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Top News
•  Scientists discover black hole so big it contradicts growth theory
•  The Hills Have Ice... on Mars, That Is
•  Did dark matter kill the dinosaurs?
•  Dark Matter Influences Supermassive Black Hole Growth
•  'Golden stars' pulsate in a strange, non-chaotic way
•  Slimy Microbes May Have Carpeted Earth 3.2 Billion Years Ago
•  'Shadow biosphere' might be hiding strange life right under our noses
•  Cosmic "Reionization" Is More Recent than Predicted
•  Evidence for the Presence of Dark Matter in the Innermost Part of the Milky Way
•  Dark matter found in Milky Way’s core
•  Planck: Gravitational Waves Remain Elusive
•  Ancient miniature solar system hints at existence of alien life
•  Cosmic 'Nuclear Pasta' May Be Stranger Than Originally Thought
•  How the Earth got its nitrogen
•  Three nearly Earth-size planets found orbiting nearby star
•  How 'Quantum Dots' Could Probe Mysteries of Entanglement
•  Space chemistry could be cooking up icy building blocks of life, study says
•  Using a Vanishing Neutron Star to Measure Space-time Warp
•  Did Gravity Save the Universe from 'God Particle' Higgs Boson?
•  8 Newfound Alien Worlds Could Potentially Support Life
•  Planet hunters plot course for habitable worlds
•  The Stellar Origins of Your Toothpaste
•  The world of physics in 2015
•  NASA Rover Finds Mysterious Methane Emissions on Mars
•  Researchers use real data rather than theory to measure the cosmos
•  Superconductivity record breaks under pressure
•  New Dark Matter Detector Will Be 100 Times More Sensitive to Dark Matter
•  Researchers report possible dark matter signal
•  Quantum Teleportation Reaches Farthest Distance Yet
•  Mars Rover Finds Stronger Potential for Life
•  Quantum computer quest
•  See it, touch it, feel it: Team develops invisible 3-D haptic shape
•  European probe shoots down dark-matter claims
•  Gravity may have saved the universe after the Big Bang
•  How to estimate the magnetic field of an exoplanet
•  Parallel Worlds Could Explain Wacky Quantum Physics
•  GPS satellites might be able to detect elusive dark matter
•  Frigid matter powers first quantum circuits
•  Dark Matter's New Wrinkle: It May Behave Like Wavy Fluid
•  Dark Matter Black Holes Could Be Destroying Stars at the Milky Way’s Center
•  Why a Physics Revolution Might Be on Its Way
•  European satellite could discover thousands of planets in Earth's galaxy
•  String field theory could be the foundation of quantum mechanics
•  New Experiment Aims to Crack Neutrino Mass Mystery
•  Universe may face a darker future
•  Ultracold disappearing act: 'Matter waves' move through one another but never share space
•  Evidence Builds for Dark Matter Explosions at the Milky Way’s Core
•  Can the wave function of an electron be divided and trapped?
•  Chilly Record! Coldest Object on Earth Created in Lab
•  Astronomers Capture First-Ever Image Of A Nova’s Exploding Fireball Stage
•  A quantum world arising from many ordinary ones
•  Historic quantum software is run for the first time
•  3-D map of the adolescent universe
•  Physicists see potential dark matter from the Sun
•  Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam
•  Desktop sonic black hole emits Hawking radiation
•  Two new strange and charming particles appear at LHC
•  Texas border town to become next Cape Canaveral
•  New Particle Is Both Matter and Antimatter
•  Deep Space, Branching Molecules, and Life’s Origins?
•  Quantum bits get their first compression
•  Higgs Boson to the World Wide Web: 7 Big Discoveries Made at CERN
•  'Space Bubbles' May Have Doomed Key Afghan War Mission
•  Is Our Universe Really 'Slip Slidin Away'?
•  Quantum Entanglement Creates New State of Matter
•  Photons weave their way through a triple slit
•  Quantum teleportation from a telecom-wavelength photon to a solid-state quantum memory
•  Cosmic inflation: BICEP 'underestimated' dust problem
•  Milky Way may bear 100 million life-giving planets
•  Synopsis: More Dark Matter Hints from Cosmic Rays?
•  Surprise! Monster Black Hole Found in Dwarf Galaxy
•  Stalking the Shadow Universe
•  Scattered neutrons could mimic DAMA-LIBRA's 'dark matter' modulation
•  Stalking the Shadow Universe
•  Universe Shouldn't Be Here, According to Higgs Physics
•  Nearby Alien Planet May Be Capable of Supporting Life
•  The First Indirect Detection of Dark Matter
•  Higgs Boson Confirms Reigning Physics Model Yet Again
•  Dark Matter Mystery Deepens
•  Gravitational-wave team admits findings could amount to dust
•  Plasmonic waveguide stops light in its tracks
•  Large Hadron Collider Discovers 'Very Exotic Matter' That Challenges Traditional Physics
•  Physicists link neutron stars to earthbound alloys
•  New material offers angular control over light
•  Lasers to Solve the Black Hole Information Paradox?
•  Big Bang Discovery Opens Doors to the "Multiverse"
•  Big Bang breakthrough announced; gravitational waves detected
•  Paradox Solved? How Information Can Escape from a Black Hole
•  Weird 'Entangled' Light Gives Microscope Sharper Images
•  Population of Known Alien Planets Nearly Doubles as NASA Discovers 715 New Worlds
•  Quantum Dropleton: Weird New Particle Acts Like Liquid
•  Fresh hint of dark matter seen in neutrino search
•  Baby universe rumbled with thunder of Higgs bubbles
•  Dark-Matter Detector to Begin Operations Soon in China
•  Laser Facility Blasts Way to Fusion First
•  No Black Holes Exist, Says Stephen Hawking--At Least Not Like We Think
•  Quasar shines a bright light on cosmic web
•  Deepest galaxy cluster ever pictured by Hubble
•  Scientists can levitate stuff and make it fly around using sound
•  Electron Appears Spherical, Squashing Hopes for New Physics Theories

Careers in Physics

March 4, 2010

College students change their major an average of three times in the four years in school, according to Deciding what career to do for the rest of your life that will support your eating-out habits and your obsession with ordering things off Amazon is enough to make you start hyperventilating.

Advisors are beginning to see a trend in the number of jobs that are open to particular majors. More people are beginning to change career paths numerous times in their lifetime. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found a jump in the number of jobs the average person will hold in a lifetime.

The question is no longer, "What can I do with my major," but "What can't I do?"

Many Paths for Physicists

Physics majors have long been viewed as one-option-career-path physicists. However, that is no longer the case. A degree in physics covers a wide array of job offers, from specialized engineering to optometry. According to the bureau of labor statistics, physicists hold about 17,100 jobs in the US.

Because physics is the study of learning how things work, students in this field develop step-by-step problem solving abilities using skills in math, observation and communication. Physic majors develop a critical way of thinking that contributes to a variety of professions.

The job outlook for physicists is experiencing faster-than-average job growth. No longer are students waiting for professors or established physicists to retire so they may be able to take their place. Similarly, opportunities in the industry are just as numerous as those in universities and university research.

"It is time for the academic physics community to redefine what a physicist is and to embrace industrial physicists (bachelors, masters, and PhD's) as their colleagues. It is also time for the industry to take the mask off these hidden physicists and identify them by their proper title. The physics profession and industry would be well served if both these things happened," says Dr. Jay Dittman, associate professor of Physics.

Physics in Business, Medicine and Science

A Bachelor of Science in physics provides a solid base for students hoping to earn an advanced degree in areas beyond science or medicine, such as business, law or accounting.

Business is a good path for physics major because of the rigorous math courses students have undertaken. They would become an asset as economists by developing models, predictions and research regarding future economic conditions. Many physicists that go into business find themselves becoming executives or owners of companies.

Physicists develop a way of thinking that various fields need in order to create technological advances or to conduct research.

In a world where ipads and touch screen machines are becoming common fixtures in our lives, there is a need for people in the legal profession that are able to not only create patents and contracts, but who can also understand the scientific complexities behind such contracts.

If a physic major decides to go into the medical field there are other job possibilities besides becoming a doctor. Hospitals or manufacturers of diagnostic tools look for employees that can create machines that are in need in the health care system, such as MRIs or CAT scans.

Technology plays an important role for physicists for research and product development. Companies look for people that are able to test new devices involving superconductivity, optics, or lasers. Those areas are familiar territory for physics majors.

Much More Than a Major

Overall, the outlook for physics majors is bright. A variety of career opportunities offer a good match between a student's interest in physics and a job in any number of industries. Rapid advances in technology and the many applications of physics open up options for students that may not have previously existed.