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BS Physics vs CS

  1. Nov 21, 2008 #1
    Hey guys, I am curious if anyone can help me out with these majors. I'm at the point where I definitely need to choose one except it is still way too difficult for me.

    In 10 years I want to see myself designing things, whether processors or linear accelerators or whatever. The problem is I don't know if I want to go all the way for a PHD, so BS and probably Masters is where I want to stop. I am wondering which route you guys think would be more successful and interesting to go.

    I am farther along the CS route and am very successful with logic principles etc for CS but Physics has a strong attraction for me that I can't explain. If someone can bring up a strong argument for one side or the other I will pretty much leave it at that and go for it.

    Also as a side note can you make decent money with a physics master? I know for sure you can with comp sci.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2008 #2
    A lot of physics majors program computers. I would go with the physics major and do a CS minor.
  4. Nov 21, 2008 #3
    Wildman is correct. The only thing I would add is that engineering majors tend to have an easier time getting employment than physics majors (at the BS level). Physics BS majors can get jobs, but not as physicists. At this level, physicists can get jobs relating to programming, financial work, etc. My point is this: physicists don't get these jobs because they're good at physics, but because they tend to also be good at computers and mathematics. And so if employment after undergrad is your primary goal, then why not do a major which more strongly focuses on these things? I do not know how CS majors fare, but I know that engineering majors tend to have a comparatively easier time getting jobs because of their coursework in computer programming. If you're really interested in physics, your best bet would be to double major in physics and CS, and take a few engineering courses.

    With a physics MS you can get a job teaching at a community college. Or you can be an engineer. The latter would definitely pay better. But if you're interested in getting a job that involves doing physics, you'll probably need a PhD.
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