If you’re contemplating earning a physics degree at university, or you are a physics undergraduate and you are thinking of life after graduation, it’s quite normal for you to dwell on the kind of jobs in physics you can do with your degree after graduation.

While studying physics, there are valuable skills you’ll learn that shall help you excel at various kinds of jobs. Some of these skills include:

  • Arithmetic skills;
  • Report writing skills; and
  • Research

It might feel burdensome choosing a specific job or career you want to pursue after university. Not to worry, this article lists the kind of jobs physics graduates can do and how they can get the best out of their jobs.

Honestly, you don’t have to. As a physics degree holder, you’re not limited to only one sector or field. Your degree empowers you to delve into different industries due to its versatility. However, if you’re keen on physics degree jobs, you can as well pursue such.

Some of the numerous industries a physics graduate can work in include:

  • Government;
  • Petroleum and gas;
  • Science;
  • Engineering;
  • Business and finance;
  • Technology;
  • Construction;
  • Health, and a host of others.

As regards specific job roles, some jobs in physics a physics graduate can apply for include:

  • Physicist;
  • Research personnel;

Even better, a physics graduate isn’t limited to the jobs listed above. You can also apply for the following:

  • Data analyst;
  • IT consultant;
  • Lab technician;
  • Design engineer

Also, jobs that require numerical proficiency will suit a physics graduate perfectly.

Unfortunately, there are one or more jobs that are intentionally or unintentionally overlooked by physics graduates with Bachelor of Science honours. One of these jobs includes a physics teacher.

Right now, some states in Nigeria lack inadequate teaching professionals in different subjects, including physics and maths. For example, the Ministry of Education in Lagos states admits that the state requires the services of qualified personnel that can teach core science subjects such as physics and maths in secondary schools.

In order to alleviate the problem, it is common for state and federal government to set up bursaries for brilliant students who are interested in studying science courses like physics and maths. Ultimately, some of these students will end up being graduates and become teachers afterwards.

If you ever considered teaching as a career or you’re confident that you possess the necessary skills needed to excel as a teacher, you should really pursue teaching as a career after completing your physics studies at university.

You should understand that the jobs highlighted above are examples of the various forms of jobs you’ll come across. Therefore, it is essential that you’re willing to listen to opinions when applying for jobs. Also, you should consider your career goals and ensure they align with the positions you’re applying for.

In addition, you should your options in fields that you find interesting and apply for only jobs that you want to base your career on.

Some Physics Graduates Don’t Start Working Immediately

It’s also important to consider the fact that some physics graduates will not secure a job immediately after graduating from university.

People have different intentions. Some people may decide to engage in work-study activities immediately, some take the opportunity to volunteer and engage in charitable acts, while some other people just decide to vacation away by taking a year off travelling and touring new places.

Some people visit and tour new places after graduation. Photo credit: Petri Oeschger/Getty Images.

In addition, some people might decide to pursue postgraduate studies immediately upon the completion of their undergraduate studies because they feel it’s the right option to opt for.

It means that they’ll pursue a masters degree in physics or other similar courses offered by a university’s department of physics. Some of these courses include:

  • Theoretical physics;
  • Quantum mechanics;
  • Biophysics;
  • Statistics mechanics;
  • Atomic and molecular physics;
  • Thermodynamics;
  • Quantum computing;
  • Geophysics; and
  • Condensed matter physics.

However, physics graduates aren’t limited to studying these courses at postgraduate level. As a physics graduate, you can opt for postgraduate study in a field not related to physics. It might include business and finance, humanities or management.

If your career dream aligns with academics and you see yourself furthering your education to PhD level, or you’re quite interested in physics and it’ll interest you to further your knowledge of physics in an academic institution, then you should consider picking up a postgraduate form.

If you have chosen the academic path and would like to know more or you seek professional advice, you can approach your school’s counselling unit or career advisers. The trained professionals will definitely furnish you with necessary information as regards admission and the criteria for being admitted.

Also, you can explore the option of having a career discussion with your physics and maths teacher since they have garnered adequate knowledge and experience to know what works and what doesn’t. 

What Can Increase My Likelihood Of Being Successful When Applying For Physics Graduate Jobs

Everyone has come to realize that for you to secure your desired physics graduate jobs; you have to stand out among your competition.

It is true that physics graduates have certain skills embedded in them and employers always look out for these skills when considering people for employment. However, those skills aren’t the only way to ensure your application stands out from others.

What Are The Skills Employers Consider Valuable?

There is no sole right answer when considering the qualities employers look out for in potential employees. However, there’s a rule of thumb that there are multidisciplinary skills that attract the attention of employers and physics graduates have learnt these skills during the course of their study.

These skills include:

  • Communication;
  • Research;
  • Data analysis;
  • Problem-solving; and
  • IT skills (programming preferably).

For example, if you’re applying for a data analyst job, your potential employer will most likely focus on your arithmetic and data processing skills proficiency. It’s because your role as a data analyst will require you working on data and numbers.

Physics class illustration
You can learn numeracy skills as a physics undergraduate. Photo credit: A-digit/Getty Images

How Can I Boost My CV?

One of the surefire ways to make a statement when applying for a role is to highlight your valuable experience. It only underlines the fact that you have an understanding of what to do and that you have the necessary experience that other applicants may not boast of.

The experience needed for a job isn’t general. It depends on the kind of job you’re applying for. Therefore, the sort of job role or internship you’re applying for depends on the experience you have.

Physics intern
You can boost your job chances with internship opportunities. Photo credit: Xavierarnau/Getty Images

For instance, if you’re keen to continue the physics or science path, gaining some experience as a research assistant or data analyst can be advantageous.

Also, as an undergraduate, you’ll be given opportunities for industrial placement or internship. It is in your best interest to make most of the opportunity by garnering as much experience and knowledge as you can. It’ll give you the edge you need over others and help you land your dream job.

Understandably, some courses do not offer their students the opportunity for industrial placement. If you belong to such category, do not despair. You can use your summer break to apple for summer internships. As a physics undergraduate, there are lots of internship opportunities you’ll come across. Do well to maximize the opportunity.

These internship opportunities are most feasible during your penultimate year in school. If you require further assistance on how to secure the right internship opportunity, you can consult your school’s counsellor or career adviser.

You’ll get the best advice on how to construct an outstanding CV that you’ll send to your potential employers.

school counselling session
You can seek advice from your school counsellor over your career choice. Photo credit: SDI Productions/Getty Images

Earning Your Physics Degree Is Just The First Phase

Earning a physics degree can be advantageous when you’re trying to secure a job, especially because employers appreciate employees who can boast of numerical and analytical skills on the job.

It is, however, necessary that your academic achievement resonates with the qualification of the job you’re trying to apply for. For example, many Nigerian employers add a minimum of 2:1 to the list of criteria of candidates they’re looking out for. Some don’t even mind 2:2 or lesser class graduates.

With that in mind, it’ll really benefit you to graduate with the best possible grade. There are students who struggle with academic performance when studying physics. If you belong to this category, you don’t have to be afraid. There are ways of achieving academic excellence. One of them is hiring a physics and maths tutor.You can check out how to hire a maths and physics tutor.

Your physics and maths tutor will help you understand the topics you’re struggling with on your syllabus. Also, if you’re preparing for your SSCE or JAMB exams but your heart is set on studying physics at the university, your physics and maths tutor can help you prepare effectively for your exams.

Fortunately, Superprof offers various physics tutors you can choose from. These tutors offer face-to-face and remote tuition. You can also learn about where to find a physics and maths tutor and how much a physics tutor will charge you.

In addition, if you need more motivation, you can check out 10 advantages of studying physics. Alternatively, you can check how to get the best out of physics in Nigeria.

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