Play a word association game with "physics" and you will seldom hear "money." Yet finance is one of the most exciting and lucrative not-so-secret career opportunities for physics majors. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to major in business or accounting to work in finance. A physics major can actually be a better path.
Math skills: Modern finance requires sophisticated mathematical skills. Whether its through chaos theory, stochastic calculus, or intensive statistical modeling, analysis of financial markets uses some of the most complex quantitative tools available. The rigorous mathematical education of physics majors makes physicists very attractive to Wall Street.
Computer skills: Systems like the stock market are much too complex to be modeled analytically using pencil and paper. Physicists are not only trained in theoretical mathematics but also in the use of computational tools to solve both regular and chaotic physical systems.
Analytical skills: One of the most important benefits of a physics education is learning to think like a scientist. The ability to break down a problem into its component parts, analyze those parts, and then unify them together back into the whole, is critical to the analysis of complex and coupled systems. Nearly every activity in a physics program, from homework problems to design projects, teaches such skills.
At North Park, physics majors have an exceptionally well-rounded education, covering philosophy, theology, and history, in addition to math and physics. Physics majors are encouraged and supported to be broad in both their curricular and extracurricular activities. Classes are small and faculty are focused on teaching and mentoring students.
Alumni of the department have pursued graduate study and/or careers in finance. Our goal is a comprehensive and well-rounded education, the type of education that will give you the analytical tools vital to financial analysis as well as the ethical and character formation that is needed for the responsible practice of business.
These sites were provided in the seminar "Physics and a Career on Wall Street" by Evan Donoghue.