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Top News
•  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
•  Pulverized Asteroid around Distant Star Was Full of Water
•  Higgs and Englert Are Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics
•  'Higgsogenesis' proposed to explain dark matter
•  A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics
•  Supervolcanoes Rocked Early Mars
•  Hunting quantum gravity in the big bang's echoes
•  Fusion Experiments Inch Closer To Break-Even Goal
•  Curiosity Rover Makes Big Water Discovery in Mars Dirt, a 'Wow Moment'
•  With Earth spinning more slowly, time isn't flying as fast as before
•  Earth Had Oxygen Much Earlier Than Thought
•  Is the universe saddle shaped?
•  Beam Me Up: Bits of Information Teleported Across Computer Chip
•  Doomsday and disembodied brains? Tiny particle rules universe's fate
•  The Drake Equation Revisited
•  First Human Mind-Meld Created
•  Highly sensitive skin-like sensor lights up at touch
•  NASA's WISE telescope poised for second life as asteroid hunter
•  Cosmic Rays May Reveal Damage to Fukushima's Nuclear Reactors
•  Hunt for Intelligent Aliens Focuses on Faint Laser Flashes
•  Sluggish Surprise Found Deep Inside Earth
•  Star Trek Tricorder About to Come True for Medicine
•  Rare Particle Discovery Dims Hopes for Exotic Theories
•  NASA Funds 12 Far-Out Space Tech Ideas
•  Space-Time Loops May Explain Black Holes
•  'Holographic Duality' Hints at Hidden Subatomic World
•  Shields up! Scientists work to produce 'Star Trek' deflector device
•  Fluorescent Polymer Detects Crime Scene Fingerprints
•  Mars Rover Opportunity Hits Driving Milestone on 10th Birthday
•  Nanoparticles Help Scientists Tell Left From Right
•  'Mini-Neptune' Alien Planets in Star Cluster Surprise Scientists
•  From NASA to the Vatican: 10 Amazing Internships
•  Asteroid Miners to Use 3D Printing for Space Telescopes
•  New 'Charmed' Particle Represents Rare State of Matter
•  New Electronics Can Withstand Bodily Fluids
•  Atom Smashers Find Something Not So Charm-ing
•  It's Time to Tackle Interstellar Spaceflight, Experts Say
•  How Ancient Life May Have Come About
•  Top 5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse
•  Baylor Physicists Contribute to Higgs Boson Findings

Careers in Physics

March 4, 2010

College students change their major an average of three times in the four years in school, according to collegeboard.com. 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.