[ASC-media] Further on Jobs in Physics

John August johna at babel.apana.org.au
Tue Sep 19 06:39:13 CEST 2006

I previously commented on this in an email of Sat 9 September. I've 
had some correspondence, and now put forward some supplemental material.

Its been noted that it is easy to get a job as a science teacher.  I was
thinking this while I wrote by original posting, but was not as clear as
I might have been, and I do need to clarify my position.  Rather than
say "There are few entry level jobs _in physics_ for physics graduates",
I should have said "There are few entry level jobs in research _in
physics_ for physics graduates"

Science teachers are not specificially physics teachers, except at HSC
level.  While the original release does mention jobs in teaching, it
does seem that research was the major drawcard.

I've also heard that things are more positive for research in Melbourne 
than Sydney. Perhaps, but I do wonder if they can be that much better.
My suspicion is that while there may be more jobs for PhDs with a few
years of experience, and what seems a more lively research environment,
the situation for entry level jobs in physics research is not much

The previous statistics in job adverts compiled by the AIP have also been
mentioned. But someone I know who previously subscribed to their clipping
service has told me that the jobs were mostly in the "PhD qualified plus
a few years experience" category, along with a few engineering jobs which
could in principle be performed by physicists, together with a few outliers
where the connection to physics was tenuous.

While those jobs in engineering could in principle be done by physicists,
if you're dealing with a job broker and the easy option is to stay on the
spec, it is going to be very difficult to get a look in.

Again, my feeling is that the jobs available in physics are not as the 
original media release tries to have you believe. While there may be jobs
in teaching, that is different to the impression the release tries to make.

Lastly, there is the question which turns things around : if things were
going that well, why would it need to be promoted ? Why could the natural
information flows not be relied upon ?

Contact :

John August, 0419 683 353

Convenor, Sydney Shove

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