• Question: What career paths are open for someone who does physics in college?

    Asked by ahopkins to Ahmed, Francesca, George, James on 19 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: James Sullivan

      James Sullivan answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      Hi ahopkins,

      I was at a careers talk given by UCD’s head of physics recently so I know a bit of this.

      Lots of them go to the semiconductor industries (Intel), or computer programming, or electronics industries.

      A lot (of the space scientists especially) stay in astronomy and space science.

      And a lot of them go the the financial services industries (where their knowledge of data treatment is very useful). Apparently quite a few have recently gone to work with Paddy Power.

      I hope this is useful.

    • Photo: Ahmed Osman

      Ahmed Osman answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      Dear ahopkins
      thanks for your brilliant question
      Common jobs for people with a physics degree include academic research, teaching, working in industry, finance and accountancy. As physicists tend to be highly numerate, analytical and logical, and are frequently also creative thinkers, excellent at problem solving and meticulous. So these are good, safe jobs for physicists.
      But there’s a job that’s well suited to the physicist that most never even think of pursuing. The entrepreneur.
      What is an entrepreneur? Someone who creates a business out of nothing. In other words, someone who understands either implicitly or explicitly that wealth is not a conserved quantity.

      People with a business background worry about targets and objectives and incremental improvements. Physicists ask, “what is the underlying model here and how can I increase performance by an order of magnitude?”

      In short, physicists think big. They understand scale. And they are ideally placed to spearhead innovations that disrupt entire industries.
      hope it helps
      thanks 🙂

    • Photo: Francesca Paradisi

      Francesca Paradisi answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      James answered this already, I would add that some of them will stay in academia and do different kind of research in a field they love.