While a physics degree is based in practical work, it also includes a good deal of theoretical learning, preparing you for research-based roles and positions in the other sciences, as well as business and finance...
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.
Work experience is expected by most employers so being able to provide relevant examples in your job applications will greatly enhance your chances of success.
Some physics degrees include a year in industry to help students obtain work experience. If your degree does not offer this option, you could look at gaining relevant experience in other ways. Summer internships or vacation work are an option, although some scientific organisations do not offer short-term placements. You will need to research this option well. You may have the opportunity to undertake an industrially sponsored project.
If you are considering a career unrelated to your subject, think about any skills gaps and look for opportunities that will enable you to develop in these areas. These include voluntary work, internships, work shadowing and further study.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Employers of physics graduates include academic institutions, government research organisations and industry.
Industries employing physicists include aerospace and defence, education, energy, engineering, instrumentation, manufacturing, oil and gas, science, communication, space exploration and telecommunications.
Physics graduates not directly using their physics degree can pursue careers in a range of sectors such as IT and consultancy, the environmental industry, financial services, and the legal sector, transport and utilities.
Studying physics can help you to develop a range of skills that can be applied in many areas, both scientific and non-technical. These skills include:
Some of the most popular physics-related courses at postgraduate level include:
There are also many other postgraduate opportunities for graduates from any subject. Physics graduates can pursue postgraduate study in marketing, finance, business, law, IT, journalism and other areas. Another option is to pursue the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or the Scottish Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in preparation for a teaching career.
Physics graduates are employed in many industries. Only a small minority use their physics knowledge or technical skills as a major part of their work.
Well over a third of new graduates are employed either full or part time six months after graduation. Of these, just over 19% are in business and financial roles, 13% work as IT professionals, 9% in scientific research and development and a nearly a further 9% in engineering.
Nearly half of all physics graduates go on to full or part-time study after graduation. The majority are in full-time study, while 9% work and study together.
|Working and studying||8.9%|
|Business and financial||19.3%|
|Retail, catering and bar work||9.2%|
|Scientific research and development||9%|
For a detailed breakdown of what physics graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
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