sameer - Have Ph.D. Will work for Money A brief, personal...

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Have Ph.D. Will work for Money A brief, personal overview of working in industry with a Ph.D. in Physics Sameer Gupta Lindamar Capital LLC March 1, 2011
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Leaving Academia At this point, many of you have spent nearly a decade studying physics and some of you may be considering or have decided not to pursue a career in academia. Questions: Should I leave Academic Physics? Why? Should I leave Physics? Why? These are questions with very personal answers and you have to sort them out before you go out there and seek jobs. They will come up often in your job search and you will be asked to give reasonable answers. Points to note: Leaving academia may not mean leaving physics. Intellectual challenges may be found in many real-world problems.
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What is Industry? A sampling of employers with job listings under industry on the Physics Today Jobs website. Applied Materials: Manufacturer of semiconductor fabrication and testing equipment. Looking for a Plasma Physicist. D.E. Shaw: A top quantitative hedge fund. Looking for a Quantitative Analyst. HRL Laboratories, LLC: Formerly Hughes Research (home of the first laser). Looking for a researcher in Quantum Information Science. These are just examples of the variety of places you may end up working at. Each company is different in its requirements, hiring processes, etc. The process of searching for jobs in industry will necessarily be far more varied especially if you are not sure what kind of job you are looking for. There is a world of options out there and you should be able to find something which challenges and fulfills you.
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Types of Jobs that Physicists may do in Industry : There is a wide range of these jobs which can range from almost pure research to pure engineering. Typically these jobs will require an experimental physics background but may not necessarily be in your area of research. Software : Programmers are needed in a wide variety of fields. A good working knowledge of a modern programming language such as C/C++, Java, Perl, Python is the biggest prerequisite. Consulting : Working for a big consulting firm as a management consultant. May need to get an MBA to go this route, though it is not necessary.
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More Jobs that Physicists may do in Industry Technical Analyst : Many companies are looking for people with good quantitative skills who can apply them to real world problems. Again a good programming and numerical background is required.
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course PHYSICS 7857 taught by Professor Pullin during the Spring '11 term at LSU.

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sameer - Have Ph.D. Will work for Money A brief, personal...

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