Career paths for physics graduates | Department of Physics

Career paths for physics graduates

Careers with a Physics Degree

Starting your career with a physics degree can lead you into many different directions, too many to list them all. StFX physics graduates often go on to IT companies, medicine, research, or education (see below). The Physics InSight slide show can give you an impression on how diverse a career in Physics can be.

The statistical data of the American Physical Society offer a lot of information about employment of physicists in different fields in the United States. The situation in Canada should be broadly comparable to that in the US. The 2008-2009 data show that a BSc in Physics can often get a very high starting salary, more than most other BSc's. Also, you might be surprised to learn that a BSc in physics is one of the best ways to get into med school: physics majors generally score high in Medical College Admissions Tests (MCAT), and the number of applicants with a physics or engineering background is much smaller as compared to other majors.

However, there are also many jobs that are directly related to physics. For instance, the current demand for accelerator physicists shows that fundamental science and industrial application often go hand in hand.

Employment of StFX physics graduates

Our Physics programs have two goals: to train all the students to think critically and independently as scientists and, secondly, to train some of them to "be Physicists". The programs offered provide opportunities for people to pursue careers in a number of directions: to become researchers, "applied" or "basic"; to develop expertise and the ability to carry out technical supervisory/managerial work in the public or private sectors; to be able to enter a variety of other professions such as medicine, secondary education.

Most of our graduates proceed to further study, in particular in masters or doctoral programs in physics or engineering, professional programs in medicine, or education. The following table contains more detailed data of the career path of StFX physics graduates from 1985 - 2008.

Faculty Members in Universities 3
Other Physics Research 9
Graduate Studies (Master/PhD) 21
Computer / Electronics / Telecommunications Industry 32
Medical Doctors / Medical Physics 22
High School Physics Teachers 25
Travel 5
Research Support 4
To B. Eng. Programs 3
Meteorology 2
Lawyers 2
Unknown 20