Choose a Career in Physics
Love Physics, but not sure how to go about it? Then this blog is for you.
“The Nitrogen in our DNA, the Calcium in our Teeth, the Iron in our Blood, the Carbon in our Apple Pies were made in the interiors of collapsing Stars. We are made of Star stuff.” – Carl Sagan
Concepts like Big Bang, Black Holes, Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Time Travel, God Particle, Superconductivity, Hydrogen Bomb, Lasers etc. have attracted the attention of curious minds, not limited to science students only. Physics has produced many great minds who guided/revolutionized our way of looking at the Universe. Among them are Newton, Maxwell, Boltzmann, Dirac, Feynman, Einstein, Hawking, Bhabha, Raman, Chandrasekhar, Saha, Bose. These names have also helped Physics to gain its popularity. The popularity comes not only from Conceptual richness, but also from its usefulness to mankind.
Most of the science school students in India like Physics, some love it too. But, generally they do not have enough information/guidance available on how to pursue it further and make a career in Physics. This is probably one of the reasons the students abandon Physics and choose Engineering as a career.
A career in Physics, in India requires one to do Bachelor (BSc) and Master (MSc) degrees in Physics. It is recommended to do MSc after BSc degree to have better understanding of subject and better career growth. This article is an effort to help the students who want to make a career in Physics.
Why study physics
Physics applies at all scales from a nanometer (a strand of DNA) to gigameter (radius of sun), and beyond. It applies to small objects, big objects, hot objects, cool objects, slow moving objects, fast moving objects, heavy objects, light objects. Physics is the best available tool/medium to address the Curiosity, one of the fundamental human traits.
From career point of view too, this is a right time to study Physics as India currently is the home of several Mega Science Projects. Interested reader should refer to ongoing global mega science exhibition Vigyan Samagam (https://www.vigyansamagam.in/).
Who can study Physics
- Students who have passed 12thwith mathematics and Physics can pursue BSc Physics.
- BSc students who had physics as the major or one of the major subjects can pursue MSc Physics.
Where to go for studies
- Indian Institute of Technology (IITs)
- Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISERs)
- National Institute of Technology (NITs)
- Central Universities
- State Universities
- Private Universities
- Government and Private Colleges
Private institutes, along with public (government) universities and institutes, are playing an important role to provide an access to Higher Education in India. Some of the private institutes (universities) offer high quality physics programs. Institute of Advanced Research (IAR) is one such private university, located in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. IAR offers BSc, MSc programs in physics with research-informed teaching and curriculum. Some of the research areas the faculty members are engaged in are: Gravitational Wave Astronomy, Plasma Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, and Spectroscopy. IAR is also an ICARD – IUCAA Center for Astronomy Research and Development. To know more about IAR and Physics Programs visit the university website (www.iar.ac.in).
Modes of selection
The mode of selection vary from institute to institute. Some recruit students based on national level exams like, KVPY, JAM, some conduct their own exam. Many institute also recruit students based on merit lists.
- Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY: kvpy.iisc.ernet.in/)
- Joint Admission Test for MSc (JAM-2019: https://jam.iitkgp.ac.in/)
- Institutional Entrance Examination
- Merit Based Admission
Opportunities after the degree(s)
- Higher studies
- Master of Science (MSc)
- Master of Computer Applications (MCA)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Scientific Assistant
- Teaching: TGT
- Government Jobs
- Higher studies
- Master of Technology (MTech)
- Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): in India or abroad
- Scientific Officer: BARC, ISRO, DRDO, CSIR Laboratories, IPR, TIFR, ONGC, etc.
- Government Jobs
- Teaching: PGT, lecturer in colleges, universities