-- KendallMahn - 16 Oct 2014

Things to consider for your future career:

What do you really love about your work now? What isn't so fun? Try to generalize those qualities into what you may want in a future job. Do you like working with younger people/students? Do you like the challenge of unsolved problems? Do you like managing or hate it? Do you like routines or not? Do you like computing/coding or not at all? Building things?

APS has a nice site, along with webinars for different jobs: http://careers.aps.org/and http://www.aps.org/careers/guidance/index.cfm

Here's list of jobs PhDs in physics go towards in addition to academia:
  • Basic research in industry. Colleagues who have done this tend to use coding skills, and one of them says he does more physics now than he did as a postdoc. Larger companies tend to have a basic research division and will recruit PhDs.
  • Teaching. High school teaching is quite different from university setting and has its own rewards. The main disadvantage is lower pay.
  • Finance. These people make code to use on the stock market, and are sometimes called "quants".
  • Large data sets and "Data mining". This is apparently a popular field with a lot of applications. Some of the examples are: identifing credit card fraud (banks, credit companies), Facebook/Google, identifying health issues or systems for medical use (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/science/unreported-side-effects-of-drugs-found-using-internet-data-study-finds.html?_r=0) and determining insurance premiums (insurance companies). This is also very closely related to the standard HEP skill set.
  • A related type of job is the handling large computing systems (like IT) or mySQL servers.
  • Basic research in medicine/applied physics/radiation and oncology. One colleague used to work at a hospital with neutron beams. There are also programs in the US (~2 years after PhD) where you then can work in a hospital treating patients.
Useful websites to look for jobs:




http://jobs.physicstoday.org/jobs/ This page also shows non-academic jobs, like industry postings.
Topic revision: r1 - 16 Oct 2014, KendallMahn

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