This is a very diverse academic field with many opportunities for students. Physics prepares students in the theories and methods of science that can be applied in other different professional areas and research subjects. Physics is actually the study of how the world works; its laws are applied to many fields like engineering, communications, biology, electronics and many others.
Graduates in physics work in many industries and companies as medical researches, engineers, software development and computer scientists. Other common occupations for physics graduates include research, management, higher education, medical technology, sales and the civil service.
Other graduates apply their knowledge in fields outside of the scientific world; their skills like solving problems, information handling, clear communication and critical reasoning are useful for a range of careers in banking and finance.
Coursework in Physics
The most common courses to be taken by physics students are:
- Frontiers in Physics
- Medical physics
- Physics history
- Quantum theory
- Theoretical physics
- Thermal physics
Students who become physicists tend to specialize in one or more areas like:
- Nuclear Physics: In this specialty, students learn topics relative to the nucleus of the atom like components, structure and behavior. The most common practical applications of this specialty are nuclear energy, nuclear medicine and development of electronic components like smoke detectors.
Requirements for a successful Physics Career
- Geophysics: This specialty is dedicated to apply physical theories to determine the properties of earth. There are many branches like hydrology, seismology, gravity and geodesy. These studies make possible the building of highways and bridges as well as the determination of earthquakes.
- Astronomy: It is considered as a subfield of physics, graduates with this specialty are dedicated to the observation and collection of data to explain associations between stars and planets and other phenomena taking place in the universe. Astronomers also try to solve problems connected with satellite communications and space flight navigation.
- Space Physics: Graduates in this specialty study the space environment in which satellites must survive. As we know, satellites are important for communications, broadcast, remote sensing, weather monitoring, positional information and military uses.
- Physics education: Many graduates become elementary or high school teachers, usually it is necessary a certification to teach in public schools. Other technical schools require physics majors who have some professional experience.
- Engineering Physics: Some students will earn a degree in physics and then go for a masterís degree in engineering; others will earn a double-major in physics and engineering. The construction of bridges, skyscrapers, airplanes and electrical systems requires a solid base in physics.
If you want to make a career in Physics, is important:
- Have strong skills in problem-solving
- Enjoy working with numbers
- Be good organizing and interpreting scientific data
- Have the ability to thinking logically and creatively
- Have good communication skills
- Enjoy working in laboratories
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