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Careers: Planning Ahead

Planning for your career

Don't wait till graduation to think about your future career. Make the most of opportunities at Calvin beyond classes to help you prepare for a job after Calvin.

Get to know your advisor

Your academic advisor has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of physics and astronomy. He or she will be your best resource as you choose a career track, select courses, and apply for research and internships. In addition to your assigned advisor, feel free to chat with any professor in the department about careers.

Learn about types of careers

Physics majors typically pursue one of three main career paths: industry, secondary education, or research. Be sure to see our overview of these paths and Calvin-specific advice for each one.

To learn more about physics career options, see these sites:

Plan your courses wisely

Talk with your advisor about the best type of physics major, and appropriate minor(s), for the career(s) you are interested in. Then select courses carefully. Many courses are offered only once every two years and have multiple pre-requisites, so plan ahead. Check out our sample 4-year course plans, then write a plan of your own. If you are interested in education, your core courses (not just technical courses) also need to be chosen carefully to meet education requirements.

Build your connections

Even while you're an undergraduate student, expanding your network of contacts within your target career field will help you make your way after graduation. Chat with professors outside of class. Contact physics alumni working in your area(s) of interest. Attend seminars and introduce yourself to speakers. Do an internship at a company or a summer of research, and keep in contact with people you meet there. Through these connections, you will develop contacts who can write recommendation letters, refer you to employers, and let you know about openings.

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Types of Careers

See our overview of three main career paths in physics, including particular advice for each one.


See what physics and astronomy alumni are doing with their degrees from Calvin.