During your physics studies, you’ll probably get the chance to complete a research project of some kind. If this is something you enjoyed, you might want to consider a career as a physicist. Physicists conduct research into natural phenomena to help us better understand how the world works, and these findings can be applied to create new discoveries. For example, the development of telecommunications and skyscrapers wouldn’t be possible without physics research.
One of the most exciting things about being a physicist is that there are so many different specialities. If biology and physics were your favourite sciences at school, biophysicists research how biological systems are shaped by the laws of physics. Meanwhile, astrophysicists study the physical processes that happen in space.
A career in science communications allows you to combine an interest in science and english, by working to make science more accessible to the general public. This is important as science affects even those who aren’t interested in science study, as seen with the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
There are a number of different jobs which allow you to communicate science. Science writers research, write and edit articles about science, not just for peer-reviewed journals, but for the science section of newspapers and magazines. Science museum curators work in science museums and planetariums, putting together engaging exhibitions that spark people’s interest in science. If you’re interested in politics, policy researchers create reports convincing the government to sign specific policies into law.
Engineering is the application of scientific theories to solve practical problems. As engineering and physics are closely connected —with many engineering principles relying on physics theories— studying physics puts you in an excellent position for a wide range of engineering jobs. Engineers help prepare us for the future: AI engineers design, develop and troubleshoot AI programmes to fulfil jobs that are challenging for humans to perform, while renewable energy engineers find and produce clean and efficient energy sources. The work of engineers even makes our lives safer, just look at vehicle crash test engineers who design and evaluate vehicle safety tests.
Interested in studying physics, but not sure whether a career in the sector is for you? The transferable skills physics study provides will make you an attractive candidate in any industry.
For example, the critical thinking and problem solving skills physics provides could lead you to a role as a risk manager, identifying potential threats to a company and putting in place preventative measures. Plus, if you’d still like to work in STEM, many pharmaceutical and technology companies hire risk managers.
Furthermore, have you ever thought about a career in law? Patent attorneys are actually required to hold a STEM degree. These lawyers work with inventors to design patents, which stops other inventors from copying their design or making similar ones. Holding a STEM degree means patent attorneys can understand the technical specifications of their client’s products, and can incorporate the details into their patent.