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Careers: Physics/Career guidance


I am a grade 11 student and i do maths and physics at school. The grade 11 year has ended and i find myself confused as to which career path i should follow.. I get between 60 and 70 for my physics and above 80 for my maths.. I love numeracy and using my brain a lot. I dont like small spaces and labs. So i was wondering if you could help me decide which career might suit me and il do the necessary research on it? Thank you in advance

Hi Khanya:

You really have not given me much information to go on.  are you considering mathematics, physics or engineering?  From your question you are probably not too keen on engineering, however, unless you pursue a career in academics (after getting a Ph.D.), even with a physics or mathematics degree, you will likely find employment in a very applied field, sort of like engineering.

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Carlo Segre


I can answer most questions about studying physics in college and graduate school; questions about condensed matter physics; x-ray physics; synchrotron radiation; and general and modern physics. I can also answer questions about careers in academia.


Professor of physics for 30 years at Illinois Institute of Technology. Academic adviser for undergraduates and graduate students. I have served on university promotion and tenure committees, search committees for Deans and Department Chairs. I have also been an Associate Department Chair and an Associate Dean. I have 34 years experience in materials science research and I have been responsible for building and now managing a User facility at the Advanced Photon Source.

American Physical Society
Sigma Xi
American Chemical Society
American Associate for the Advancement of Science
International Centre for Diffraction Data (Fellow)
International X-ray Absorption Society

Nature; Physical Review Letters; Physical Review; Applied Physics Letters; Journal of Physical Chemistry; Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials; Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics; Solid State Communications; Physics Letters; Journal of Low Temperature Physics; Journal of Crystal Growth and Design; Physics Letters; Journal of Applied Physics; Journal of Archaeological Science; Physica C; Corrosion Science; Electrochimica Acta; Journal of Nuclear Materials

Ph.D. Physics, 1981 - University of California, San Diego
M.S. Physics, 1977 - University of California, San Diego
B.S. Physics, 1976 - University of illinois, Champaign-Urbana
B.S. Chemistry 1976 - University of illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Awards and Honors
Duchossois Leadership Professor of Physics, IIT Fellow, International Center for Diffraction Data

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