Program presentation and study plan
You also have the option, for 30 additional ECTS credits, of choosing a specialization (minor) in fields such as space or medical technology or doing a 4-6 month internship in industry to obtain the title of “physicist engineer”.
Furthermore, the structured thinking acquired during your high-level scientific training will offer you numerous opportunities with banks, insurance agencies, financial companies, and computer companies. Finally, you might be inspired to share your passion by choosing a teaching career.
Bachelor and Master degrees in Physics (2008), PhD in the Plasma and Fusion Laboratory (2013)
Thibaut Vernay works as a quantitative data analyst for upc cablecom in Zurich.
… I work for a telecommunication company based in Zurich. My job is to do statistical analysis and to model the contact center (the center our customers contact for information or to solve a technical problem). Our forecasts estimate for example how many calls the contact center will handle in the next days. They require very complex statistical models and are essential to optimize the contact center agents’ schedules.
Before entering the business world, I worked in basic research. After my Master degree, I decided to do a PhD in the Plasma and Fusion Laboratory (CRPP) et EPFL, one of the best lab in Europe in this field. I was completely fascinated by plasma physics (hot gas physics) and I wanted to do more research about it.
Living a PhD student’s life is quite nice, but you need some tenacity, too! Writing a PhD thesis can be a complicated process, and you have to deal with the unavoidable difficulties of research. But on the other hand, you have freedom in your working hours, you are part of a research group – around 20-30 PhD students from all over the world do their PhD at the CRPP, which means a great international atmosphere—and once a year, you have the chance to travel to attend a conference and present your work.
Coming from EPFL, I adapted very easily in my new job at upc cablecom: an EPF physicist is really well prepared for any professional challenge. Of course, finding a first job can take a couple of months, but it’s important to persevere and to be flexible! And once you are in the job market, the quality of EPFL studies (with or without a PhD) and the analytical mind you have developed will give you a good advantage.
Working in a telecommunication company is extremely interesting, as it combines the business tasks of a company and the telecommunications technology. It’s a fast changing field that offers many challenges. And the possibility to discover the business world and to use my technical background at the same time is great!
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