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Am i making a bad decision?

  1. Jun 19, 2012 #1
    Am i making a bad decision??

    Ok so i have been studying mechatroincs for around a year and a half and now after i know more about the subject it isnt as interesting as before.

    My problem is that i want to study and hopefully work in an area that iam passionate about and its kind of a big deal for me i do have a mild form of depression sadly and working in a job u hate for the rest of my life would be quite bad i think,iam not interested as much in a high paying salary as much as working in a job that is fulfilling a job i wouldnt hate waking up at morning to go to. which after much spiritual search turns out to be these four art(painting or music),philosophy,mathematics,and physics.

    I actualy wanted to study philosophy before going into mechatronics but later after reading through forums and other ppls experiences i got scared from it every one says u wont find a job as a philosopher,so i though getting a bs in mechatronics would be a plan B for me if things didnt go well trying to find a job i like.

    But things didnt go well in mechatronics the university my parents chose sucks i study from the book most of the time cause i dont understand anything in the lecture,and i believe iam wasting time.

    So i decided that iam going to change my major to physics and go on to study and get a phd.

    Is this a bad decision??? Is doing research in physics intellectually stimulating or am i going to get disappointed iam asking this cause i dont think undergraduates know what a job is like till its too late.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2012 #2


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    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    Hey 11ee1 and welcome to the forums.

    I can't comment about physics or research, but what I can say is that careers don't come in neat packaged definitions with regards to necessary backgrounds of university degrees in general, unless you are talking about certain kinds of jobs like professionally regulated ones and specialized/hyper-specialized ones.

    You can develop other skillsets outside the academic environment that help you get jobs that again, don't fit the conventional mould you would otherwise expect.

    One example (at least in Australia) includes government jobs that take general degrees for a variety of roles including things like working in policy advising, or analyst work in different fields that would take philosophy graduates provided they met the other requirements of the job.

    Also be aware that every job has its downsides and that part of the 'passion' relates to being 'passive', which means just doing what you need to do. All jobs have it somewhere down the line and you ask anyone about their job and you'll be bound to hear one complaint if you listen long enough.
  4. Jun 20, 2012 #3
    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    I understand that jobs arent in a neat package thats not a big deal for me if u need to learn things outside university then i would.What iam worried about is employment.Different jobs have different employment rates,many ppl want to be philosophers but there are rooms for few,thats what i understood from reading online.

    I decided to go to university cause my dream job is in academia i want to make a living out of thinking as weird as this might seem.If my passion was fixing pipes then i wouldnt be wasting time in university.

    SO my question is this would i after spending 8 years in university get a job as a physicist doing research.As in how much of a chance do i have?? and what factors decide how likely iam to land the job??
    Cause its such a huge amount of time to invest in,and to end up not getting ur dream job would be a disaster.I have read somewhere here there is someone working as a bartender after getting a phd!! If thats the kind of job i would get then iam better off not investing this much time into physics.
    I have already wasted a year and a half of my life,but at least iam still 19 i still have time to switch.

    Now some ppl said after u get a phd u can get a job in neighboring areas like in investment and such,but are these jobs as satisfying "spiritually" as working in what u intended to work in at first,research.If u do work in this area can u please tell us.

    But thats half of the story,what worries me is getting a job as a physicist but finding out its not what i though it would be.So u guys have got a phd,is ur work satisfying do u enjoy it do u regret doing it for a living??I dont know what a job as a physicist might be,i can imagine how it would be but i could be wrong.

    You said every job have a downside so whats the downside of working as a physicist?? at least so that i can think thoroughly whether thats what i want to do.
  5. Jun 20, 2012 #4
    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    opps i just noticed that this question should have been in career guidance sorry about that :P
  6. Jun 20, 2012 #5
    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    What I think is, if your passion is really in academia, then you will love studying, as well as teaching and doing research. So doing a phd would be fun for you since you get to study a lot and you will still do it even if you have low chance to land a job in academia, again provided that you really have passion in academia as you said.
  7. Jun 20, 2012 #6
    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    Why not get a degree in Physics with a minor in mechatronics (or even a dual degree if you can)? You will still acquire the knowledge base you desire from physics while being able to get a job in either academia or industry.
  8. Jun 22, 2012 #7
    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    thanks for the replies guys,i searched around the forum a bit to get my answers i found most of them,what i was worried about is unemployment after graduate school after reading a bit i kind of understand the situation better
  9. Jun 22, 2012 #8


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    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    If you want help here, you should be aware that there are many people on PF for whom English is not their primary language. Using long run-on sentences with improper use of capitalization, punctuation, and scattered with text-speak (against forum rules, BTW) is going to make it hard for those people to figure out what you want. If you want help, it would be better for you to treat PF members with the minimum respect by making your posts legible.

    best regards,
  10. Jun 22, 2012 #9
    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    I don't see how this comment is warranted. Thanks for the advice though, mom.
  11. Jun 22, 2012 #10


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    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    I'm just trying to keep this forum clear and legible. There are a lot of nice, helpful folks here that might have a hard time wading through such run-on posts with improper use of punctuation and capitalization. There are lots of such people who do not speak English as their principal language. If advice about making posts accessible to all is offensive, I apologize.
  12. Jun 23, 2012 #11
    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    @turbo I am sorry my bad.
  13. Jun 24, 2012 #12
    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    Not too sure why you want a career in philosophy in exactly, I'm not saying it's a bad choice, but I don't think you entirely understand what "philosophers" do professionally in the modern world.

    If I were you and looking for help, I wouldn't be having a go at turbo for giving you some guidance on how to post looking for help. I would be deeply concerned if a prospective philosophy student turned up writing like you just did. It's a field with very precise definitions and communication is key.

    Like you said, philosophy is not a great career field for "jobs", neither should you be looking at philosophy as such either. I think you may need to do a lot of reading on it, it's not your typical modern-day job, if it interests you, I think you should do a lot of reading in your spare time, read the classics, examine proofs, be able to recognise fallacies quickly, get a broad overview of everything, spend time on key fields such as ontology and epistemology, learn how to de-construct opponents' arguments in your head, etc.

    I would consider philosophy a supplement to your degree; that which is done in your spare time, much like the scientists of old.

    As for your decision regarding physics and mechatronic, I think it would be safe to say if you're struggling understanding mechatronics lectures, you're going to struggle more so with a pure physics degree. "I can't understand lectures" is not a good reason to quit. I often find in some subjects that I don't either, I go to the prescribed textbooks like you have. What university is this, if I may ask?
  14. Jun 24, 2012 #13


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    Re: Am i making a bad decision??

    Very difficult to advise because costs of education and youth unemployment are both real - but does anyone feel this is the typical contrary result of parents, with the best of intentions, choosing what is best for their kid, also on the basis of their perceptions of the job market, and pushing him or her that way sometimes subtly sometimes more overtly as in this case?

    That said I guess there will be jobs in mechatronics when he graduates. Maybe not the one he dreams of if he becomes seriously interested in mechatronics. (And no doubt then there will be those who start saying 'this bit-of-everything is all very well but where are the guys we need with solid knowledge of elec or mech?')

    Very difficult.
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