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I've been told that in countries like Israel the truth of the matter is that the only available work for B.Sc./M.Sc. in physics/math is only to be high school teacher. To do serious stuff you need to be Ph.D.

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closed as too broad by JamalS, Kyle Kanos, Danu, DavePhD, Kyle May 19 at 15:54

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It may (or may not) be important to you to distinguish between work as a physicist and good, challenging work in a more general context. A Bachelor's degree in physics is as good for joining J.RandomCo in a non-technical position as a degree in English or History or what have you. –  dmckee Mar 10 '11 at 0:17
    
I think you may be going about this a bit backwards. School lasts for less than 10% of your life. Work lasts for well over 50% of your life. You should instead consider, "What do I want to do with the 50% of my life that I'll need to earn an income for?" and then get a corresponding education. If you choose doing something you love, then you will very likely also love the education (generally speaking - little bits of education are painful regardless of the choice). –  Adam Davis Mar 24 '11 at 2:01

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Opinion based on my own experience in central Europe: In order to do research as a physicist (there are jobs, but few), you need a PhD. As a physics master, you'll get hired as a engineer (for software, electronics or similar topics). The same is true if all you got is a bachelor, but you'll have a harder job to convince people to hire you, the master is the norm.

In Germany you'll need a specialized education to get a job as a highschool teacher, so in general you won't be hired as one if all you have is a master in physics, except in very exceptional cases.

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What you've heard is totally incorrect, regarding Israel at least.

There are more job openings in Israel for physicists than there are physicists (and that is saying something!)

There is a very high concentration of high-tech companies (notably; Rafael, IAI, Elibt and many others) that rely heavily on the expertise of physicists, among others. And thanks (or no thanks) to the growing threats by terrorist groups and rogue states, these scientists are kept very busy. See Iron Dome for example.

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I have a M.Sc in mathematics, and I work as an analyst in a company in the field of signal processing, interpolation of measured data, data visualisation, robotics and control engineering. I also do some programming (e.g. C, C++, C#, Matlab) as well as some physical analysis such as applied mechanics and optics.

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