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Physics Final Year Careers session Phil Clarke Senior Careers Adviser Careers, Employability and Skills.

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Presentation on theme: "Physics Final Year Careers session Phil Clarke Senior Careers Adviser Careers, Employability and Skills."— Presentation transcript:

1 Physics Final Year Careers session Phil Clarke Senior Careers Adviser Careers, Employability and Skills

2 Careers, Employability and Skills is based at the Student Guidance Centre Tel: 9097 2727 Email: Web: Careers Adviser for Maths and Physics - Phil Clarke

3 Careers, Employability and Skills (Careers Service): how we can help  Graduate vacancies  1-1 guidance - drop in/booked appointments  E-guidance (via web)  Careers Fairs, employer presentations  Careers programmes – School/central based


5 Faculty of Eng/Phys Sciences Careers Programme 2009 Information on talks/workshops, graduate vacancy sources, employer presentations and events for faculty students Check out Pdf at and sign up for events at online Events Diary

6 Applications/CVs/Interviews – Autumn Workshops 1-2pm SGC from w/c 5 Oct – w/c 23 Nov CVs – Develop a Winning CV (Mondays) Applications – Read Between the Lines (Tuesdays) Interviews – A Conversation With a Purpose (Thursdays) Book your place at

7 The Recession...your thoughts?… Are graduate employers still recruiting? Should I look outside my degree area? Should I do a Masters or other further study? Should I try a ‘safer’ option eg teaching, public sector? Should I be more strategic about who I’m targeting?

8 Impact of recession on Physics (as far as we can tell): Need to bear in mind NI grad market is always competitive Graduate recruitment generally badly hit Industry generally hit harder than academia, but not across the board Financial services sector still recruiting - not all bad news Major companies often not stating number of graduate vacancies for 2010 Flexibility (including location) is key – some recruiters have opportunities across UK/Ireland Also consider temporary and other types of contracts

9 1.Employment 2.Further Study 3.Training 4.Time Out

10 Some potential career options with Physics Research scientist Medical physicist Lab technician Teacher Teach First prog Software developt Remember that 40-50% of graduate jobs open to any degree Other options – Meteorologist Finance-related Geosciences-related Patent Attorney Scientific Adviser

11 Physics 2008 Grad/PG Destinations 29% employment (of which 60% graduate jobs) 48% F/t further study 17% Other 6% Unemployed Examples: Trainee actuary – Spence & Partners Graduate Developer – Fidessa Auditor – Deloitte Physics Teacher – Grammar school Asst Administrator - QUB PGCE - various MSc Plasma Physics - QUB Atmospheric Physics – n/k

12 Current vacancies -1 Scientific Services Industry E.ON UK, 3M UK, GSK, Cadbury, Sainsburys Computing/IT – Asidua Govt/defence AWE, Dstl (“MSc Info Assurance Industrial Placement”) Industry/defence Thales, Bae Systems

13 Current vacancies - 2 Other ideas Mercer Belfast – Retirement Analysts (session 3- 5.30pm Wed 11 November Mercer offices in Belfast) Asst Trader - SIG Ltd (ROI) Axa - Actuarial Student programme (GB) FSA (London) Watson Wyatt – Actuarial Consulting (GB, ROI) Civil Service Fast Stream Teach First

14 Recruitment Timetable and Systems Major employers mostly recruit to the ”Milkround” timetable i.e. a pplications by December of final year, interviews in January/February and assessment Centres in March/April They use some/all of the following methods to select –On-Line Applications –Aptitude Tests –On-Campus Interviews –Telephone Interviews –Assessment Centres

15 Careers Fairs–Whitla Hall 20 October 2009 Admin, Finance and Management 21 October 2009 Engineering, Science, IT 4 November 2009 Law 10 February 2010 Work Experience Check Faculty of Eng/Phys Sci Programme, What’s On weekly update and Events Diary at

16 Vacancy sources Queen’s Careers Careers website Queen’s Careers Fairs Financial Services Recruitment Opportunities Prog (available now at SGC or at Queen’s Careers Guide 2010 (available as above) Employers Employer presentations at Queen’s Prof bodies Graduate Directories Available from SGC Websites Prospects, Gradireland, Careers Local/national press Recruitment agencies can help get a foot in the door See ‘Jobsearching’ section of Queen’s Careers Guide 2010 for further ideas

17 Are you the ideal candidate? Good degree Technical knowledge (if reqd) Structured work placement/ other work experience Extra-curricular activities at QUB or outside Transferable skills/aptitudes Career management skills eg business skills/awareness, I.T. Flexible/adaptable/motivated/wi lling to learn

18 Beat the Recession: Review your CV/what you have to offer Be flexible – have a ‘Plan B’ Commit to personal development eg work experience Do the research Use your networks Get the right help eg Careers, Employability and Skills, academic staff etc

19 Employment Further Study Training Time Out

20 Reasons for considering postgraduate study: Interest in the subject Academic ambition Long term job prospects More time to consider career options Avoid recession

21 Further Study Options Taught courses Specialised degree Usually 1 (sometimes 2) years Taught in similar way to u/g degrees Diploma eg PGCE – normally 9 months Masters – normally 12 months Another undergrad degree – change of direction?

22 Why a taught course? Can be stepping stone to further study eg PhD Can be requirement or advantage in entering employment, esp. Competitive job areas where a further qualification can give you an edge However, won’t guarantee any advantage in graduate job market Can be useful for career development

23 Further Study options Research PhD – normally 3 years Original research under supervision Not normally taught as with Masters More like a job – regular hours etc Need motivation for long-term study Need to be able to work largely on your own (with support from tutor)

24 Why a PhD? Essential for academic careers and postdoc research Can aid career development within scientific organisations/companies Some specialised finance areas may require PhD eg quantitative finance, computational modelling Transferable skills Again though, a PhD doesn’t guarantee a higher level job

25 Closing dates PGCE (Post-Primary) QUB – 1 st November 2009 PGCE (Primary) UUC – 10 December 2009 GTTR (Primary) GB – 1 December 2009 GTTR (Post-Primary) GB – up to 30 June 2010 and beyond Financial Services Recruitment – varies but closing dates for some opportunities start from 22 Oct through Nov (and beyond in some cases)

26 Funding PG diplomas – limited except eg Teaching, Social Work Masters – very limited, many students self-fund PhD – more options available eg DEL Research Studentships and some scholarships Get more info from: Admissions Postgraduate Office Graduate Prospects

27 Questions to ask yourself? Am I genuinely interested in PG (or other further) study? Do I have a realistic idea of where it will take me afterwards in terms of my career? Have I chosen the right course/field of study? Have I chosen the best university for what I want to do (may not always be QUB)? Can I afford it?

28 Employment Further Study Training Time Out

29 Graduate Training Involves on and off-job experience/training Intro (business training) E2 (export development) Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Others at > Students > Job Vacancies > Graduate Training

30 Employment Further Study Training Time Out

31 What can I do? Work experience eg BUNAC, Camp America, JET Programme > Useful Websites Voluntary work eg Belfast Computer Clubhouse Volunteer Now NI Short courses eg Learn a language? IT skills? Travel eg Australia Working Holiday Visa visitors/working-holiday/417 /

32 Further 1-1 help Duty Adviser (drop-in) 9.00 to 5.00, Monday to Friday (Phil Clarke generally available Wednesdays 1-5pm) Guidance interviews (by appointment) (Phil Clarke available Wednesday and Thursday mornings) E-mail guidance Register at

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