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By Leah Poffenberger
Last year, APS launched Careers 2020, the first APS Careers guide, featuring nearly 80 pages of articles, profiles, and other content aimed at students, early career physicists, and other job seekers. While some of the plans to distribute hard copies of the guide at in-person APS meetings were thwarted by COVID-19, the online edition garnered 85,000 views, supplying valuable career advice to APS members.
The next edition of the guide—Careers 2021—is ready to launch, with new, up-to-date content for today’s job seekers. Careers 2021 contains new articles on career paths in physics, APS career-related programs, and an employer directory of companies currently looking to hire physicists.
“We’re really excited to be putting this guide out again,” says Crystal Bailey, Head of Careers Programs at APS. “We’re hoping to really push this out to the APS community in 2021 and to get this into the hands of as many members as possible.”
Like its predecessor, Careers 2021 will be available online, and a hard copy will be mailed to every undergraduate member of APS, but there are plans in place to get more copies to attendees of APS meetings.
“The [National Mentoring Community] conference is going to do a physical mailing to every registered attendee and copies will be mailed out after the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) as a tangible benefit for those new student members,” says Bailey. “We’re hoping if there are in-person meetings in the fall that we will be able to take copies to meetings, but if not, we’re going to work with organizers to make sure copies are accessible to attendees.”
While the main audience for Careers 2021 is students and early career physicists, the wealth of content contained in the guide is potentially useful for any APS member. Those new to career exploration can broaden their perspectives on what kinds of jobs are available with Career Pathways articles. Active job seekers can also benefit from advice on career development as well as the employer directory of companies that are actively recruiting.
“Careers 2021 is also beneficial to faculty, or anyone who is in a position to be mentoring students,” says Bailey. “There is a wide variety of career paths beyond academia and career mentors might struggle with knowing what those careers are—and this guide can help.”
Careers 2021 is the result of the second year of a partnership between APS and the Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP) to provide high-quality career resources to APS members. Last year’s guide, despite some setbacks in distribution due to COVID, received great reviews from those who received it, especially from students at the CUWiP and those involved with the APS Student Ambassador program.
“Not only does the guide provide insight into the possible paths you can take after you get your degree in physics, but it showcases employers who are in need [of] and appreciate people with a background in physics. This is the best part of the career guide for me,” said Jorge Garcia, an APS Student Ambassador and a graduate student at New Mexico State University, about Careers 2020. “It gives you the names of companies, what kind of work they do, and what degrees they look for in an employee. This gives a lot of insight into where your background is needed and helps focus your efforts in positions and companies that are a match for you.”
The employer directory included in Careers 2021 promises to be just as useful, since it isn’t a re-print of last year’s list, but a brand-new list of companies who are currently hiring.
“To get the most out of this guide, read it thoroughly, and to as much of an extent as possible, try to get in touch with these companies who put themselves in the directory—they really are interested in hiring,” says Bailey. “These are companies that chose to participate during COVID—they’re hiring now…consider using LinkedIn to find contacts to do informational interviews and really learn about what the company is doing.”
APS Career Guides and other resources and advice for job seekers are available at the Careers page.
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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondents: Sophia Chen, Alaina G. Levine