We survey physics degree recipients one year after they have earned their degree to learn what they are doing. Our data show that over half (54%) of recent physics bachelor’s degree recipients enroll in graduate school after graduating–with over 40% of this group studying something other than physics or astronomy. The remaining degree recipients were either employed (41%) or seeking employment (5%). Eighty percent of the employed group were working in STEM fields.

Solving technical problems and working on a team are skills used regularly by nearly every employed physics bachelor’s degree recipient. The next most widely used skills are technical writing, quality control, managing projects, and programming. The fact that recent graduates use these skills widely suggests that educators should help students strengthen them. For more reports on what students who earn bachelor’s degrees in physics do upon graduating, visit www.aip.org/statistics/employment/bachelors.

Susan White is the Assistant Director of...

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