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Sep17-10, 02:33 PM
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Quote Quote by metalrose View Post
I am a physics undergraduate student, and was wondering why so many people would prefer to become an Electrical Engineer or Mechanical Engineer as opposed to a Theoretical Physicist or a Mathematician or a Biologist?
For me, it was all about the better job prospects. When I was studying 2nd year undergraduate physics, I could find no jobs related to my field of study. This really put me off, and I lost all motivation to work hard in my studies (and I had been an A student); in those days, my favorite thing to say was how hard physics was and how it was "all for nothing, all for sh**". It's just one of those hard facts of life that you are 100 times more likely to find employment with a B.Sc. in an applied field like EE than say a pure field like physics (at least that's how it works here in Canada). There is, of course, always graduate school, but my rationale was that I'd spent the last 12+ years in school and wanted to get out of it and not just get another degree that you "can do anything with" (not unlike a HS diploma).

Quote Quote by metalrose View Post
Do you not find it exciting to ask fundamental questions like "Where did the universe come from?" or "How does it all work?" or "Why does it all exist?" or "What new knowledge mathematics can produce?" or "How and why life evolved?" ?
Yes, in fact I love thinking about such questions, but I'd much rather do it from the comfort of my relatively secure middle class life than that of a post doc struggling for tenure, or researcher worried about government cuts, and c. I can pick up a book anytime to find out more about such questions, but to convince someone that I am employable requires a practical degree I'm afraid.