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Best physics discipline for engineering jobs, Applied?

  1. Jul 4, 2015 #1
    I am studying an honours course in Physics, I love physics and yet I also have my heart set for making new things using what I've learned in physics (I have no interest is academic positions however, research does interest me). which post-grad will be best for that? Applied Physics? or Msc and then ME?

    I will like to go R&D of machines especially in renewable energy sector?

    What should I do?
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2015 #2
    This question comes up so much that I am beginning to think many of those who ask it are planning to attend second or third tier schools without engineering programs. A Physics degree from schools like Coastal Carolina, Nicholls St., Eastern Kentucky, or Florida Atlantic will not make you as competitive in the job market as a ME or Physics degree from NC State, LSU, Louisville, or U of Florida.

    If necessity dictates you attend a school that is not in the top 100 physics programs, then your GPA, GRE scores, marketable skills (programming), and research experiences (with great recommendation letters) will matter much more than the nuiances of your program of study.
  4. Jul 4, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    If you want an engineering job, the best degree is an engineering degree, not a physics degree. Beyond that, your description was not specific enough to recommend a discipline.
  5. Sep 4, 2015 #4
    To: Dr Courtney. Be careful not to overgeneralize. I personally know a Florida Atlantic graduate who later earned a doctorate in physics in a top 30 graduate program (although it was > 30 years ago.) This graduate has done well working in the semiconductor industry since earning his degree, Sometimes the underdog makes good.
  6. Sep 5, 2015 #5
    Some academic engineering research will require a pure physicist on the team, some will be solely a team effort of engineers of different flavors. Can't help you figure that out. Maybe others.

    If you are very sure that you never want to work as a physicist, doing fundamental work and not building/developing something but just figuring something out, then you need to switch to an engineering degree with a good track to PhD research.
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