Yeah, there is a reason I gave up my career in IT and got a degree in physics.
Why would you do this? Long hours of menial tasks, angry colleagues*, heavy work loads, the ever cracking whips of the slave drivers in the histogram mines... I pray you escape before they brand you with the mark of ownership. 'Overqualified' It shall be burned upon your brow. Forever marked! A token of your slavery, it shall close all other paths.
I hope against all hope that it is not particle physics you chose! Doublely damned are its acolytes! If this is so, then I as one of the fallen beseech you not to follow my path! Is but a small corner of supersymmetric parameter space worth your eternal soul?
*Note: politics devoid of social skills doesn't make it better it just makes it different.
Then professors wonder why grad students would go off to be quants after their PhD instead of pursuing *non-existent* faculty positions in some sort of fatalistic death march. The funny thing is the lack of permanent positions in physics is not a new thing. It has been like this since the 1970s. Yet the numbers of physics PhDs that universities churn out keeps going up. Heck, for theorists there often isn't any options other than finance, insurance, and consulting.
I guess it is the same for engineers now too going from the article. One positive, I guess, is that this makes it easier for physicists to beg a prospective employer to give them that job that should have been filled by some EE.
As someone who is a physicist I can't say I really agree with your assessment. At least not in general. In my experience a few physicists are amazing, the vast majority are nothing special, and some are downright scary programmers. One of the scariest things I have ever seen is an svn repository were hundreds of physicists have commit privileges.
Now it could be that the average CS graduate is still worse (I have no experience with that), which would be terrifying or maybe its that I am dealing with PhD students, post-docs, and various faculty and so the ones that can actually program really well have fled, since as you said (and sadly even I have to admit) physics is a terrible choice for a career*.
*Unless you win the tenure lottery. Oh the glorious 1-in-10 chance which if you fail leaves you a 40 something with no job and no real world skills!
PhD programs in most sciences are basically a way for professors to get highly skilled labor very cheaply, and then skim the top 5% or so off the pool to replace themselves. It is a bit of a harsh toke to ask someone to commit their whole life up until their mid-30s at low pay to have only a 1-in-20 chance to make a career out of it.
You might ask why I'm doing this. The answer is love of science and a bit of naivety.
The truly scary part was this was in a first-year undergraduate course for physics majors...