Related to Major
Faculty of Science
For more information, visit the Department of Physics website.
Explore Your Possibilities
According to Workopolis, almost one third of Canadians have 5 to 10 different jobs in one career, and one in every four has more than 10 different jobs in one career (Workopolis, 2015).
Explore the list of job titles below for ideas about what you could do with your major. Remember your choice of major is not all there is to you, and organizations hire people, not majors.
Some of the occupational titles reflect jobs of SFU Alumni, and others are occupations commonly associated with each major. Jobs that typically require further education are also listed.
Make a list of options you are most curious about, then start exploring the possibilities.
Options commonly associated with the major
- Avionics Technician
- Math & Physics Tutor
- Atomic Physicist Assistant
- Cryogenics Specialist
- Research Junior Scientist
- Satellite Data Analyst
- Software Developer
- Robotics Technician
Job titles beyond the typical options
- Junior Geophysicist
- Electronics Technician
- Information Specialist
- Industrial Designer
- Product Tester
- Medical Products Designer
- Technical Report Writer
- Quality Assurance Specialist
Possibilities with additional education or training
- Research Scientist
- Theoretical Physicist
- Science Magazine Editor/Writer
- Product Developer Engineer
Fields of Work
There are numerous fields where you could find yourself following your undergraduate degree. For example:
- Arts and Culture
- Scientific and Technical
What fields interest you? If you are uncertain, take the initiative and start exploring different fields. If your preferred fields turn out to not be what you expected, pause. Technology, climate change, automation, globalization and other factors may impact these fields and offer new or different opportunities.
The North American Industry Classification System gives you an overview of all industries and their subsectors.
Core Skills (Major-Specific)
In the course of your undergraduate degree you’ll develop a wide array of skills. While many of these skills encompass essential skills and 21st-Century skills, you’ll also develop job specific skills. These are the specialized knowledge and skills you’ll gain through your courses and are unique to your discipline.
Content knowledge and technical skills vary widely between occupations and are generally only used in one line of work. The type of skills that you’ll need depend on the scope of the work.
You want to understand what skills you developed and the one’s you want to use, so when someone asks you about your discipline content knowledge and skills you can speak clearly and confidently about them.
+ MAJOR Specific Skills
- Plan, design and conduct elementary physics experiments to investigate a range of physical phenomena such as Brownian motion, molecular order, chaotic dynamics, electromagnetic and quantum.
- Carry out scientific investigations by using standard laboratory equipment including cathode ray oscilloscope and the traveling microscope.
- Acquire and analyze experimental data using appropriate techniques like UNIX/Linux, FFTs, PDEs, linear/non-linear algebra, Hyperbolic partial differential equations and Root-finding algorithms.
- Demonstrate an understanding of complex numbers, steepest descent, Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm, curve sketching, the mathematics used to model waves, integration, Cholesky and singular value decompositions.
- Report the results of an investigation critically and draw the relevant graphs with error bars showing the uncertainty in the measurements where appropriate.
- Represent the complex physical systems and simplify them using models and simulations.
- Design algorithms and implement them to translate physics problems to into a form suitable for solution.
You’ll need these skills to perform different tasks and at varying levels of complexity in education and work environments depending on the what further education you pursue and on the nature of the work. The Government of Canada and other organizations such as the World Economic Forum report that these skills are increasing in importance and are highly valued and sought after by employers.
Through each of the different events and experiences in your life (education, work, travel, hobbies and extra-curricular activities) you have developed a diverse range of these skills, probably more than you realize.
Through extensive research, the Government of Canada along with other agencies have identified and validated key literacy, essential and employability skills. These skills are used in nearly every career and throughout daily life and are instrumental in helping you enter, stay in, and progress in the world of work.
There are plenty of opportunities and different ways to get involved in activities, programs and services outside of the classroom to learn and grow. By engaging in student leadership programs, volunteering, paid work, and student clubs and groups, you’ll develop new skills, make connections, and gain experience.
Explore a diverse range of inclusive events, services, and community outreach opportunities for students, staff, alumni and friends of SFU.
Explore on-campus opportunities like workshops and events, as well as volunteer and paid positions.
Want to gain experience and earn money while studying? Consider applying to the co-op program
Apply for on-campus volunteer and paid positions, participate in career and leadership development programs and workshops, and access your Co-Curricular Record.
Not-for-profit network by students for students. Find student unions, clubs and other resources and services.
Access job postings, volunteer opportunities, and register for workshops and events.
Related Professional Associations
Professional associations are a valuable resource for occupational research, work search and building connections. They may offer career information, job boards, networking, mentorship, volunteer opportunities and additional resources.
Take your career exploration one step further by doing your own research. Here are some organizations and resources to get started.