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 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 marginalized groups. Increasing employment rates of graduates benefits your institution in both recruiting and accreditation.
Thematic grouping (1, 2, 3, ...)|
Actionable practice (A, B, C, ...)|
Implementation strategy (i, ii, iii, ...)
Evidence to support these practices comes from numerous sources that are summarized in the Phys21 report and the Phys21 Supplement, as well as data collected by the AIP Statistical Research Center.
- P. Heron, L. McNeil, et al. (editors) “Phys21: Preparing Physics Students for 21st-Century Careers,” American Physical Society (2016).
- L. Woolf and D. Arion, “Phys21 Supplement: J-TUPP Summary of Background Reports on Careers and Professional Skills, Summary of Background Reports on Careers and Professional Skills, American Physical Society (2016).
- P. Mulvey and J. Pold, “Physics Bachelor’s Initial Employment,” Focus On Report, American Institute of Physics Statistical Research Center (2017).
- Reference 1 in Evidence above provides further guidance on preparing students for diverse careers, and includes career preparation learning goals on pages 19–21.
- AIP Career Pathways Project: a project encompassing several resources from SPS and the AIP Statistical Research Center, including the Careers Toolbox
- APS IMPact program: a program that connects physics students with industry mentors
- PIPELINE/EPIC: Educating Physicists for Impactful Careers: materials that integrate workforce-relevant scientific, technical, and business skills into the undergraduate curriculum
- VentureWell: a non-profit organization that supports innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) in STEM fields through faculty and student grants, workshops on commercializing research, and community building among I&E practitioners
- Physics InSight slideshows: presentations illustrating career pathways for physics students
- AIP Statistical Research Center: a group that regularly collects and analyzes data on education, careers, and diversity in physics, astronomy, and other physical sciences. Career-related resources include employment data for physicists, astronomers and related scientists and a state-by-state list of who is hiring physics graduates.