Careers for Physics Majors

Physics majors are fortunate to build a significant technical skill set that suits them well for careers in research, medicine, industry, academia, and so much more. Many Physics majors at DU engage in research both on and off campus, are involved in a number of student organizations at DU, and will often add coursework in Engineering, Mathematics, or International Studies to supplement their skill sets.

According to the Department of Physics & Astronomy at DU, “Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science. Physics encompasses the study of the universe from the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles. Moreover, it’s the basis of many other sciences, including chemistry, oceanography, seismology, and astronomy. All are easily accessible with a bachelor’s degree in physics.” Because the study of physics is fundamental to other scientific disciplines, it’s a great major for students across career goals.

The Society of Physics Students has an excellent career toolkit designed for Physics majors to reflect on and better understand the transferable skills they possess. It’s a great resource containing both concrete career advice and reflective exercises. Students who study physics build skills in technical communication, analysis and quantitative thinking, problem solving, using a diverse array of laboratory equipment to conduct research, and hardware/software development.

So, what can you do with a degree in Physics? Surely, there are many options beyond the job title of Physicist, and not all jobs will require you to continue your education if you want to apply your skills from Physics to the working world. While many Physics alumni do go on to continue their education at the graduate and doctoral level (Mechanical Engineering is a popular route), some will choose to take time off and work professionally between degree programs.

Sample job titles of DU alumni include:

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Data Scientist, Kaiser Permanente
  • Earth & Space Science Programs Specialist
  • Optical Calibration Laboratory Manager
  • Project Engineer, Lockheed Martin
  • Research Assistant, NREL
  • Radiation Engineer
  • Senior Business Analyst, DaVita
  • Software Developer

Are you a pre-medicine student but unsure of the right major for you? Interested in the universe and want to do research on the cosmos? Do you love both engineering and the fundamentals of science? Physics might be a major worth exploring!

By Kimberly English
Kimberly English Career Advisor