Guide to Career Preparation

Version 1. March 03, 2022

This section provides guidelines and recommendations for physics programs seeking to (1) educate students about and prepare students for a wide variety of careers, through curricular and co-curricular activities, (2) explicitly teach skills and knowledge relevant to future careers, and (3) connect students with opportunities that align with their career goals. The sections on High School Physics Teacher Preparation and Preparing Students for Graduate School in Physics and Related Fields provide more detailed guidance on preparing students for these specific careers.


Recognition within your program of the diverse careers within and outside of academia that physics bachelor’s degree recipients pursue enables your program to better prepare students for these careers. Promoting and preparing students for diverse careers makes graduates more employable and better prepared for further education; it also aids recruiting and retention, particularly of students from

. Increasing employment rates of graduates benefits your institution in both recruiting and accreditation.

Effective Practices

  1. Communicate to and educate students about a variety of career options

  2. Provide students with on-campus experiences that explicitly teach skills and knowledge relevant to future careers

  3. Provide students with off-campus learning experiences that explicitly teach skills and knowledge relevant to future careers

Programmatic Assessments

The Cycle of Reflection and Action

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1738311, 1747563, and 1821372. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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