Physics Bachelor’s Initial Employment

Physics Bachelor’s Initial Employment

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College and University

year with an additional third planning to enroll within 3 years

For many new bachelor’s, accepting employment with a college or university was only a transitory position. The majority (75%) were employed at the same institution at which they received their undergraduate degree, and about half planned to enroll in graduate school the following academic

laboratory technician

Almost all (91%) worked in a STEM field, with over a third indicating they worked in the field of physics or astronomy. Many of the new bachelor’s held positions with titles of research assistant or

Other

Bachelor’s also accepted employment in other sectors, with the majority working in a STEM field or as an educator. These other sectors included elementary and middle schools, hospitals and medical centers, and non-profit organizations.

AIP Statistical Research Center June 2010 focus on Physics Bachelor’s: Initial Employment Page 1

Survey Methodology

Each fall, the Statistical Research Center conducts its Survey of Enrollments and Degrees, which asks physics and astronomy departments to provide information concerning the numbers of students they have enrolled and counts of recent degree recipients. In connection with this survey, we ask for the names and contact information for their recent degree recipients. This degree recipient information is used to conduct our follow-up survey in the winter following the academic year in which they received their degree.

Recent degree recipients can be very difficult to reach because they tend to move after receiving their degree. Many times the department does not have accurate contact information for their alumni. To assist us in determining outcome information and to help obtain updated contact information, we contact the advisors of non-responding degree recipients.

The follow-up surveys for the classes of 2006 and 2007 were administered with both a web-based and paper form. The majority of our respondents answered via the online survey. The physics classes of 2006 and 2007 consisted of 5,273 and 5,755 bachelor’s, respectively. We received postdegree information on about 40% of these degree recipients. Four percent of the bachelor’s were pursuing employment or graduate study outside the US and were not included in the analysis.

We thank the many physics and astronomy departments, degree recipients, and faculty advisors who made this publication possible.

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