Opportunities for Physics graduates
Physics is a fundamental science and for this reason most other scientists need to study the subject. Chemists, engineers, biologists, as well as doctors need a basic understanding of physics. In recognition of the importance of the subject, the Year 2005 has been earmarked as World Year of Physics/International Year of Physics. The year 2005 also marks the centenary of Albert Einstein’s three famous papers on Relativity, Photoelectric Effect and Brownian Motion.
Physics offers challenging, exciting, and productive careers. As a career, it covers many specialized fields - from acoustics, astronomy, and astrophysics to medical physics, geophysics, and vacuum sciences. It offers a variety of work activities ranging from lab supervisor, researcher, and technician to teacher and manager. Physics opens doors to employment opportunities throughout the world in government, industry, schools, and private organizations.
Physicists work by determining the basic laws which govern phenomena such as gravity, electromagnetism and nuclear interactions leading to discoveries and innovations that advance nuclear energy, electronics, communications, aerospace technology and medical instrumentation. Physicists find themselves working in astrophysics, geophysics, medical physics, nuclear physics, meteorology, astronomy and biophysics, by acquiring specialized knowledge of these fields.
Jobs with Physics
Present below is a brief sketch of avenues and nature of jobs suitable for physics students:
In industries, physicists conduct research for improved methods and technologies
- In the communications industry, physicists work in sectors such as television, telephone and radio
- In the petroleum industry, they are engaged in laboratory work for finding improved methods of processing crude oil
- In the aerospace industry, physicists work on technological innovations
- Physicistswork with mathematical and statistical scientists and with engineers
Geophysicists combine the knowledge of geology and physics. Geophysics is used in the study of meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, seismology, radioactivity and magnetism
- Biophysicists study living organisms and life processes
Medical physicists play a vital role in the designing and use of electronic equipments for use in the medical sector
Astrophysicists design equipment for astronomical study and also interpret the research findings of astronomers, particularly in thermonuclear research related to space sciences
- Experimental Physicists work in experimental physics
Specialized areas for physicists are mechanics, atomic and molecular physics, heat, optics, acoustics, electricity and magnetism, electronics, nuclear physics, physics of fluids, solid-state physics, or classical theoretical physics.
Emerging areas of study for physicists are cryogenics, crystallography, and plasma physics.
Fig: A figure showing avenues for Physics students.
Sample jobs on internet
A casual search through the internet revealed several openings for Physics students.
Nature Publishing Group requires Chief Editor who must have a strong track record in either optics or photonics research as well as editorial experience. Candidates must demonstrate a good understanding of the challenges faced by researchers in both industry and academia, knowledge of the Asian market and the ability to speak Japanese, Chinese or Korean would be an advantage but not essential.
Newport Corporation is looking for Sales Area Manager in UK. The company is a globally recognized leader in advanced technology products and solutions for fields such as Research, Life & Health Science, Aerospace & Defence, Industrial Manufacturing, Semiconductors and Microelectronics. The candidate should be educated to degree level in physics or a field such as opto-mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering, preferably with two to four years in a sales and/or application engineering environment within the European/international marketplace. Essential to the position is the ability to understand the technology and capabilities of the various Spectra-Physics product ranges, and to relate this to the needs of the customer.
Springer , one of the most renowned scientific publishing companies in the world, is looking for an experienced Physics Editor to further develop the UK programme in Physics (and in interdisciplinary areas close to Engineering). The candidate will have a degree in physics or a related discipline and at least three years’ experience in Handbooks and journal publishing.
Interest in scientific phenomena, patience, perseverance, precision and tremendous inclination to search for real solutions is the strength of all physicists. The motivation for scientific work should be intense. Sustained efforts to pursue research are also required. The ability to work with details is important.
||Opportunities galore with chemistry
||What you can do with Biology?
Recent scientific developments have enlarged the scope of Biology to a great extent. The genomics, particularly the study of human genome, application of basic principles of Bio-technology in diagnosis and treatment of diseases and also the improvement of crops and animal breeds would influence our lives to a great extent. Biology is one of the most diverse and rapidly changing of all the scientific fields.
Training in biology prepares an individual for a very large number of occupations; agronomy, biophysics, developmental biology, environmental law, forensic entomology, forestry, genetic counseling, immunology, medical practice, molecular biology, neurobiology, secondary school teaching and veterinary medicine.
Bioinformatics: Leading the way
The use of information technology in the field of molecular biology has grown steadily, opening avenues for career prospects in the field. Bioinformatics is an emerging interdisciplinary research area, which can be defined as the interface between biological and computational sciences. As a consequence of the large amount of data produced in the field of molecular biology, computers are used to gather, store, analyse and integrate biological and genetic information.
Some of the specific career areas that fall within the scope of bioinformatics include: Sequence assembly; Database design and maintenance; Sequence analysis; Proteomics; Pharmacogenomics; Pharmacology; Clinical pharmacologist; Informatics developer; Computational chemist; Bio-analytics; and Analytics.
Organisations that recruit people having bioinformatics skills include research institutions and companies like Satyam, Wipro, TCS and Reliance.
This sector has the potential of generating revenues of US$ 5 billion and creating one million jobs by 2010 through products and services.
Bio-technologists in India can find careers in specialized Biotechnology companies or Biotech-related companies such as:
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Chemical and allied industries
- Food product manufacturers
- Government and private universities
- Research institutes and Research labs
- Biotechnology parks
- Trade organizations
Some major organizations employing bio-technologists in India include Hindustan Lever Ltd, Thapar Group, Indo-American Hybrid seeds, Biocon Ltd. IDPL, India Vaccines Corporation, Hindustan Antibiotics, National Botanical Institute, and National Chemical Laboratories & Tata Engineering Research Institute.
A search through websites of leading companies
Variety of job prospects came to the fore when this scribe went through the websites of some leading companies.
Nicholas Piramal India Ltd., which is engaged in major R&D initiatives in New Drug Discovery, Herbal Drugs, Chemical Process Development, Novel Drug Delivery System, Formulation Development and Clinical Research, had given an advertisement for following posts:
Group Leader – Research/Sr. Research Scientist:A senior scientist in the area of Inflammation drug discovery. The candidate should be a Ph.D. in Cell Biology/ Immunology/Biochemistry with 3-4 years postdoctoral experience in the area of inflammation biology and a strong publication record.
Group Leader - Research/Sr. Research Scientist: A senior scientist with cancer-related drug discovery experience. The candidate should be a Ph.D. in Cell Biology/Biochemistry/Cancer Biology with 3-4 years of postdoctoral experience in the area of oncology and a significant scientific accomplishment proven by strong publication record or by filed or issued patents.
Similarly Biocon Ltd., India’s leading biotechnology enterprise, had following jobs to offer:
Vacancies in research and development field – 4 positions:
Position 1: Candidates who have MSc/PhD. in any branch of Biology and 4-5 years experience in animal virology, viral immunology with experience in immuno assays.
Position 2: Candidates who have a thorough knowledge of molecular biology techniques for genetic manipulation of streptomyces. Qualification requirement is MSc/PhD. in any branch of Biology and 1-2 years industrial experience in genetics of streptomyces.
Position 3: Candidates with experience in cell banking in a biopharmaceutical industry. MSc/PhD. in any branch of Biology and 2-3 years experience in handling animal cell cultures.
Position 4: Candidates with experience in industrial microbiology/fermentation. Qualification requirement is MSc. Microbiology/Biochemistry/Applied Biotechnology and 1-2 years industrial experience.
Many outdoor jobs await people well trained in the life sciences. Horticulturalists develop new crop varieties, care for plants in greenhouses and fields, and design landscape plans. Fisheries biologists might work with an aquaculture company, overseeing the reproduction of farm-raised trout that eventually end up in your local supermarket. Zookeepers make food, medicate animals, and may help with captive breeding programs for endangered species. Employers include private companies and federal and state governments. The not-for-profit conservation sector is providing an increasing number of jobs.
Some other exciting careers involve combining biology with non-science skills. Put together biology and English to become a technical writer or even a science fiction novelist. Combine biology and art to go into medical and scientific illustration. You can link biology and history to become a historian of science or medicine. You can work in both biology and religion/philosophy as a medical ethicist or bioethicist. Combine biology and psychology as a neuroscientist . Join biology and political science to carry out science policy studies or work as a patent lawyer in biotechnology. Try mixing biology with business to get into hospital administration and biotechnology administration.
What Education do you need?
For some biology jobs, a two-year college degree is sufficient. Examples include medical assistant, dental hygienist, or veterinary technician. But most life sciences careers require at least an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Science, B.S.) and often an advanced degree, such as a Master of Science (M.S.). Research jobs typically require the Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) which may take five or six years of intense and demanding training. There are some specialized degrees in the life sciences, the most prominent being the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) which usually takes four years to earn. Physicians must then do additional training before they can practice medicine.
What lies ahead
According to the Mckinsey study, Indian Pharma industry is poised to grow to US$ 25 billion (Rs.112.5 thousand crores) by 2010. It is bound to generate large opportunities for the students of life sciences. Companies will be particularly interested in those who can work with antimicrobial agents, as we experience the increasing ability of bacteria and other parasites to resist currently available antibiotics.
Similarly Biotechnology labs will continue to grow, branching out into areas such as large-scale genetic screening, immunology, and developmental biology. They will seek people who can work with microbes and plants that reclaim polluted land (bioremediation). Farm animals will be genetically altered for greater productivity.
On the medical front, it seems inevitable that more people will be needed in the field of gerontology as our population ages. In medical research gene therapy, transplanting animal tissues, inducing regeneration of damaged organs, and repairing ineffective immune systems are among many hot areas. Cancer research should yield cures and preventions during the next several decades.
To make available the huge volume of information coming from all of these fields, experts in bioinformatics (using computers to analyze complex biological data) may become highly prized. In biochemistry, a hot topic is structural biology, predicting what protein or nucleic acid structure would be necessary to accomplish a task, then producing that structure. Agricultural research above the gene level will become more important as the world faces food shortages. The neurosciences are already experiencing spectacular growth in knowledge and will attract many researchers in the future.
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||Career with psychology
Psychology is a diverse field with hundreds of career paths. Psychologists apply their knowledge to a wide range of fields, including health and human services, management, education, law, and sports. In addition to working in a variety of settings, psychologists usually specialize in one of a number of different areas. Some specialties, like treating the mentally ill, are familiar to most of us. Others, like helping with the design of advanced computer systems or studying how we remember things, are less well known.
Clinical psychology: Clinical psychologists assess and treat people's mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. These disorders range from mild to severe problems. They work in both academic institutions and health care settings such as clinics, community mental health centers, hospitals and prisons. Some clinical psychologists also go in for private practice.
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore; University of Delhi and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Karnataka; offer degree in Clinical Psychology with specialisation in Health Psychology, Neuro-psychology and Geropsychology.
Counseling psychology: Counseling psychologists foster and improve human functioning across the life span by helping people solve problems, make decisions, and cope with the stresses of everyday life.
Many counseling psychologists work in academic settings helping students adjust to college, and providing vocational and career assessment and guidance. An increasing number are being employed in healthcare institutions, such as community mental health centers, and private clinics dealing with issues such as drug abuse, eating disorders, family adjustment issues and smoking.
Development psychology: Developmental psychologists study human development across the life span, from prenatal development to adulthood and old age. They are interested in the description, measurement, and explanation of age-related changes in behaviour. Behavioural changes include aggression, moral development, language development, stages of emotional development, universal traits, individual differences, perception and cognition and abnormal changes in development.
Many developmental psychologists teach and do research. They also work in applied settings such as day care centers and youth group programs, toy companies, parent education programs, hospital and child life programs, museums, and educational television. More recently, developmental psychologists are found working with the aging population, especially in researching and developing ways to help elderly people stay as independent as possible.
Educational psychology: Educational psychologists study how people learn. They design the methods and materials used to educate people of all ages. Educational psychologists conduct research in schools as well as in national, state, and local educational agencies.
They are employed by governmental agencies or the corporate sector to analyze employees' skills and to design and implement training programs. Recently, industry and the military have been offering more opportunities for psychologists who can design and evaluate systems to teach complex skills.
Health psychology: Health psychologists are researchers and practitioners concerned with psychology's contribution to the promotion and maintenance of good health and the prevention and treatment of illness. Employment settings for this specialty area can be found in medical centers, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, rehabilitation centers, public health agencies, and private practice.
Human factors: “Human factors psychologists” also known as engineering psychologists are concerned with design and safety problems in a variety of settings, such as air and ground transportation, medical care, and industrial automation. With the advent of the computer industry many human factors psychologists are engaged in helping make computer hardware and software more user-friendly. They can also be found researching the design of ergonomically correct equipment and workload issues.
Industrial/Organizational psychology: Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychologists are concerned with relations between people and work. Their interests include organizational structure and organizational change, workers' productivity and job satisfaction; consumer behavior; selection, placement, training, and development of personnel. I/O psychologists work in businesses, industries, governments, and educational institutions. Some may be self-employed as consultants or work for management counseling firms.
Consumer psychologists: They are industrial/organizational psychologists whose interests lie in consumers' reaction to a company's products or services. They investigate consumers' preferences for a particular package design and develop strategies for marketing products. They also try to improve the acceptability and safety of products and help the consumer make better decisions.
Neuro-psychology and psychobiology: Psychobiologists and neuro-psychologists investigate the relation between physical systems and behavior. Neuro-psychologists also diagnose and treat disturbances related to suspected dysfunctions of the central nervous system and treat patients by teaching them new ways to acquire and process information.
Clinical neuro-psychologists work in neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and pediatric units of hospitals and clinics. They also work in academic settings where they conduct research and train other neuro-psychologists, clinical psychologists, and medical doctors.
Rehabilitation psychology: Rehabilitation psychologists are researchers and practitioners whose interests lie in working with people who have suffered a physical deprivation or loss, such as cerebral palsy or autism, either at birth or through later damage such as a stroke or an accident. Many rehabilitation psychologists work in medical rehabilitation institutes and hospitals. Others work in medical schools and universities, serve as consultants or administrators in state and federal vocational rehabilitation agencies, or have private practices servicing people who have disabilities.
Sports psychology: Sports psychologists apply psychological methods and knowledge to the study and modification of the behavior and mental processes of people involved in sports. Opportunities for sports psychologists include counseling in a sports medicine clinic or with a professional sports team, research in an academic setting involving student athletes, and developing enhancement programs for athletes.
The road ahead
Overall employment of psychologists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012, due to increased demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, social service agencies, mental health centers, substance abuse treatment clinics, consulting firms, and private companies. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists will grow faster than the average, while industrial-organizational psychologists will have average growth.
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