While you may think a career in law is too far removed from physics, patent attorneys actually need to have studied a STEM subject. Patent attorneys work with individuals or businesses who have a new invention, and want to protect it with a patent. Similar to a trademark, a patent allows the inventor to stop others designing similar products for a period of time. Thus, a STEM degree allows you to understand the technical aspects of the products you’re working on. With a physics degree you can even specialise in patenting products that utilise physics theories, for example in medical physics or artificial intelligence.
Growing up, did you ever play games like Club Penguin? The Sims? Wii Sports? As a game developer, you’ll be a part of the team that helps bring these games to fans across the world. Game developers focus on the technical aspects of making games: designing the systems the game runs on, writing and editing code, testing the code to solve technical difficulties, and working with the game design team to ensure gameplay is smooth. Given how much the game industry is expected to evolve over the next ten years (think interactive films and augmented reality versions of popular games), this is a very exciting time to enter the field.
A career as a data analyst allows you to apply the research and analytical skills you’ve gained from physics study to assist a range of sectors. Data analysts translate complex data sets into an accessible format, for example in graphs, charts, tables and reports. These insights are used by companies to solve problems within the business, for instance how to improve efficiency and boost overall profits. Data analysts are sought after in many sectors, including finance, government, education and healthcare.
Policy researchers apply their understanding of physics theories to advocate for policy reform regarding important science issues. They can work in think tanks, government bodies or research institutes, researching and analysing data to make a compelling case as to why the government should support a specific issue. Some topical issues policy researchers are working on include: space exploration, improving science education and creating a more sustainable food system.