Job prospects sees physics Higher entrants increase

4 August 2011

As the Scottish Qualifications Authority releases the results for 2011’s Higher examinations, the Institute of Physics has welcomed a 5% increase in the number of students choosing to take the physics course.

The number of students has risen from 9,014 in 2010 to 9,445 in 2011. The Advanced Higher in Physics has also seen an increase in entrants from 1,736 in 2010 to 1,757 in 2011.

Alison McLure, the Institute of Physics (IOP)’s National Officer in Scotland, said, “The increase is further evidence that students are choosing to take subjects which offer the best prospects later in life.

“More than half of first-degree physics holders earn a salary in excess of £40 000, significantly above the UK median wage, working in a wide range of industries. Qualifications in physics, from Highers up to degrees and PhDs, lay a solid foundation for a rewarding career. ”

However, with only 28.3% of the physics Higher entrants being female, physics still appears to be appealing more to boys than girls.

Alison McLure continued, “There is still work to do to show how inspiring, rewarding and relevant physics is to everyone. We need to spread the message that physics underpins advances in everything from medicine to protecting our environment. Physics affects all of our lives daily; it’s not something just for grey-haired men in white coats.”

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