ...

How difficult is it for you to become an engineer? Don't you qualify for an acclerated degree program in chemical, electrical, or mechanical engineering somewhere?

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X in Sacramento, California

29 months ago

Does anyone know what the job market for STEM majors is overseas/out of country if you are bilingual?

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X in Waterloo, Ontario

27 months ago

Hi everyone,

I've recently finished my Master's in physics in 2011. I decided not to do a PhD because I saw no future in what I was doing and the field in general. Basically no jobs outside of academia mixed with a high improbability of ever obtaining a tenured-faculty position. And professorships are not fun with all the committee work, editorial work, supervising, grant proposals, etc. While in my Masters I saw my dreams of a future in physics crushed by reality.

So I did what I thought best, to start a career as soon as I graduated. I was too busy with my thesis and research to look for work. I thought I could find something in programming or as a quant. Boy was I naive!

The doodoo hit the fan before I even graduated and as soon as I began my employment search. Basically I hit a wall of crushing reality when I went to a job fair and virtually no one was interested in my qualifications. And then began the search...

Seven months later I still have not landed a job above minimum wage. It seems despite my experience and qualifications, no one is hiring physics majors. It's because I'm applying to engineering and IT jobs that have plenty of experienced engineers and computer scientists. And the rare and few jobs in requiring a physics for something like technical writing likely has too many candidates. I'm now in financially shaky ground and I don't know what to do. Basically, my life is ruined, I never imagined myself barely scraping by and working dead-end jobs after so many years of internships, university, hard-work, and self-sacrifice.

And I'm not the only one. My friends and colleagues in physics all have similar stories or worse. A few went back to do degrees in engineering. One was smart enough to plan ahead by taking finance courses while still in grad school, studying for and writing certification exams. When he graduated he was getting requests for interviews and got a good job fairly quickly.

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Absurdity in Ocala, Florida

27 months ago

Heh, Waterloo, Ontario.....as I read your post I did a few double takes making sure that I somehow didn't write that. Wow. Except that I finally seem to making more than minimum wage now....by about $4...but I'm doing something that does not even begin to utilize my skills or personality - I can just simply DO IT, so I'm still there. All the while I'm searching for a field/company/job that I could take the fundamentals of what I've learned and am skilled in and apply them. Or rather, a new place outside of these restrictive walls employers build up around physics degree holders that I could possibly quantum tunnel to, since there is no clear path of getting from here to there.

I think we should organize a conference and get together, all 4, 12 or 37.... of us; however many of us are in this predicament. :)

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Roberto in Eagle Pass, Texas

23 months ago

So this year I'm a senior in high school, and if senior year goes by as fast as junior year did I'm in big trouble. I don't know what college or university I'm going to. All I know is that I love physics. Before I didn't know what I wanted to do after high school, but after last year, when I took the AP Physics course offered at my school, I decided that I'd seek a Physics degree. But even then I wasn't sure what the heck I'd do with a degree in Physics. Apparently the answer is "not much". I still want to study Physics. But now I'm a little bit thrown off by everything I've read on this thread. Would it be a good idea to major in Engineering Physics, since it has "engineering" in it? Haha!

Damn life's coming at me fast but that just means I'll have to go faster! Hehe. I've always been a hardworking student but now I'm going to have to step it up a notch and become a bit of a multitasker and start looking for job opportunities as soon as I get into college.

Haha.....I'm thinking that everybody on this thread is going to be reading my post and thinking, "Oh to be young and optimistic." But I don't see much use in doing anything else. Gotta have something to keep me going right?

Anyways I'd welcome any college/job advice you'd like to give me, even if it's not exactly what I'd like to hear. And I also realize that the last post in was 4 months ago so......yeah.

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xnmmi in Lancaster, California

23 months ago

Pretty much regardless what degree you have, unless you have some "life experience" when you are as young as you are, you will not get very far. Sadly. Here's an example: My stepson has his 4 year degree in Criminal Science & Police Science; he has all of his POST training and all of his firearms certifications. He had all these by the time he was 24. He applied to LAPD and LASD, passed everything and was turned down because he has no "life experience" - i.e. military background. You should seriously think about going in the Navy nuke field. Lots of physics and engineering tasks there and you would be able to do your secondary schooling as well. You come out of the service with the required life experience and start on your career. Just a thought.

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Californian in Moraga, California

23 months ago

I'm not a physicist but doesn't that require at least a bit of math? I see stuff for analytical roles that seem to want a higher level of math than what you get going through business school. I would think there could be a fit in an analytical role someplace.

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Californian in Moraga, California

23 months ago

guest in San Mateo, California said: A PhD is required for a business data analysis job.

Not even remotely.

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Shiloh Litton in Salisbury, Maryland

23 months ago

Try looking into medical physics...

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Roberto in Eagle Pass, Texas

23 months ago

xnmmi,
Yeah I know what you mean about life experience because from several things I've read here and elsewhere employers want people who can "do" things not just...think about them...however, I think my parents would kill me if I ever even said the word "military", even if I wouldn't be fighting any wars or anything...regardless, life experience would be incredibly useful so I'll keep that in mind thanks :)

Shiloh,
Um...I'm always thrown off by something that has the word "medicine" in it...I don't know; medicine has never interested me at all. However, if it's an option, I'll have to look into it, thanks.

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Absurdity in Ocala, Florida

23 months ago

Roberto, glad to hear you've caught the physics bug. I similarly became interested when I was in my senior year of HS. The best ideas I can offer are these:

(Please forgive the length on multiple posts!)

1.Physics is a very broad domain touching a vast number of disciplines, so you have to eventually discover a few areas/fields/jobs that stand out above the rest in your mind. Do research (which physics guys should be good at) on what is out there and begin narrowing your interests into a field or even a company that you think you'd be interested in working for. Find and talk to professionals in that area of specialty or that work at that company. Find out what they do at their job and what they did to get there. Though your university and its professors next year may be a wealth of information and connections at first, look off-campus out in the real work world to find people who are working at a company you find interesting or doing something with a physics degree. Search on-line, find articles of journals, magazines, newspapers and off-campus as well for anything and everything that will open up your mind to more career ideas and, eventually, a more focused field. Anyway, you get the point lol.

So, yes, search the engineering/physics route because all my engineer friends have good jobs now, even those who graduated years after me! (But being an “engineer” wasn't for me, so I'm fine with that.) And yes, look into medical physics, if you can tolerate the biology--and other--courses you'll have to take. But keep in mind, what's currently happening right now will not necessarily be the case 5+ years from now.

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Absurdity in Ocala, Florida

23 months ago

For example, it used to be that you only had to have a masters in medical physics to be a "medical physicist" as long as you had received your degree from an accredited medical physics program. Now the field is near-saturated and they up'd the requirements so that you have to go through a residency and the whole 9 yards to become one (sorta like MD's). So now you're actually better off putting in the extra couple years to get a PhD in med physics; not to mention that most hospitals/radiation therapy facilities now would probably hire a medical physicist with a PhD over a masters-toting candidate.

2.Also, begin to discover your other interests so that you can diversify your skills and education when you get to college. If you have interest in finance, stock market, etc. then think about majoring in physics and minoring in finance - this is critical if you want to be a quant for mutual funds company or something. If you really like computers and programming, then consider minoring (or double-majoring if that's your thing) in computer science when you're in college. However, if all you want to do is teach and do research at the university level or at a national laboratory setting, then simply major in physics and get a masters and a PhD after that.

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Absurdity in Ocala, Florida

23 months ago

3. When you get to college, as much as you may want to kick back and enjoy all your summers off or working hard to make some good money, I strongly encourage you to take at least one and do a summer internship — in fact, two summers if you can afford to! Some as early as the summer between your sophomore and junior year, but “they” (the companies & your potential future employer) start taking you as a student more seriously the summer between your junior and senior year and the just after your senior year also. This can be extremely valuable if its with a company that you like and enjoy the work they do and they like you and want to hire you – you can then be making more money after 4 years of college than most of us in this forum are currently making with a masters degree :-)

I may only be speaking for myself, but I was unfortunately amongst the generation of people that was raised under the proverbial belief that if you just worked hard and got good grades and went to university and did the same and did your due diligence with networking and internships and then maybe went on to get a masters degree, that you wouldn't have too much trouble finding a great job (and decent-paying one for entry level) afterwards. And that all you had to do is get a higher education and degree and you'd automatically better your chances. This however is most definitely not true all the time. (For those who this has worked out for you, then awesome, I commend you, you are a rarity and are truly blessed!) Most of the time, it will boil down to who you know (or rather, who knows you and cares) and what you've done (that is, experience – not educational degrees).

I wish you the best Roberto, and I'm sure if you have other questions about this, any of us here who's been in this forum will be more than willing to offer what we can.

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Roberto in Eagle Pass, Texas

22 months ago

First of all I would like to thank you, Absurdity, for the wealth of information you've just given me haha. You've definitely given me hope and I honestly look forward to the future :)

That being said, I've done my research on, and actually am continuing to research, colleges which offer degrees in Physics and Engineering Physics. Right now it's too early to tell what exactly I would like to do, and I have a doubt about what a degree in Engineering Physics actually is. From what I've read at several college websites, it's a major in physics with a concentration on Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, etc. Is this correct? Or am I missing something?

Your help is greatly appreciated. :)

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Mark2m in Austin, Texas

22 months ago

You might of seen my post in other threads. My son graduated 4/12 BS Engineering physics. After 4 months of pointless company sites each requesting a different profile format, resume, and cover letter, the only jobs came from the oil and gas business. This was after 75 resume's to companies utilizing engineering physics. Luckily, he is now working as an oil and shale gas engineer for an oil services company, loves his job and never home.
Note he has had extensive international experience (applications vs theoretical) in fluids and water transmission. The oil companies are growing and hiring physics engineers especially due to the math portions of their education.

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Mark2m in Austin, Texas

22 months ago

If you plan on oil and gas and work in the field, dont bother with a PHd since you were will be overqualified. No one is looking at logging, fracking, tools, completions with an MS, a BS is more than adequate.

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jack in Denton, Texas

20 months ago

Mark2m in Austin, Texas said: If you plan on oil and gas and work in the field, dont bother with a PHd since you were will be overqualified. No one is looking at logging, fracking, tools, completions with an MS, a BS is more than adequate.

Could you give me some information about the company. I just got my MS in physics, and trying very hard to find a job. My email: jack.dialogue@gmail.com

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geography guy in Houston, Texas

20 months ago

I would recommend remote sensing. Remote sensing is normally part of the curriculum in geography departments (such as mine). But from what I've heard, remote sensing jobs also look for people with physics backgrounds.

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Mark2m in Indialantic, Florida

20 months ago

guest in San Francisco, California

I guess most of the classmates in my son's school that graduated in 4/11 with BS physics engineering, arent working for oil companies? the fact the oil and oil services companies that are on campus for the job fairs are looking for phd's? some of his friends are evidently working for monopoly money in Prudhoe bay at $100K plus room and board, imagine what they can make with a phd instead of a BS. Yes you are perfectly right, out in the field you need a phd to work and oversee the rigs, get real. Most of the graduates of CO.School of Mines are graduating with jobs at $60K + without MS or Phd. Dont believe me look it up yourself, go to job sites, instead of expousing your drivel on this forum.

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Mark2m in Indialantic, Florida

20 months ago

guest in San Francisco, California
`I am sorry it is BS Engineering Physics. I must have hit a nerve and I am sorry, if you know how to do a basic search on the web, you will find that this degree has many applications.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

20 months ago

That should read "M.S.M.E."

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Riot in Ware, Massachusetts

20 months ago

As this thread has moved past its original topic of what to do with a MS in Physics, I do want to add my two cents about a BS in Petroleum Engineering: It's not essential to work for an oil company. Not one bit. I have a friend who graduated with a BS in ChemE in 2010 and was offered a job for an oil company before the end of the summer. She turned it down and now works for a biotech company, but I can tell you that the salary she was offered then is higher even than what my other engineer friends make today, despite working for good companies and having more experience.

Working in technical fields seems to come down to relatively few things: Have a decent GPA. Do undergrad research, internships, or have previous relevant work experience. An M.S. can help you by being a GPA booster and offering 1-2 years of additional experience, so long as you choose a thesis topic relevant to the work you want to do.

Also, for those reading this thread looking for help finding work with a Physics MS, check out physicsforums.com . I read this site occasionally and people there (in the Career Forum) are smart and trying to do the same kinds of things you are. (Those who read this forum regularly know I'm not just shilling for a site.)

Good luck.

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- Indeed Host in Austin, Texas

20 months ago

Hello Everyone, Please stay on topic and adhere to our forum guidelines. Be respectful, reasonable and relevant. Don't post anything nonsensical, disruptive or irrelevant. If you're not sure your comment is a meaningful contribution, don't post it. We remove inappropriate content including personal attacks and aggressive, threatening or profane language. You can find the rest of our guidelines here: http://www.indeed.com/forum/gen/How-to-Use-Indeed/Indeed-Forum-Rules/t82504 Thank you, Indeed Host

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SwimAway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

20 months ago

"I'd appreciate any real advice. What tactic could I use to find something?"

Rob - I'm glad you found a job, albeit teaching which is not your first love.
Have you considered relocating? I've noticed Physics jobs on Monster in the past for pharmaceutical, chemical and other well-recognized companies in my general area, and I believe there are many more of these companies along the east coast. My friend works for NASA and loves it (as a Research Engineer, but the research aspect sounds physics-like?)...just a thought to open more possibilities if there is nothing keeping you in Columbus.

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