What does a physics undergraduate education give you? A perspective from Australian physics
Geoff Swan, Edith Cowan University
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Engineering
In a study to assess how effectively undergraduate physics studies have prepared students for the workplace, we attempted to locate and interview traditional 3-year or 4-year physics students who had graduated in the past five years (2000 to 2004), and the employers of these graduates. The study was limited to recent graduates who have majored in physics and not obtained further or concurrent degrees. Overseas studies of the destinations of physics graduates referred to in this paper have not isolated the group we interviewed as a distinct group. A major finding was that the number of these graduates was unexpectedly low. Indeed, most physics graduates have two degrees. Interviews with graduates and employers suggest that physics graduates have particular strengths in problem solving and are good at applying their skills at the workplace.
Sharma, M., Pollard, J., Mendez, A., Mills, D., O'Byrne, J., Scott, D., … Zealey, W. (2007). What does a physics undergraduate education give you? A perspective from Australian physics. European Journal of Physics, 29(1), 59-72. Available here