Is physics in demand?
Yes! Research has shown that employers are continually seeking employees with physics skills. They are interested in the application of physics not just as a science, but also in a range of sectors, such as medicine, engineering, and climate science. Law and finance are also two sectors seeking people with physics skills, although they may appear unrelated to physics at first glance.
To illustrate this, the Institute of Physics spoke to senior decision makers from 14 organisations, who are all interested in hiring those with physics skills. The organisations represent a range of industries and demands, including: accelerating technology start-ups, advising the application of patents, developing breast cancer care technology and modelling risks in the insurance industry.
Statistics show that occupations which require physics knowledge account for 1 in 20 jobs, totalling a staggering 1.85 million jobs across the UK and Ireland. Even where jobs don’t require physics, many job advertisements are looking for physics-related skills, such as coding and data analysis.
What do these findings show?
This research shows that physics is valuable at a range of skill levels. The wide range of job opportunities mean that students should be introduced to physics at an early age, allowing them to develop an interest. It also shows that just like our modern world, physics continues to evolve. New technologies like artificial intelligence have created exciting new job opportunities, and further developments are likely.
Furthermore, it is clear that physics skills are in high demand, even outside of traditional physics jobs. The fact that industries like business and law are seeking physics skills shows the range of jobs available, and how it’s possible to pursue a passion for physics and an unrelated subject.
What transferable skills do physics students/apprentices gain?
While the research shows that physics skills are valuable, it also shows that physics skills are of their greatest value when combined with other skills. Thus, as a physics student or apprentice, it’s important to develop other skills beyond physics, as this will help you stand out from the crowd. Skills developed by physics students include: problem solving, communication, research and data analysis.