Explore Your Options
The field of physical science is the study of the physics and chemistry of nature. Positions in this field work in laboratories, conduct experiments, analyze findings, operate necessary equipment, and develop tests and theories in a private research laboratory, government agency, or as a teacher.
Learn About the Field
Career exploration is all about research. Use the following information to learn if a career in physical science is for you.
Latest News in the Field
Keep informed about what’s happening in this field by reading what the professionals read. Visit the following sites regularly!
Now that you've done a little research about the physical science field, it's time to start meeting with industry professionals. It's an easy way to learn more about what your future career path might look like. It's also a great way to network with people who may know about internship or full-time job opportunities.
IUB Alumni LinkedIn – You can connect with over 186,000 IUB alumni from various programs after you create a LinkedIn profile. Search for alumni based on location, company, industry, and what they studied. To learn more about how to set-up your profile and use this tool, visit these resources.
IU Alumni Directory—Request an account and use it to search for IU Alumni who have graduated from our physical science programs. You can see where they’re working now and email them directly from the site. Contact a dozen people to start with and see where you end up. You may need to contact more in order to get some helpful responses.
Informational Interviewing Guide—Once you know who you’re interested in talking with, use this guide to request and conduct an informational interview.
Social Media Networking
Use social media to network with professionals and their organizations. LinkedIn, a professional networking site, is a great way to connect. Here are a few organizations that have a strong social presence.
- American Astronomical Society: Facebook, Twitter
- American Chemistry: Twitter
- American Chemical Society, Division of Organic Chemistry: LinkedIn
- American Physical Society: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- CERN: Twitter
- Chemistry World: Twitter
- International Union of Geological Sciences: LinkedIn
- Nature Chemistry: Twitter
- NicheJobs.com/Engineering, Science, Manufacturing, Industry: LinkedIn
- Physics News: Twitter
- Physics Today: Twitter
Join a Professional Association
National professional associations are valuable sources for a variety of career information. You can learn about certification requirements, job leads, internships, educational opportunities, and more. Many associations offer discounted membership rates for students.
Build Your Skills
Having career-relevant work experience on your resume will give you a big head start when it comes time to landing your post-grad dream job. Now that you’ve researched your career options, take advantage of the opportunities below to build the skills you need to be competitive. Remember: employers also like to see plenty of leadership exerience listed.
Join Student Organizations
There are more than 700 student organizations at IU—which means there are more than 700 ways you can get some really impressive job experience. Below are some groups specific to physical science. Check out BeINvolved to learn about even more student organizations through IU Student Life and Learning.
Get a Part Time Job
Use myJobs to learn about part- and full-time job opportunities. Here are career-relevant jobs that students have participated in.
*Jobs with asterisks are within walking distance from campus.
Put your talents to good use and build experience along the way! Off-campus volunteer opportunities exist around every corner. Below are some volunteer opportunities within about an hour’s drive of Bloomington.
Find a job or internship
You've done your research, created a network, and beefed up your resume. Now it's time to hit the job market. The list below shows some organizations that often recruit IU graduates from physical science majors. This list also shows some organizations where recent physical science graduates have gone to work. Remember that an education in these majors can prepare you for a number of careers.
Job Search Sites
These sites post jobs that relate directly to physical science. Remember to use these sites in addition to your network of people to maximize your chance of finding good opportunities. Many of the professional associations listed in the Meet People tab will post industry-specific jobs. Look for a page titled "careers," “jobs," "employment," or "opportunities."
Keywords for Job Searches
As you use the web to search for more opportunities, get creative with the search terms you use. Try the list below to maximize your results.
Organization & Company Research Resources
When you’re preparing for a job interview, it pays to do your research. Use the resources here to learn about an organization’s history, business, and culture. Once you have a good understanding of what the company’s about, formulate a list of questions to ask during your interview. This will show your interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the job and give you a deeper understanding of what to expect if you’re hired.
Common Interview Questions
Interviews can vary from one industry to another. Remember, interviewers are trying to assess your experience and your fit for a specific position, so depending on the position, your questions will vary greatly. This is a small sample of questions designed to help you understand the kind of field-specific questions you might be asked.
- What is the most important scientific concept that will help you in your role in the position with our company?
- Concept specific question based on position, e.g. why can you skate on ice but not glass?
- Explain how you apply the scientific method to your work and research.
- Consider starting out at a staffing agency. Many large corporations outsource projects to them and then eventually hire on those who prove themselves.
- Corporations commonly hire temps from Lancaster Laboratories, Adecco, Aerotek, and Lab Support, to name a few.