Careers outside science

Physics graduates are particularly attractive to companies outside the scientific industries because of their skills in analysing information and solving complex problems, and their high levels of numeracy and computer literacy.

Well-paid careers can be found in the banking, insurance and accountancy sectors, as well as the software, computing and consultancy industries. In 2007, nearly 20% of physics graduates went into business and finance professions, making it a very popular career path. Of course, there is always the opportunity for physics graduates to return to the scientific community, as New Directions (member sign-in required) details. On p34, Alex Seeley describes the pluses and minuses of working in the City.

Many of the careers below are profiled on the Inside Careers website. Each section includes advice, sector information, lists of recruiting companies and details of work experience opportunities.

The full scope of careers open to physics degree holders would be impossible to list here, but here are just a few:


  • Tessella
    Developers of scientific software and specifically recruits scientific programmers
  • Logica
    Specialist in computer consultancy and has a graduate recruitment system
  • IBM
    One of the world's leading hardware and software experts

The banking and finance sector casts a wide recruiting net, with many career opportunities to be found at Prospects and the key occupations profiled at Inside Careers and Allaboutfinancecareers.

Patent attorney
Patent attorneys help individuals and organisations to protect their intellectual property by writing and defending patents, and advising them on the legal framework that protects new developments. The best site to gain an overview of the profession, to find out about current training opportunities and read about the career paths available is Inside Careers.

Fancy moving into a non-scientific environment? Why not find out about how one physicist did just that?

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last edited: October 15, 2019

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Jobs for physicists in a wide range of academic and industrial sectors

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