In last month’s column, we noted that 48% of the physics bachelor’s degree recipients from the 2019 and 2020 classes combined enrolled in graduate study in the first year after graduation. We saw that about two-thirds of those enrolled in graduate programs in physics or astronomy. About one in six (17%) went into an engineering program. The remaining degree recipients enrolled in graduate programs in varied disciplines, including computer science, mathematics, medicine, business, and law.

So, the 2019 and 2020 classes went to work (46%), to graduate school in physics or astronomy (31%), to graduate study in engineering (8%), or to graduate school in some other discipline (9%). Six percent were unemployed, and this 6% compares favorably to the 10% unemployment rate measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for people in this age group.

Next month we will look at the initial employment sectors of new physics bachelors....

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