Highlighted employer: Diamond Light Source

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. Diamond is a not-for-profit limited company funded as a joint venture by the UK Government through the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in partnership with the Wellcome Trust. The synchrotron is free at the point of access through a competitive application process, provided that the results are in the public domain. Over 7000 researchers from both academia and industry use Diamond to conduct experiments, assisted by approximately 500 staff.  They have regular open days and a range of summer placements on offer as well as graduate vacancies.  Multi-disciplinary in nature, Diamond has good opportunities for physicists.

Edinburgh: ‘UK’s largest tech hub outside London’

If you have even the hint of a business idea and want to nurture your entrepreneurial potential, University of Edinburgh is the place to be.

The Careers Service Blog

Thanks to my colleague Lizzie Mortimer for spotting this news story about technology start-ups at Edinburgh – Rebecca

Edinburgh is proving to be a major technology start-up hub, as new figures published by the University of Edinburgh show.

The BBC have reported that the University of Edinburgh has supported 44 start-up companies and three spin-outs last year, providing support for a significant number of student entrepreneurs.

Students interested in exploring entrepreneurship for themselves can get support from Launch.ed.

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Award winning employers of physicists

Each year the Institute of Physics (IOP) recognises and celebrates employers who can demonstrate excellence in the way that they train and develop staff and promote work-life balance. This year’s winners were AMEC Foster Wheeler, AWE, BAE Systems Submarines, CRA Risk Analysis, DSTL, IRS and Sharp Laboratories.

Are “scope to develop” and “work-life balance” important factors to you as you start to think about who you’d want to work for?  Have you thought much about these aspects of working life?   If so, find out more about what made these employers stand out.

Best Practice in Professional Development

More females needed in the STEM industries!

Some eye-popping stats from my colleague Rebecca Valentine on shortages in STEM and gender imbalance. The world needs more physicists and especially more female physicists…

The Careers Service Blog

According to the Guardian, 40,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) jobs go unfilled every year! Even more shocking than this, is that a mere 12% of the STEM workforce is made up of females. You can read the full story on the Guardian website or and check out #STEMshortage on social media.

If you are looking to get into the STEM industries when you graduate, you might be interested to know that the Careers Service are running a free speed networking allowing you to network with female professionals in the fields of Science, Engineering and Technology! Details below:

Speed Networking for Women: Careers in Science, Engineering and Technology

Mon 5th October, 6.20pm at Teviot Debating Hall

This is a free networking evening organized by the University of Edinburgh Careers Service and in partnership with Interconnect which will give you the chance to network with female professionals in the fields…

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Scientific publishing giant Nature targets physicists

I was contacted this summer by Malcolm Macleod, Professor of Neurology and Translational Neuroscience, here at UoE who  sits on the editorial board of “Nature:Scientific Reports”: an online open-access primary research publication from the publishers of Nature, covering all areas of the natural and clinical sciences. He and the Editorial Manager of Scientific Reports told me they were looking for graduate level entrants interested in a career in scientific publishing. He said “there is a particular thirst for physics graduates” .

The work involved using databases to match submitted papers to expert Editorial Board Members (EBMs), and assist EBMs in co-ordination of peer-review. Constant communication with the scientific community and Editorial Board was a big part of the role.  Some of the skills they were looking for from physicists included good literary and interpersonal skills, attention to detail in a fast-paced environment, time-management and prioritisation skills. Having some editorial experience was beneficial, but not essential.

These vacancies and others like them are advertised on MyCareerHub but if you want to know a bit more about publishing have a look at our website resources and search the resources on MyCareerHub using “publishing”.  If you are interested, think about what you could do at university to develop these skills and maybe some experience?

How will robots affect the labour market?

New robo-jobs…is this the future ?
My colleague Rebecca Valentine put this interesting post on our Labour Market Information blog Inform.Ed. It’s 5pm on Friday afternoon, I’m off to “power down”….

The Careers Service Blog

There’s been lots of media coverage this week on how developments in robot technology will affect the labour market in the next few years. This interesting article on the BBC website, for example, looks  at The jobs robots will steal first and while some of them are what you might have expected others may come as more of a surprise… Journalist? Doctor?

This week’s (Monday 14th S September) BBC1 Panorama programme, Could A Robot Do My Job? – (catch up with it on BBC iPlayer) – pointed out that jobs which require creative thinking, social skills or physical dexterity are least likely to be automated.

And some recent research reported on Recruitment Grapevine put an interesting slant on the same topic – ‘Male jobs’ will soon be replaced by robots – women are safe!  This says that 47% of modern-day jobs are likely to be taken over…

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Final year? Just graduated? Your country needs you!

Are you looking for a career that enables you to make an impact on people’s lives in the UK and the world? The Civil Service Fast Stream gives you the opportunity to work in areas including education, the economy, foreign affairs, defence policy, health, the environment and many more.  They have a wide range of Fast Stream Programmes, some open to those with a minimum 2: 2 degree qualification and applications are open now for final year students and graduates. Most have closing dates on 2nd November but the Statistical Service one is even earlier.  Interested?

Come along to this event: Inside Insight: Civil Service,  Date: Monday 28th September 2015

Find out more and register on: MyCareerHub


Physicists ARE data scientists

“The emergence of big data – a term used to describe sets of data so large, disparate and proliferating that traditional data processing applications aren’t able to handle them – has led to a growing need for skilled professionals who can mine and interpret the required data sets to help businesses make better strategic decisions. There is currently a shortage of data scientists – with companies looking for programmers and analytical thinkers to plug the gap.” I saw this feature in the Guardian recently and the phrases “mine and interpret the required data”  and “programmers and analytical thinkers” really jumped out. The profile of a Physics degree on Prospects includes:

  • problem solving – with a pragmatic and analytical approach
  • reasoning– constructing logical arguments, applying analytical skills and grasping complex problems
  • numeracy – skills in using mathematics to find solutions to scientific problems, mathematical modelling and interpreting and presenting information graphically

Check out the full article and you’ll start to see why physicists would be good at this. The most common programming languages used in big data applications are Java, Python, C# and R so if you are also developing these though your studies you already have a headstart!

Opportunities for physicists – labour market news

Good Insider News report highlighting some employers who target physicists. These include:

  • Elekta Ltd (radiotherapeutic clinical products)
  • Astrium Ltd – – now Airbus Defence and Space  (satellite technology, space transport )
  • EDF Energy (energy-renewable, nuclear, gas, coal)
  • Physics World (scientific publishing)
  • Met Eireann (weather forecasting)
  • Selex Galileo (defence systems)
  • CCFE (fusion energy R&D)
  • De La Rue (currencies, passports, driving licences,trying to beat counterfeiters through holography, crystals, printed electronics.)
  • Deloitte (financial services)
  • Rebellion (computer gaming)

De La Rue said they “prefer physics to maths because, physics grads are MORE then numerate, they can manipulate numbers in ANY setting” and that “approx 75% of vacation students get taken on at graduate level” – so that shows the benefits of getting known at undergraduate level.

Find out more about about what they do and how you can get summer placements and graduate vacancies here