Beyond the Undergraduate Degree
Hello, Physics and Astronomy Majors.
Hopefully, you have begun to think about what comes beyond graduation. A major in physics or astronomy is excellent preparation for a career in science and technology, and for investigation, critical thinking, and problem solving --- important qualities for a wide range of activities beyond the scientific domain. The goal of this web page is to collect information and dispense wisdom aimed at preparing you for life beyond Wilder Laboratory.
To begin, here are some extremely useful online resources for up-and-coming physicists and astronomers:
American Institute of Physics. The AIP is an umbrella organization for US physicists and astronomers, and maintains most of the pages listed below.
American Physical Society. A member society of the AIP dedicated specifically to physics with an undergraduate and careers-specific page.
American Astronomical Society. A member society of the AIP dedicated specifically to astronomy, also with its own pages on higher education and careers.
Society of Physics Students. A society sponsored by the AIP, invested entirely in guiding students of the physical sciences through higher education and into professional work, and which maintains a top-notch Career Resources page. You are strongly encouraged to visit this site --- I'm sure that you will be surprised by the diversity of fields and activities which draw upon physics.
Finally, the AIP publishes Physics Today, a monthly magazine which keeps all of us physicists up-to-date with the physics world, and maintains the fantastic site Physics Central, probably the best place to start if you want to find out what's new in the physical sciences.
For a different kind of post-graduate experience, you might consider the Peace Corps or Teach for America, a national corps of individuals who commit for at least two years to teach in under-resourced urban and rural public schools (like a domestic Peace Corps).
If you are interested in pursuing physics or astronomy beyond graduation, most likely this will involve graduate school. The rest of the web page will be devoted to grad school (the path chosen by this author).