Why Study Physics? | UMSL

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Why Study Physics?

You will almost certainly get a job. A bachelors degree in physics is one of the most versatile degrees that a college graduate can obtain. Physics is fundamental and forms the basis for other science degrees such as chemistry and the engineering disciplines (e.g. electrical, mechanical, chemical). A degree in physics is a good indication that a person has the underlying skills to accomplish many of the projects of interest to employers in industry. In the St. Louis region alone there are a large number of employers in the semiconductor (SunEdison), aerospace (Boeing), defense (Essex Industries), and technology industries (Emerson). There is also a rapidly growing high tech startup community centered around Midtown in the Cortex complex, fueled by venture capital. These companies all value the flexibility and skillset of young physicists. In fact, our department has placed many of our undergraduates and graduate students into local industry.

For more in-depth analysis of why physics is a great degree to have and to see many more examples of where jobs are available, go to the American Physical Society's web page on becoming a physicist.

Additional information from the American Institute of Physics (AIP):

Who Is Hiring Physics Bachelor’s?
A state-by-state listing of the many employers who recently hired physics bachelor’s into science and engineering positions.

Who Is Hiring Physics PhD’s?
Employer names, job titles, sectors, salaries, and skills frequently used of new physics PhDs by field of employment.

Latest Employment Data for Physicists and Astronomers
Reports that provide the latest data on where physicists work and what they do throughout the economy and at different degree levels.

Statistical Research Center home page
Current data on education and employment in physics, astronomy, and allied fields, including interactive resources, full reports, and individual graphs and tables.