Whether you want to pursue a physics degree at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, you will graduate with fundamental knowledge and skill to make your professional dreams come true. A physics degree will allow you to enter countless career paths, which are generally lucrative and exciting. Physicists usually love what they do. So, any career you find yourself loving is the one you should pursue.
Erudera’s Complete Guide to Studying Physics
Studying physics has a wide range of advantages, personal and professional. Physics students learn to understand the world around them a little better and satisfy their curiosity with knowledge about the universe and nature. Students of physics learn countless valuable skills that can be applied in various professional and life areas, such as problem-solving and communication, to name just a few.
Erudera’s complete guide to studying physics lists the reasons people pursue physics as a career choice, including profitability and career opportunities. Physics might be complex and complicated, but there is beauty in the challenges it puts forward. After graduating with a physics degree, any career path you might choose to pursue will be intriguing, challenging, and fulfilling.
How Much Do Physics Majors Earn?
Generally, the earning potential of physics majors depends on the career they choose to pursue and the country they practice their profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, the median annual salary of physicists was $129,850, with the lower 10% earning less than $67,450 and the higher 10% earning more than $208,000 annually. In fact, physicists have one of the highest-paying occupations in the U.S. The size of the company, as well as professional experience, play an important role when it comes to earning potential.
In other countries, for example, in France, a person working as a physicist earns around $124,909 per year, ranging from $67,184 to $187,970 per year. In Germany, physicists earn somewhere between $48,508 to $167,354 per year, depending on the professional experience. Generally, physics majors land high-paying jobs regardless of the sector or industry. The skills of a physicist are well in demand around the world. As a physics graduate, you can expect to lead a comfortable and lucrative life in terms of financial stability.
Reasons to Study Physics
1. Physics Makes a Lucrative Career
Physics majors enjoy plenty of employment opportunities, which also happen to be quite lucrative. Physics graduates generally tend to go straight into the workforce and find employment in various science, technology, and engineering careers. Because physics majors can go into a wide range of career paths, salaries also vary from one career to another. Science, technology, and engineering professions are generally well-paid and rather lucrative. So, one of the reasons to study physics is that you can enjoy a well-paid, as well as exciting, career.
2. You Learn a Lot From a Physics Degree
A physics degree is a great choice for those who are curious and wish to know more about… basically everything. Physics makes one understand how things work; it shows the mathematical picture of the universe, from subatomic to cosmological dimensions. Planets, black holes, and solar systems are all explained through physics. Besides, it explains plenty about earthly matters as well. We owe physics for the modern technologies we enjoy nowadays. Whether it is online tools, smartphones, or other high-end devices, physics has a lot to do with each.
3. A Variety of Career Opportunities
Among the main reasons to study physics is that career opportunities are quite broad with a physics degree. The myth that you can only go into teaching is, well, untrue. Physics majors enjoy countless career opportunities, whether they want to undertake engineering roles like laser, research, or application engineers, or even computer science or STEM roles such as systems analysts, accelerator operators, or physical sciences technicians. The opportunities are endless not only nationally but also anywhere in the world. Employers worldwide look for the skills a physics degree provides, which means studying physics will open many doors internationally.
4. You Learn Transferrable Skills
A physics degree provides skills that can be applied in a variety of fields and contexts. During your studies, and even after, you learn skills like critical thinking, teamwork, problem-solving, communication, research, etc. These skills happen to be quite wanted in the job market, and employers value problem solvers and communicators. Besides, the great thing about learning about the universe and how the world functions is that you get a fresh perspective on matters you might have never thought about before. It will shape the way you act, think, and go about in everyday life.
5. You Will Never Be Bored
One of the top reasons to study physics is that you will never be bored, which is an integral thing to consider when deciding your future career. Physics is challenging and it is definitely not a walk in the park. Those who enjoy a challenge would find themselves quite satisfied with a physics degree. This type of degree requires great mathematical skill, the ability to learn and grasp new concepts and think critically. Physics majors are always learning, not only during their studies but also in their careers. A career in physics is versatile, challenging, and fulfilling. The observant and the curious would love studying physics.
How Long Does a Physics Degree Take?
A bachelor’s degree in physics takes approximately three to four years of full-time study to complete. A bachelor’s program in physics equips students with introductory physics sequences, further continuing to mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, etc. Bachelor’s programs in physics also comprise mathematics and computer science courses.
On the other hand, a master’s program in physics takes one to two years of full-time study to complete. For many people, a master’s program is one step towards obtaining a Ph.D. In contrast, others pursue a master’s degree to further dwell into the field of physics, land well-paying jobs in the industry, government, or the education sector.
Top Countries to Study Physics
Some of the top countries to study physics include:
Studying physics in the United States means you will gain your knowledge and skills from some of the top universities in the world. Regardless of the university you wish to attend, you are guaranteed to gain the necessary skills to excel in any job or industry. The U.S. is home to famous physicists, notable for their achievements, who left their mark in the world and the history of physics, in one way or another.
Germany is the home of science, engineering, research, and technology. This European country is renowned worldwide for its innovation and academic excellence, especially when it comes to science. Apart from being renowned internationally for its education and excellence, students who wish to obtain their physics degree in Germany can do so for a highly affordable price (or no price at all) at most of the German public universities.
The United Kingdom features some of the top worldwide universities, recognized for their teaching quality, state-of-the-art facilities, and cutting-edge technology. Deciding to pursue your physics degree at one of the UK universities means you will be part of an international environment and have guaranteed chances of success after graduation. A UK degree in physics will open many doors in the national and international job market.
Switzerland is where Albert Einstein pursued his studies, which means it’s likely to be an excellent study destination. In truth, the Switzerland higher education sector features astounding and thorough programs in physics. Switzerland also happens to be an international student hub, attracting ambitious students from all over the world. Some of its top physics universities include the University of Bern, the University of Geneva, the University of Zurich, etc.
Australian universities, such as the University of Sydney, Melbourne, and the Australian National University, are among the highest-ranked universities in the world to study physics. They provide outstanding teaching and learning environments and great academic expertise. Through their modern laboratories, research facilities, and observatories, students gain unmatched knowledge and skill, allowing them to thrive in the field of physics.
How Much Does a Physics Degree Cost?
The cost of studying physics varies from one country to another as well as from one university to the other. If you wish to pursue your physics degree in the U.S., you will have to pay approximately $55,000 in tuition fees per year at private universities, while the cost of tuition at public universities in the U.S. is roughly $44,000 for non-residents, depending on the university. Private universities are generally more expensive than public universities.
The cost of studying physics in the UK for overseas students is somewhere between £26,000 ($36,267) to £37,000 ($51,611). In Germany, on the other hand, you can study physics for free (or almost free) at most public universities. This is because most public universities in Germany charge no or low tuition fees and, generally, only charge administrative fees which can go up to $360 per semester.