Physical scientists can do anything: Here’s how you start your career planning

Physics Today, March 21, 2013

Alaina G. Levine

Venturing outside the world of academic physics to look for a job is not as daunting as you might think.

…”So how do you find these careers, access them, and assess whether they are right for you? To begin, you have to understand how much value you have as a professional with an education in the physical sciences, whether you are just graduating, completing your postdoc, or have been working for 10–15 years. Most physical scientists think their only value lies in the subject of their expertise: I am a physicist, therefore I can only do physics. And although is it absolutely true that you have great talent in conducting physics research, you have much more to offer potential employers. You have highly coveted skills that you gained simply as a byproduct of studying physics or other STEM fields. As a result of your schooling, you are

  • An exceptional problem solver who can see and solve puzzles both granulistically and holistically and in many dimensions.
  • An amazing critical thinker who can analyze and imagine situations and scenarios with a 360 degree perspective.
  • A talented project manager who can multi-task on diverse teams with great aplomb.
  • An adaptive and flexible worker.
  • A person who is knowledgeable about how the physical world works. and how to apply that knowledge to solve problems in new realms.”

To learn more about how physical scientists can do anything, read the entire article in Physics Today.