AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Report on the Graduate Education in Physics Conference
  Paper Type: Panel
  Title: Preparing Graduate Students for Non-Academic Careers
  Meeting: 2014 Winter Meeting: Orlando, Florida
  Location: N/A
  Time: 3:30PM
  Author: Lawrence Woolf
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
8587626175, Lawrence.Woolf@ga-asi.com
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: One of the primary topics discussed at the conference concerned career development, since most graduate students will not have the academic careers of their advisors. Goals included reviewing the primary functions of physicists in industry, evaluating how students are currently prepared for these careers, and identifying how to fill gaps in preparation. A number of nonacademic physicists provided insight into meeting these goals. Most physics graduate programs in general do not purposely prepare students for a nonacademic career. Strategies for overcoming this shortcoming include advising students about these careers and providing training on broadly valued professional skills such as written and verbal communication, time and project management, leadership, working in teams, innovation, and proposal writing. Academic training should be expanded to include engineering and cross disciplinary problem solving and product development, developing prototype products and increasing their technological readiness, and working with software and toolsets common in industry.
  Footnotes: Sponsor is Juan Burciaga
  Presentation: Woolf AATP presentation January 2014-1-6-14 PP - for AAPT.pdf

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