Breaking the Myth of the “Non-Traditional” Physicist: The Real Story About Employment for Physics Graduates

Dr. Crystal Bailey, American Physical Society

Physics degree holders are among the most employable in the world, often doing everything from managing a research lab at a multi-million dollar corporation, to developing solutions to global problems in their own small startups. Science and Technology employers know that with physics training, a potential hire has acquired a broad problem-solving skill set that translates to almost any environment, as well as an ability to be self-guided and self-motivated so that they can teach themselves whatever is needed to be successful at achieving their goals. Therefore it's no surprise that the majority of physics graduates find employment in private-sector, industrial settings. At the same time, only about 25% of graduating PhDs will take a permanent faculty position –– yet academic careers are usually the only track to which students are exposed while earning their degrees. In this talk, I will explore less familiar (but more common!) career paths for physics graduates, and I will provide information on resources to boost your career planning and job hunting skills.