There have been increasing calls to grow the size and diversity of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce over the past decade. Undergraduate physics programs, with effective recruitment, retention and appropriate preparation of students, have the potential to add to the numbers of excellent members of the STEM workforce. However, many departments focus on preparing students for entry into advanced degree programs in physics rather than on preparing the over 40% who will enter the workforce. The obstacles for students and programs may arise from ignorance of both the nature of and the financial remuneration available for those equipped with a bachelor’s degree in physics, as well as the broad scope of opportunities where a sound physics preparation can be of benefit. For faculty mentors, there may be an ignorance of the pathways to careers outside of academe. These are issues of great interest and concern to the American Institute of Physics (AIP). In 2010, with support from the National Science Foundation, we set out to understand how physics departments can most effectively prepare their students for the STEM workforce.
The AIP Career Pathways Toolbox Workshop for Physics Students
While Physics departments do an excellent job of preparing students for physics graduate school, the statistics show that 40% of all physics majors in the United States opt to enter the workforce after graduating with a bachelor’s degree. The American Institute of Physics has conducted an NSF-funded research effort to understand, compile and disseminate effective practices for preparing undergraduate physics students to enter the STEM workforce. One of the results of this work is a set of career development tools and student resources which forms the basis for this workshop. The interactive resources presented are relevant to all physics students. Even those who go to graduate school (whether in physics or other disciplines) will need to get a job someday!
Participants will learn how to identify skills that are valued in the workplace, describe skills in ways that are meaningful to potential employers, find job opportunities in exciting fields, and stand out as a candidate. Materials center on helping students identify and clearly articulate the knowledge and skills that stem from their physics background, with resources for building an effective resume, interviewing, networking, and other aspects of the job search all geared specifically for physics students.
Register for an Upcoming AIP Career Pathways Workshop
By completing this registration form you are registering for the workshop only, there may be separate registration for the meeting at which the workshop is taking place (if applicable). You are responsible for registering for the meeting separately (if necessary).
Upcoming AIP Career Pathways Workshops
August 4 – NASA Goddard (workshop for all STEM students, not just physics)
iThis work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Project No. 1011829.