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Your future with physics: A guide for young people

Physics opens doors to some of the most exciting, cutting-edge, rewarding jobs in the world. This is our guide to where physics could take you in your studies and future career – featuring information, advice and inspirational, real-world stories.

From cancer treatment to tackling climate change, gaming to robotics and artificial intelligence, physics and physicists are on the front line, helping to shape the future. At a time when jobs are changing, physics offers a vast and expanding range of career paths.

And it’s not only science and technology. What many people don’t realise is how valued and respected physics skills and ways of thinking are in other, often well-paid, industries – like finance and law.

Whether you’re a young person thinking about your future or a parent or carer wanting to understand the careers physics can unlock – we have the information you need right here.

Where physics could take you

What sort of jobs can physics qualifications lead to? Hear from people who studied physics about where it's taken them – and why they love it. 

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A-levels, Highers and Leaving Certificate

What’s it actually like studying physics at school or college? What do you learn? How hard is it? Hear from students why they chose it and where they want to go with it.

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Eve and Sian

Choosing physics: A family perspective

What happens if your child chooses a subject you don’t understand? We spoke to a physics A-level student and her mum to find out what it was like and what advice they have for families in the same boat.

Read our interview

Technical routes and apprenticeships

Have you considered vocational qualifications? An apprenticeship? Becoming a technician? There are lots of ways to follow physics – these are some of your options.

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Physics at university

A physics degree lets you explore the world at all scales. It teaches you valuable analytical and technical skills. But with so many options, where do you begin? Hear from people studying across the UK and Ireland.

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Limit Less careers resources

As part of our Limit Less campaign, we’ve created a suite of downloadable resources to help teachers, IOP members and volunteers inspire more young people to change the world and fulfil their potential by doing physics.

Explore the resources