Physics Bachelor’s Initial Employment

Physics Bachelor’s Initial Employment

(Parte 1 de 2)

June 2010

Physics Bachelor’s

Initial Employment Data from the degree recipient follow-up survey for the classes of 2006 and 2007

Patrick Mulvey and Brandon Shindel

Physics Bachelor’s, One Year Later (May 2010)

Physics Bachelor’s, Initial Employment (June 2010)

Physics Bachelor’s, Demographic Profiles (August 2010)

Thirty-nine percent of those receiving physics bachelor’s degrees in the combined class of 2006 and 2007 were employed during the winter following the year they received their degree and 4% were seeking employment. The remaining bachelor’s chose to immediately pursue graduate studies in physics or another field.

Many of the higher salaries in the non-STEM (Natural Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) category reflect the 25% of degree recipients in this category who are employed in the fields of banking or finance.

Figure 1

Typical starting salaries for physics bachelor’s, classes of 2006 & 2007.

Private Sector STEM

Private Sector non-STEM Civilian Govt. incl. Natl. Labs

Active Military

High School Teachers College or University

Employer

Typical Salaries (in thousands of dollars)

Note: Typical salaries are the middle 50%, i.e. between the 25th and 75th percentiles. STEM refers to positions in Natural Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

http://www.aip.org/statistics

Figure includes only bachelor’s in full-time, newly accepted positions.

Note: Typical salaries are the middle 50%, i.e., between the 25th and the 75th percentiles.

STEM refers to positions in Natural Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

THE 2006 AND 2007 FOLLOW-UP SURVEYS OF PHYSICS BACHELOR’S

Physics bachelor’s are contacted in the winter following the academic year in which they receive their degree. They are asked to share their employment or graduate school experiences. These reports describe our findings.

Degree recipients working in private sector STEM positions receive some of the highest starting salaries.

June 2010 AIP Statistical Research Center

Page 2 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment

Figure 2

Initial employment sectors of physics bachelor’s, classes of 2006 & 2007.

High School

Active Military 5% Other 7%

Private Sector

Colleges & Universities

Civilian Government, FFR&DC* 6% http://www.aip.org/statistics

The private sector continues to be the largest employer of physics bachelor’s.

The data in Figure 2 shows the distribution of employment sectors for those individuals who held employment in the winter following the year in which they received their degree.

in graduate school within 3 years

Twenty-five percent of the bachelor’s who entered the workforce intended to enroll in graduate school after working for a year. In total, about half of the employed bachelor’s indicated they intended to enroll

Of the bachelor’s who entered the workforce, 7% were continuing in positions they held prior to receiving their degree and 9% of newly employed bachelor’s were working part-time. Six percent of the fulltime employed physics bachelor’s indicated they were also enrolled as part-time graduate students.

(1%)

Men were more likely than women to have accepted employment in the private sector, 61% and 54%, respectively. Women were more likely to be employed as high school teachers (17%) than were men

Note: Figure includes only bachelor’s in full-time, newly accepted positions. *Federally funded research and development centers.

http://www.aip.org/statistics

AIP Statistical Research Center June 2010 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment Page 3

71% of the physics bachelor’s working in the private sector are employed in the fields of Natural Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Figure 3

employment in the private sector work in a STEM fieldAs has been

Physics bachelor’s working in the private sector accepted positions with a diverse set of employers doing a wide range of activities (see Figure 3). Over 70% of the physics bachelor’s who accepted true in the past, employment in the field of engineering represents the largest proportion of these private sector positions, followed by computer science and information technology positions. Non-STEM positions accounted for 29% of the new bachelor’s employed in the private sector. The types of positions in this category are very diverse, with "finance" and “marketing and sales” being the most frequently cited.

Field of employment for physics bachelor’s in the private sector, classes of 2006 & 2007.

STEM: Natural Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Non-STEM 29%

Engineering 32%

Computer Science or Information Technology

Other Technology

Other Natural Sciences

Physics or Astronomy

Math1%

Science Education 1% http://www.aip.org/statistics

June 2010 AIP Statistical Research Center

Page 4 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment

Physics bachelor’s employed in the private sector who regularly perform the following activities or use the following skills, class of 2007.

Solve Technical Problems

Work on a Team Technical Writing

Knowledge of Phys. or Ast. Perform Quality Control

Manage Projects

Work with Customers Use Specialized Equip. Design & Development Programming

Advanced Math

Simulation or Modeling

Manage People

Computer Admin. Manage Budgets

Percentages represent the proportion of physics bachelor’s who chose “daily”, “weekly” or “monthly” on a four-point scale that also included “never” or “rarely”. Figure is limited to the two most common employment fields for physics bachelor’s employed in the private sector.

http://www.aip.org/statistics

Figure 4

acquire these in their physics courses, in other undergraduate coursework, and on the job

Physics bachelor’s degree recipients possess a broad range of knowledge and skills. They Figure 4 compares the frequency of use of the activities and skills that are used by new physics bachelor’s working in two of the most common fields within the private sector.

Employment in

Engineering

Employment in Computer Science or Information Tech.

Percent

AIP Statistical Research Center June 2010 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment Page 5

Bachelor’s employed in the military reported the highest level of satisfaction with the amount of intellectual challenge they encountered in their positions.

Physics bachelor’s who were satisfied with the level of “intellectual challenge” in their position, classes of 2006 and 2007.

Note: Percentages represent the proportion of physics bachelor’s who chose “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” on a four-point scale that also included “somewhat dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied”.

http://www.aip.org/statistics

Excellent problem-solving abilities are frequently cited as a skill that physics bachelor’s obtain while working toward their degree. This skill serves them well, with almost all (91%) of employed physics bachelor’s indicating that they use their problem-solving skills regularly. Other frequently used skills that are not necessarily obtained in school include: working on a team, technical writing, quality control, and managing projects.

A physics bachelor’s field of employment can have an effect on what skills or activities are most frequently required. The two largest STEM fields in which physics bachelor’s work are engineering and computer science or information technology. Degree recipients employed in the field of engineering are more likely to use their knowledge of physics and to use specialized equipment than those working in computer or information technology. Bachelor’s employed in computer or information technology are more likely to be doing programming or computer administration.

Figure 5

Private Sector Non-STEM

Civilian Government Private Sector STEM High School Teaching Active Military

Percent

June 2010 AIP Statistical Research Center

Page 6 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment

Physics bachelor’s who were satisfied with the level of “salary and benefits” in their position, classes of 2006 and 2007.

Note: Percentages represent the proportion of physics bachelor’s who chose “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” on a four-point scale that also included “somewhat dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied”.

http://www.aip.org/statistics

The majority of physics bachelor’s are satisfied with their salary and benefits.

Figure 6

Even though bachelor’s in the active military and those employed as high school teachers receive some of the lowest starting salaries (see Figure 1), they report relatively high levels of satisfaction concerning their salary and benefits (see Figure 6). New physics bachelor’s in private sector non-STEM positions work in a variety of fields and as a group had the lowest level of satisfaction with their salary and benefits.

Private Sector Non-STEM

Civilian Government Private Sector STEM High School Teaching Active Military

Percent

AIP Statistical Research Center June 2010 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment Page 7

Physics bachelor’s who were satisfied with the level of “opportunities for advancement” in their position, classes of 2006 and 2007.

Note: Percentages represent the proportion of physics bachelor’s who chose “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” on a four-point scale that also included “somewhat dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied”.

http://www.aip.org/statistics

Bachelor’s employed in the military were the most satisfied with their opportunities for advancement.

Figure 7

Bachelor’s employed in government sectors, both military and civilian, reported the highest levels of satisfaction with their opportunities for advancement (see Figure 7). Such positions have a clearly established framework for advancement and a history of promoting from within their respective organizations.

Private Sector Non-STEM

Civilian Government Private Sector STEM High School Teaching Active Military

Percent

June 2010 AIP Statistical Research Center

Page 8 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment

Physics bachelor’s who were satisfied with the level of “job security” in their position, classes of 2006 and 2007.

Note: Percentages represent the proportion of physics bachelor’s who chose “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” on a four-point scale that also included “somewhat dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied”.

http://www.aip.org/statistics

Satisfaction with the level of responsibility in their position was high in all sectors with the exception of private sector non-STEM.

Physics bachelor’s who were satisfied with the “level of responsibility” in their position, classes of 2006 and 2007.

Note: Percentages represent the proportion of physics bachelor’s who chose “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” on a four-point scale that also included “somewhat dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied”.

http://www.aip.org/statistics

More than 80% of new physics bachelor’s were satisfied with the level of job security in their positions.

Figure 8

Figure 9

Private Sector Non-STEM

Civilian Government Private Sector STEM High School Teaching Active Military

Percent

Private Sector Non-STEM

Civilian Government Private Sector STEM High School Teaching Active Military

Percent

AIP Statistical Research Center June 2010 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment Page 9

Private Sector

and food industries

Over half (59%) of the bachelor’s in the degree classes of 2006 and 2007 accepted employment in the private sector. They held positions with a wide range of employers, including large hi-tech companies, defense contractors, utilities, and smaller companies involved with manufacturing, retail,

STEM Positions: Seventy-one percent of the bachelor’s employed in the private sector worked in a STEM field. The largest group of STEM employed bachelor’s worked in the field of engineering, many of whom were employed at large government contractors or involved in manufacturing. The vast majority of these bachelor’s had the word “engineer” in their job title.

software developer, software engineer, and programmer

The next largest STEM field bachelor’s were employed in was computer science or information technology. These bachelor's worked for a diverse set of employers, including a larger group of companies involved in IT and software development. Many of their job titles included permutations of

Bachelor’s also worked as IT staff or used their technical skills and background to assist organizations doing a wide range of activities. Some of these individuals had work activities that involved quality control, testing, and research and had titles that included “technician” and “analyst”.

To see a state-by-state listing of some of the companies that have recently hired new physics bachelor’s into STEM positions visit Who’s Hiring Physics Bachelor’s

service industry where they were frequently managers

Non-STEM: Nearly 30% of the bachelor’s who worked in the private sector indicated their positions were not in a STEM field. These positions varied greatly, with about a quarter working in the field of finance, many with the job title of analyst. A significant fraction of the non-STEM industry positions were in the fields of marketing, sales, or retail, which often involved scientific equipment. In a few cases, bachelor’s accepted employment as an associate at a department store or in the food

High School Teachers

levels of satisfaction with their positions

Physics bachelor’s who became high school teachers were often responsible for teaching several subjects. About 70% of the new teachers were teaching at least one physics class. According to the AIP 2005 Nationwide Survey of High School Physics Teachers, 4% of high school physics teachers taught physics all or most of the time. The balance of their teaching load was primarily in chemistry, biology, and math. New physics bachelor’s holding teaching positions reported some of the highest

One third of these new high school teachers had a physics education concentration. The reasons cited for choosing high school teaching as a career varied, but the most frequently cited influence was their own high school physics teacher.

Sector Profiles

June 2010 AIP Statistical Research Center

Page 10 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment

Civilian Government

This employment sector included degree recipients working for federal, state, and local governments. In the classes of 2006 and 2007, about 40% of the bachelor’s working for a civilian government employer worked at a national lab such as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Virtually all of the degree recipients employed at a national lab worked in a STEM field, with physics being the most frequently cited. About half of those employed at a national lab planned to enroll in graduate school after working for a year.

Many of the remaining government positions were bachelor’s working as civilians with one of the branches of the armed services. Degree recipients also accepted positions with federal agencies such as the US Patent and Trademark Office and in a diverse set of positions with local and state governments.

Active Military

employment for at least 10 years

Physics bachelors found employment in all branches of the armed services. While some were graduates from one of the service academies or military colleges, most were not. Almost all bachelor’s employed in the military entered as officers with a rank of second lieutenant or the equivalent. These bachelor’s had a broad range duties, including working as engineers managing nuclear power generation, training to become pilots, developing combat tactics, and as platoon leaders. About half of the bachelor’s employed with the military planned to continue such

(Parte 1 de 2)

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