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Planning Ahead

Academics / Departments & Programs / Physics & Astronomy / Careers & Outcomes / Planning Ahead

Don't wait till graduation to think about your future career. Make the most of opportunities at Calvin beyond classes to help you prepare for a job after Calvin.

Plan your courses wisely

Talk with your advisor about the best type of physics major, and appropriate minor(s), for the career(s) you are interested in. Then select courses carefully. Many courses are offered only once every two years and have multiple pre-requisites, so plan ahead. Check out our sample 4-year course plans, then write a plan of your own. If you are interested in education, your core courses (not just technical courses) also need to be chosen carefully to meet education requirements.

Sample 4-year plans

Build your connections

Even while you're an undergraduate student, expanding your network of contacts within your target career field will help you make your way after graduation.

  • Chat with professors outside of class.
  • Contact physics alumni working in your area(s) of interest.
  • Attend seminars and introduce yourself to speakers.
  • Do an internship at a company or a summer of research, and keep in contact with people you meet there.

Get to know your advisor

Your academic advisor has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of physics and astronomy. He or she will be your best resource as you choose a career track, select courses, and apply for research and internships. In addition to your assigned advisor, feel free to chat with any professor in the department about careers.

Learn about career options

Physics majors typically pursue one of three main career paths: industry, secondary education, or research. Be sure to see our overview of these paths and Calvin-specific advice for each one.

To learn more about physics career options, see these sites:

Search job listings

High school physics teachers: Astronomy:
  • The American Astronomical Society offers a Job Register for jobs in astronomy and planetary science.
Industry:
  • The American Physical Society
    A resource to learn more about jobs available to physics graduates.
  • Physics Today
    Search jobs, post your resume and find job fairs.
  • AIP Careers Services
    A service dedicated to assisting physics educated individuals in their search for jobs", and includes a list of open job opportunities for physicists.
The federal government
  • Go Government offers many jobs in the physical sciences
  • USAjobs lists jobs at all government agencies
Research and academia

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