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BS Physics / MS Material Science & Engineering

  1. Jun 16, 2009 #1
    Hi everyone, time for my first post.
    I just got my Associates in Civil Engineering Technologies, and have decided not to go for my BS because... its really boring. I need something more. Something sub atomic.


    This fall I will begin pursuing a BS in Physics / MS in Mat. Sci. & Engineering at RIT. I am taking 2 calc courses over the summer to get a head start. (Engineering Technologies required no calculus)

    I'd like some input from you all in regards to being able to find a job after graduation.

    I've been reading some horror stories of guys with a Physics BS not being able to find jobs, or at least not the jobs they were hoping for. Getting my MS, would I be in the same boat?

    My dream job would be materials research, like semi conductors, building mat.'s etc. I love computers, built my first at 13yrs, and am getting my SCJA certification. But I don't love computers enough to be sitting for 8 hrs programming, I'd go insane.

    How much of a better shot will I have for a R&D position with my MS?

    RIT also offeres a BS Mechanical Engineering / MS Mat. Sci. & Engineering, but its would take me 2 more years, and I like physics more. Would I be better of getting my dream job with that?

    Thanks in advance for your help, sorry for the long post.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2009 #2
    In looking at your post, it seems that you'd be doing the same MS, but with a different BS -- both of which must be viewed as qualified by the MS program. And I'd suspect it's in the MS degree that you'd really be doing a research-based thesis... and sometimes the thesis project can come through a collaboration of your university adviser with a company, national lab, etc... which can really help employment prospects. I have a BS in physics and MS in engineering (optics) and I know several people that graduated from that program and found jobs in R&D easily... of course that was when the economy was great too! (Stupid me... I went on to get my Ph.D. in Physics, while my employment prospects at the location where I did my MS research -- the Air Force Reasearch Laboratory -- was dangling a darn good offer!)

    The one disadvantage of a BS in Physics versus a BS in engineering is your ability at the present moment to qualify for taking "professional engineer" (PE) certification tests... while there's rumor that this will change (to allow BS's in related fields with an MS in engineering to qualify for the test), it's not guaranteed. Sometimes jobs specifically look for PE certification (and with current computer-based job-application searches becoming more common, if the job requires it your resume might not pop up, even though you'd be perhaps a perfectly-otherwise qualified candidate. Is that, however, worth 2 years? Hmmm.
  4. Jun 17, 2009 #3
    I never thought about the computerized job applications, that's a good point.

    I'm not bent out of shape about 2 more years, its definitely worth it if I can take the PE exam. Do R&D positions desire a PE license that much?
  5. Jun 18, 2009 #4
    What different job positions would be available with a BS in chemical engineering vs Physics?
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