I graduated a couple of years ago with a B.S.Phys. from a small liberal-arts college. At the time, although I knew the college's physics program was...erratically run (and tiny. 3 graduates that year), I didn't realize that in at least one major way it was wildly underpreparing me for any number of things you could use a B.S.Phys. for: I never even went near research of any kind, and I had next to no lab experience. We had lab courses freshman year that I A.P.'d out of, and we had a single capstone course called "advanced lab," which involved i think six or seven days spent in the lab, total; I don't even know what my professors were doing in their own research, and it was never brought up. REUs were vaguely mentioned once or twice but never really pushed or encouraged. We never read any actual physics papers; all our reading was out of textbooks. So I graduated with a pile of book learnin' on thermo, E&M, quantum, etc. but no applicable skills and no real idea of how physics is actually done.
I had no idea, at the time, that any of this was unusual; I still don't have a handle on exactly which parts were, or how much, but the more I look into grad school the more I realize I was seriously shafted. I know I'm not gonna get in to any PhD's with no research whatsoever, but I have no idea what I could do, as a college graduate, to get any. Could I get into a masters'? Are there research technician positions available for someone with my background? I haven't been able to find any in my area (Boston, which is where you'd think they'd be if they were around) but I'm not sure I'm looking in the right places. Any advice?