A large number of students wonder whether getting a physics degree is going to be worth it or not. The primary reasons why students pursue a certain major is because they are passionate about the subject and want to land a higher paying job.
In the article, we will go over the advantages and drawbacks of a physics degree and ultimately decide whether it is a degree worth pursuing.
Is a Physics Degree Worth It?
A physics degree is definitely worth it as it helps students gain reasoning and quantitative skills, develop a strong mathematical and physics foundation, and enhance their problem-solving abilities. A physics degree is highly versatile and can help you in acquiring jobs in various fields.
At the university level, accounting, engineering, and finance classes teach students many of the practical skills and knowledge that employers are actively looking out for. This helps them immensely when they graduate from university and search for jobs in their field.
Physics on the other hand is a largely theoretical degree and there are few jobs for physics graduates that are directly related to their major. The few jobs that do exist are mostly in academia which often require a higher qualification such as a Masters degree or even a PhD.
This should not discourage potential students from studying physics. A physics degree has the ability to set you up for a lot of different fields but it does not directly prepare you for them.
A physics degree is definitely worth it as it will give you the essential mathematical and scientific knowledge which will make you a strong candidate for a large number of fields.
To become a competitive applicant in the job market a physics major will have to create a portfolio to show his knowledge and competence in a particular field.
Think of it in this manner. Who would employers prefer when hiring someone for designing an internal combustion machine. Ideally, a mechanical engineer would be given preference over a physics graduate for such a task.
This is because a mechanical engineer has more in-depth knowledge and practical experience regarding combustion machines.
If a physics graduate were to create a portfolio that clearly showed their knowledge about combustion machines and also acquire the necessary licensing to work with such machines they would stand an equal chance as the mechanical engineer for that very job.
This is because physics is a STEM major and is highly respected by employers everywhere. A physics degree is broad and versatile and it exposes you to a wide variety of fields and helps you gain strong quantitative and mathematical skills. This makes pursuing a physics degree extremely worthwhile.
Is Physics a Useless Degree?
Physics is not a useless degree at all. In fact, physics is one of the most useful majors. The unemployment rate for a physics major is similar to the national average. A physics degree will greatly increase your chances of finding a job although it may not be directly related to what you have studied at university.
Physics is one of those majors which is not as easily marketable as some of the other degrees such as accounting or engineering. However, if you were to actively work on your portfolio and fill it with side projects you would become employable in a vast plethora of fields.
If you know beforehand that the physics major you are pursuing does not teach you industry-specific skills you can use this to your advantage. By pursuing other closely related employable fields such as mathematics, programming, and engineering you can get an edge when you graduate.
Employers may prefer you if you have a holistic understanding of mathematics, science, and problem-solving and also in-depth knowledge. This knowledge can be gained through various side projects.
Are Physics Majors in Demand?
Physics majors are definitely in demand although not as much as other marketable majors such as engineering or accounting. This is because a physics major prepares you for a large number of fields but does not equip you with the industry-specific skills for any particular field.
You can easily learn these industry-specific skills by taking an internship, a summer job and working on projects related to the field you want to pursue.
If you have a passion for physics then you should definitely pursue it. However, if you are not very passionate about the subject and want to study it for the lucrative job offers attached to the degree, then my recommendation would be to pursue a degree where they teach you industry-specific skills.
Physics majors are very much in demand, however, you will need to be more creative when finding a job with your physics degree compared to other engineering and finance majors.
Physics is an incredibly difficult and demanding major. You should opt for a relatively easier major if your main goal is making money.
If you are genuinely passionate about physics and are willing to spend some extra time in creating a portfolio and doing internships to make yourself more employable then you are making the correct choice. Physics is an incredibly interesting and worthwhile major of you enjoy studying.
Money is a strong driving force but it should not be the only factor when considering a major. If you like physics but study accounting because of brighter career prospects, the little extra money may or may not be worth doing something you hate. Whatever you choose to do make sure it is a well thought out decision.