Make yourself employable - get a degree in Physics!
A degree in physics opens the door to a variety of careers – because the skills you gain are valuable in so many jobs. These skills include:
- problem solving
- information handling
- critical reasoning and logical thought
- clear communication, and
- computer skills.
After completing a Physics degree, you may well end up as a professional physicist. You are also suited for a job in medicine, IT, finance, communications, journalism, management, manufacturing … and many other rewarding careers!
Graduates of the School of Physics are now making bionic ears and working in oil and gas exploration. They have careers with major photonics, semiconductor and telecommunications companies. There are graduates who are actuaries, science journalists and training consultants. They are developing multimedia and electronic-trading software, consulting on public health and environmental issues, managing patent applications even flying 747s.
Our Honours graduates often continue on to more study. Students who leave us with a PhD often find high-level jobs in research facilities or universities in Australia or overseas. Our graduates are highly regarded around the world.
But physicists are often called physicists only if they are engaged in research. In fact, however, physicists work in many settings, employed by a diverse range of industries and companies, with a variety of job titles engineer, computer scientist; system analyst, software developer, software engineer and the list goes on. Rarely are they identified as physicists, thought of as physicists, or formally called physicists.
Physicists are hidden! Even television shows like Star Trek have engineers plainly visible but no physicists. Scientists who do physics are often called "scientists" in newspapers, magazines, and television, continuing the hiding of physics.
Physicists more than those trained in other disciplines seem able to change their field of employment more readily in response to either evolving interests or in reaction to exciting new areas that have emerged.
See An Opportunity for Physics in which a 'lapsed' physicist describes his view of the value of a Physics training.
- Physics and Astronomy Report from Australia’s STEM Workforce, a Report from Australia's Chief Scientist (2016).
- Australian Graduate Survey Research Reports from Graduate Careers Australia.
Sydney students should consult the University of Sydney's Careers Centre.
The Physics Job Market
- Physicist dress code - what's it like to be a physicist - hours, dress code, and perks.
- Academic freedom - What is it like working in a university?
Some other pages of interest
- How to become an Astronomer (from the Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) ).
- Recent astronomy jobs in Australia (also from the Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) ).
- A New Universe to Explore: Careers in Astronomy from the American Astronomical Society.
- Graduate Careers Australia
- What can you do with a Physics Degree? (from Australian Institute of Physics)
- Education and Employment Trends (from the American Institute of Physics )
- University of Sydney's Careers Centre.