Graduates in Industry and

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Placement of Physics
Graduates in Industry and
Other Jobs

Carlos Herranz


Colegio Oficial de Físicos

Professional Association of Physicists
-

Spain

EUPEN GENERAL FORUM

Sant Feliu de Guíxols, September 6, 2007

WHAT IS A PHYSICIST?


DIFFERENCIAL AND INTEGRAL
CALCULUS


PHYSICS LABORATORY


ELECTROMAGNETISM


MECHANICS AND WAVES


THERMODYNAMICS


MATHEMATICAL METHODS FOR
PHYSICS


OPTICS


QUANTUM PHYSICS


CHEMISTRY


COMPUTING TECHNIQUES



FLUIDS PHYSICS


SOLID STATE PHYSICS


ELECTRONICS


ASTROPHYSICS


ATOMIC, NUCLEAR AND PARTICLE
PHYSICS


MATERIALS SCIENCE


OCEANOGRAPHY


GEOPHYSICS


METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY


STATISTICS


CONTROL SYSTEMS


...


Sound mathematical and scientific base,
suplemented by some technical aspects.

WHAT IS A PHYSICIST?

Vocational career:


“Pleasure” in physics


Doesn’t distinguish social origin
or sex (aptitudes are individual)


“Open” mind for science


Discipline at work (hard studies)


Recommended:


Knowledge of languages,
computing, etc


Suplement studies with master,
postgrades


Interchange programmes


WHAT IS A PHYSICIST?

Physics

is not just a science. It is
also a way of perceiving the world,
a way of reacting and behaving
before concrete facts and
phenomena.

WHAT IS A PHYSICIST?

The most spread image is that of a physicist
devoted to scientific research or to teaching.

WHAT IS A PHYSICIST?

The physicist is a versatile and competent
professional working in a cross
-
disciplinary job
market in many different fields.

This degree allows us both to know the basic laws of
the Universe and to produce goods/services which are
based in them.

THE LABOUR MARKET



The demand of scientific
-
technical professionals in Spain is
unstable.



A reference scientific
-
technical sector is lacking




Fast technological evolution




Adaptation to market changes and opportunities




Few spin
-
offs from universities

The

professionals experiment a continuous development in their
required skills along labor life. Consequently, an adaptation
capability and CONTINUOUS TRAINING are needed.

THE LABOUR MARKET



The professional profile which defines a given type of activity
requires:



Continuous
learning capability


Knowledge of the:



“business”



technology



processes



organization


Professional
capabilities

Personal
capabilities



Communication



Flexibility and an ability to
adapt to changes

THE LABOUR MARKET



The new university curricula should take into account non
-
technical habilities required by the market.



Tranverse sectors



Cross
-
disciplinary teams



Non
-
technical aspects of the business (marketing, communication,
financing, legal, managerial…)



It is necessary to [want to] understand the processes and
requirements of the business.

THE PROFESSIONAL PROFILE OF THE PHYSICIST



The most valued aptitudes of physics graduates in the job
market (desired):



Ability to asume new professional challenges in the most diverse
subject matters (adaptability)




Fast learning of specific knowledges which might be required, so
much so as an ability to develop them succesfully in a short time
(efficacy)


A sound basic training provides an excelent adaptation capacity to
new technologies in a short time and with great efficacy, which is
highly valued by employers.

THE PROFESSIONAL PROFILE OF THE PHYSICIST



The main limitations:



Lack of self
-
esteem




Scarce interest in knowing the “non
-
technical” aspects of business




Reluctance for management / responsibility tasks


EXTERNAL FACTORS
:




The syndrome of the “invisible physicist”




Lack of image (ignorance of the HR responsible)




System of professional competences


AREAS OF PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY


Health


Economy


Energy and Industry


Telecommunications


Transports


Security and defense


Food

Physicists are present in nearly all activitiy sectors:


Tourism


Science and Technology


Environment


Labour


Justice


Culture and Education


Housing




Acoustics


Aerospace technology


Climate and meteorology


Defense and weponry


Economy and finances


Energy production


Environment management


Electronics


Geodesy and prospecting


Health and medicine

The fields in which there is a notable participation of
physicists:


Information and communication
technologies


Magnetism


Materials


Metrology and calibration


Nanotechnology


Occupational risk prevention


Quality assurance


Radiological protection


Scientific
-
technical instrumentation


Technology watch and innovation



AREAS OF PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY


Technical:
design and development of services, products and
projects, adaptation/customization/implantation of information
systems and networks, fitting and maintenance of technological
equipment, security/safety/optimization of processes…



Services:
project management, quality assurance, management and
operation of services, customer support, marketing and commercial
management, technical translation…



Organization:
planning, analysis/foresight/modelization of markets
and products, innovation management, definition of organization’s
structures, team management…



Management:
design and strategy in all the above mentioned
aspects, determination of development lines, leadership of teams,
decision
-
making, agreements of collaboration…


AREAS OF PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY

The tasks performed by physicists are very varied:


Planning of radiological protection measures


Projects for heating and warm water facilities


Projects for facilities and conditioning for fuel tanks


Projects for high and low voltage electrical facilities


Projets for mobile telephone stations


Reports for building radioactive facilities


Measuring of atmospheric pollutants


Electromagnetic measuring


Noise and vibrations measuring


Expert advice ni general

Increasingly physicists choose to work as freelances or establish
their own companies (sometimes forced by the labour market).
When the physicist becomes a “designer” who makes projects,
their activity must be “sanctioned” by the Colegio Oficial.

AREAS OF PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY

EMERGING SECTORS

Information and communication technologies

technological innovation / signal and data handling / observation and
remote
-
sensing systems / positioning systems and applications /
knowledge management / Internet / mobile communications / new
devices / digital contents / new products development / technology
implantation / usability, accessibility and security / marketing

EMERGING SECTORS

Energy production

renewable energies / fuels / efficiency and saving / production
assurance / climate change / Kioto protocol / energetic models /
demand management / environmental impacts


EMERGING SECTORS

Nanotechnology and new materials

manipulation and manufacture in the nanoscale / optics / efficiency in
production / improvements in the information technologies /
nanomaterials / nanosensors / drugs

EMERGING SECTORS

Modelization techniques

economy / finance / insurance / banking / energy / explotation of
resources / sociological studies / optimization and improvement of
efficiency / architecture and urban development

EMERGING SECTORS

Sustainable development

environmental protection / enhancement of efficiency and reduction of
pollution in transportation / promotion of solar energy / agriculture,
including post
-
harvest technology / water treatment and remediation /
air pollution control / waste treatment

EMERGING SECTORS

Health

application of physics to clinical medicine / radiation therapy and
diagnosis / new technology

THE COLEGIO OFICIAL DE FÍSICOS



Non
-
profit institution

c
reated by law in 1976 that groups the
Spanish physicists with the aims of:




Represent the profession of “physicist” before administrations,
courts, and any other public or private institution



Serve collective interests and organize activities for members



Establish agreements to benefit members



Advise members: legal, professional, job search, training



Sanction project reports from members



Defend and disseminate knowledge of physicists competences



Collaborate with universities for a better training for physicists



Public service to society whenever demanded



Disseminate in the society the idea that science and physics are
necessary elements to life and development


THE COLEGIO OFICIAL DE FÍSICOS



Main office:


C/ Monte Esquinza, 28
-

3º dcha.

28010 Madrid

Spain


Phone: +34 91 447 06 77

Fax: +34 91 447 20 06

E
-
mail: comunicacion@cofis.es


Internet sites:


www.cofis.es

(corporate site)


www.fys.es

(“physics and society” site)