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GRADUATE PHYSICS STUDENT: Real World Experience At Internships Help Figure Out Where Your Real Interests Lie

About this video 

Ryan is currently a PhD physics student at UC Davis. He spends his typical day researching how various noncrystals integrate into real-world devices. Ryan has been interested in physics since the 8th grade, and has carried this interest on through every level of school. He advises getting an internship as soon as possible to see if you will actually be interested in a career in that field in the long run.

Degree: Physics
Job Title: Graduate Physics Student

Job Summary: Physicists

Job Description

Physicists and astronomers study the fundamental nature of the universe, ranging from the vastness of space to the smallest of subatomic particles. They develop new technologies, methods, and theories based on the results of their research that deepen our understanding of how things work and contribute to innovative, real-world applications.

On-the-Job Training


Additional Info

Many physics and astronomy Ph.D. holders begin their careers in a temporary postdoctoral research position, which typically lasts 2 to 3 years. During their postdoctoral appointment, they work with experienced scientists as they continue to learn about their specialties or develop a broader understanding of related areas of research. Their initial work may be carefully supervised by senior scientists, but as they gain experience, they do more complex tasks and have greater independence in their work.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
$60,000 - $170,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 20 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Military, Indoor, Office, Travel
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Mathematical skills, Detail oriented

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='486'>Hi,</span> <span m='972'>my name</span> <span m='1458'>in Ryan.</span> <span m='2430'>I'm</span> <span m='2916'>a</span> <span m='3402'>PhD</span> <span m='3890'>student at</span> <span m='4100'>UC</span> <span m='4250'>Davis</span> <span m='4940'>studying</span> <span m='5295'>the</span> <span m='5650'>optoelectronic</span> <span m='6362'>properties</span> <span m='6844'>of</span> <span m='7808'>nanoconductors,</span> <span m='9736'>nanowires,</span> <span m='10700'>quantum</span> <span m='11182'>dot</span> <span m='11664'>thin films,</span> <span m='12146'>things like</span> <span m='12628'>that.</span> <span m='13600'>And</span> <span m='14270'>on</span> <span m='14390'>a</span> <span m='14440'>day-to-day</span> <span m='14850'>basis,</span> <span m='15630'>I use</span> <span m='16180'>various</span> <span m='16948'>chemical</span> <span m='17356'>synthetic</span> <span m='17764'>methods,</span> <span m='18580'>grow</span> <span m='19080'>these</span> <span m='19580'>nanocrystals,</span> <span m='20510'>and</span> <span m='20892'>then</span> <span m='21274'>integrate</span> <span m='21656'>them into</span> <span m='22290'>real-world</span> <span m='22660'>devices</span> <span m='23815'>and</span> <span m='24200'>study</span> <span m='24560'>certain</span> <span m='24960'>properties</span> <span m='25540'>that</span> <span m='25740'>will</span> <span m='26030'>enhance</span> <span m='26794'>their</span> <span m='27268'>efficiency</span> <span m='27742'>when</span> <span m='28216'>and</span> <span m='28690'>if they</span> <span m='29164'>go to</span> <span m='29638'>market.</span> </p><p><span m='30590'>I</span> <span m='31000'>actually</span> <span m='31360'>was</span> <span m='31720'>first</span> <span m='31970'>interested</span> <span m='32369'>in</span> <span m='32520'>physics</span> <span m='33010'>as</span> <span m='33330'>an</span> <span m='33560'>eighth-grader.</span> <span m='34458'>And</span> <span m='34946'>so</span> <span m='35922'>I pursued</span> <span m='36410'>it in</span> <span m='36898'>high school,</span> <span m='37386'>and I was</span> <span m='37874'>a physics major</span> <span m='38362'>in college.</span> <span m='39826'>And</span> <span m='40320'>I</span> <span m='40450'>took a</span> <span m='40670'>year</span> <span m='40940'>off</span> <span m='41090'>after</span> <span m='41380'>college</span> <span m='41760'>but</span> <span m='41990'>ultimately</span> <span m='42410'>decided</span> <span m='42776'>that I</span> <span m='43142'>wanted to</span> <span m='43510'>go to</span> <span m='43850'>grad school</span> <span m='44213'>to study</span> <span m='44576'>physics.</span> <span m='45415'>So</span> <span m='45890'>it's</span> <span m='46000'>been</span> <span m='46140'>physics</span> <span m='46510'>from</span> <span m='46880'>the</span> <span m='47298'>beginning</span> <span m='47716'>for the</span> <span m='48134'>most part.</span> </p><p><span m='49390'>My</span> <span m='49660'>advice</span> <span m='50115'>would be,</span> <span m='50570'>as</span> <span m='50660'>soon</span> <span m='50800'>as</span> <span m='50920'>possible,</span> <span m='51540'>definitely</span> <span m='52000'>seek</span> <span m='52150'>out</span> <span m='52460'>any local</span> <span m='52880'>internships,</span> <span m='53816'>either</span> <span m='54284'>at</span> <span m='54752'>research</span> <span m='55220'>laboratories</span> <span m='56156'>or</span> <span m='56624'>for</span> <span m='57092'>commercial</span> <span m='57830'>entities.</span> <span m='58650'>Get</span> <span m='59130'>a</span> <span m='59180'>sense</span> <span m='59450'>of</span> <span m='59570'>what</span> <span m='59780'>these</span> <span m='59910'>people</span> <span m='60200'>who are</span> <span m='60490'>professionals</span> <span m='60984'>actually</span> <span m='61478'>do</span> <span m='61972'>on a</span> <span m='62466'>day-to-day</span> <span m='62960'>basis</span> <span m='63300'>because</span> <span m='63640'>if</span> <span m='63980'>end</span> <span m='64420'>up</span> <span m='64709'>pursuing</span> <span m='65099'>a</span> <span m='65140'>career</span> <span m='65900'>that you</span> <span m='66304'>think is</span> <span m='66708'>interesting</span> <span m='67112'>to you,</span> <span m='67516'>you'll</span> <span m='68040'>find</span> <span m='68330'>out</span> <span m='68530'>if,</span> <span m='68640'>in fact,</span> <span m='69240'>it does</span> <span m='69540'>seem</span> <span m='69840'>interesting</span> <span m='70440'>in</span> <span m='70740'>the long</span> <span m='71040'>run.</span> </p>","file":{"id":208161,"video_id":"2701166430001","name":"63210406","duration":72000,"thumbnail_url":null}});