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What do you do for a living?

By Margaret Harris

hands smll.jpg

We had so many responses to last week’s Facebook poll – which asked “Do you consider yourself a physicist?” – that we’re giving everyone a few more hours to respond before we blog about the results. So if you haven’t yet answered yes, no or it’s complicated, there’s still time to do so via our Facebook page.

In the meantime, I’d like to conclude this round of career-related polls with a somewhat less metaphysical question:

If you have a degree in physics, which option best describes what you do for a living?

We’re interested in sectors here, not specific job titles, so to get you started, we’ve listed five options – engineering, finance, IT, research and teaching – that more rigorous surveys suggest are popular among physics graduates. However, if you don’t fit in any of these boxes, you’re more than welcome to add your own category (legal? medicine/health? communications?).

Speaking of being rigorous, we at are well aware that Facebook polls aren’t. However, that does not mean they’re useless, or even “just a bit of fun”. We’re interested in hearing from you and we take your opinions seriously – they help us keep in touch with what individual members of the physics community think and care about. So treat these polls like the office water cooler, departmental common room or anywhere else that people gather to share their views – and if you want proper statistics on physics education and research, try the Institute of Physics’ policy department instead.

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