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Nov11-06, 02:16 AM
P: 400
I think I'm sure that I'm not cut out for a pure mathematics degree. If I tried hard I could probably pass respectably, but I wouldn't be very good at it. While I enjoy the theory, I don't usually like calculations. Incidentally, it surprises me that while I'm not good at math when it comes to doing math, I can do it a whole lot better when I'm doing math in physics or even statistics.

I would not go for a career that I'm not at all interested in (say become a doctor, or a mechanical engineer), but I like computer and coding quite well, so I don't think it's a career I wouldn't enjoy. I may be more passionate about Physics, but I think a career in physics is too uncertain, and I'm not only talking about the money.

Only a very small fraction of the physics doctorates churned out every year go onto doing something notable. I don't want to spend my years teaching at some university and writing applications for grants to do research on things nobody cares about and writing papers of which nobody bothers to read even the extracts.

Even if I were to go for computer engineering, I would probably try to take up physics courses, but I don't think I could put in enough work to actually get two degrees simultaneously or that any university in India would offer the flexibility to select courses at will. Unlike in USA where you do a major and can change it, here we enroll for a particular course (Bachelor of Physics - Honours or Bachelor of Technology - Computer Engineering) and usually have to stick to a strict sequence of subjects. This is particularly true for undergrad courses, grad/masters courses offer some scope to select specialisations or optional modules).

As for my laziness, I'm trying hard to get rid of it, but it's as difficult as hell. I now understand how addicted people can't give up even as they are inching towards death. However, all engineering students I know have told me that the maximum load of my educational life will be during the 11th and 12th grades, it tails off after that. Is this true?

As for the money vs. enjoyment question, it's a burning question for all students. I'm personally of the opinion that being better paid will add to your enjoyment of your career, while being worked to death (as I probably will be if I go for computer) will subtract from it. Of course, I'll not have the opportunity to actually test out my theory until it's too late, that's why I'm looking for suggestions.