Updating the Careers Toolbox

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Unifying Fields

Updating the Careers Toolbox


Brad R. Conrad, Kerry Kidwell-Slak, Toni Sauncy, and Katherine Zaunbrecher Career Pathways Project Team

In 2014, the American Institute of Physics published the first edition of the Career Pathways Project. This National Science Foundation–funded project developed and assembled a comprehensive set of tools to help physics and astronomy majors identify and secure careers after finishing their bachelor’s degrees. This work was profiled in the Spring 2014 issue of Radiations as “Taking the ‘Hidden’ out of ‘Hidden Physicists.’” Since this first edition, countless students have participated in Career Pathways workshops led by faculty and staff and gone on to successful careers in a wide range of fields. Many departments have taken the additional step of embedding the material into their curriculum to ensure their students have this critical information prior to graduation. However, as we all know, good things can always be made better, so the Career Pathways team has reassembled to develop the Careers Toolbox for Undergraduate Physics Students & Their Mentors—Version 2.0.

Image courtesy of AIP. www.spsnational.org/career-resources/career-pathways.In addition to a new visual identity, the updated guide will encourage more independent use by students and feature the following enhancements:

  • Updated statistics from AIP’s Statistical Research Center on where physics bachelor degree holders go after graduation, typical starting salaries, and an overview of knowledge and skills regularly used by physics bachelor degree holders employed in the private sector.
  • Improved guidance for students from their first year of college through (and beyond!) graduation.
  • Sample resumes and tips on how to stand out in an interview.
  • Updated tools to help students articulate their achievements and skills.
  • Increased emphasis on seeking out and engaging in experiences including student organizations, internships, research, service-learning, and projects.
  • Detailed discussions on the appropriate use of a CV versus a resume.
  • Redesigned worksheets and exercises to support independent student work.

Whether you are on the job market yourself or have an aspiring physics major in your life, we encourage you to check out Careers Toolbox 2.0 and make use of its resources!

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