Fortran is the second most popular skill among computational physicists (2020)

Over the past weeks, I have been resisting the temptation to post a part of our unpublished ongoing research here that highlights the importance and the strong presence of Fortran in the Physics sector of industry in the US. But given the recent debates and discussions on this forum, I thought it would be beneficial to share a figure from our preliminary results here. Based on a comprehensive survey of ~76,000 industry jobs in the United States. I was surprised and delighted to discover the strong presence of Fortran among the required skills for computational physicists in the industry. Fortran appears second only to MATLAB in jobs that require physics and programming skills. I want to reiterate that this is from a preliminary unpublished survey. I will post more information once the results are finalized and the research article is published. Until then, I hope it makes a positive impact on the Fortran community.


Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to learn more about the methodology. My background is computational physics and I work in a Computational Physics and Methods group at LANL. Fortran is the perfect fit for that kind of a job.

1 Like

I am surprised by the strong grip MATLAB still has, however Python is nearly as close. I look forward to the full published results. I’d also like to learn what kind of skill is associated with vortexes.


The extremely large size of data prohibited us from manually analyzing the survey. So instead we decided to set up a minimal neural network to do the task for us. The appearance of “vortex” in the list simply implies that nonlinear dynamics plays a dominant role in Physics and related skills, which is also evidenced by the more popular keyword nonlinear in the ranking. OO stands more than likely for Object Oriented since programmers often abbreviate it so. fem more than likely stands for Finite Element Methods. The rest of the skills and keywords are obvious.


This is interesting and good to hear. Not that surprising (to me) though. A significant fraction of those in the Fortran business (or scientific computing in general) started out as physicists. Now, if you asked Computer Science faculty, you would probably get a very different answer about what was thought to be important.


I studied Scientific Programming B.Sc in a research center five years ago and Fortran was an optional module. However, I think this is a very unusual constellation.