A physics degree is an excellent starting point for many careers. Employers in a wide range of sectors -- from IT and finance to defence, engineering, education and more -- value physics graduates both for their subject knowledge and for their numeracy, problem-solving abilities. However, the versatility of the degree also means there is no "default option", and despite government rhetoric about "STEM shortages", physics graduates often have to work hard to identify jobs that will use their skills.
In this talk, I will discuss some of the challenges that new physics graduates (both undergraduate and PhD) face in the job market, and present a series of "case studies" of physics graduates working in various industries.
Dr Margaret Harris is the industry editor at Physics World, the international monthly magazine published by the Institute of Physics. Since joining the magazine in 2008 as its reviews and careers editor, she has written or edited more than 100 articles about the careers of physics graduates, and has also covered related topics such as the challenges facing early-career academic scientists, the pros and cons of working for physics-based spin-out firms and the “STEM shortage” in the UK labour market. Before becoming a science journalist, Margaret earned a PhD in experimental atomic and molecular physics at Durham University.