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BSc Physics or Enggineering?

  1. Jun 1, 2012 #1
    BSc Physics (major) or Enggineering?

    I just completed my school and have the above dilemma, i have been thinking about it for a while but couldn't decide.
    Im really interested in physics(even though im a little weak at it) and want to persue a career as an astrophysicist.
    i personally think that enggineering has way too many subjects/topics i wouldn't want to study like making engines, soldering, knowing how machines work and so on, and it will take a whole year extra to complete as compared to BSc (3 vs 4)
    Im really more interested in deeper things like the universe, relativity, space and time etc.

    What are the pros and cons of both?
    Will i still need to do MSc before i do PhD if i go with engg?
    What would be the best engg field for me?

    Any other tips?

    Thanks! (:

    EDIT: i am aware that engineering gets me more job opportunities.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2012 #2
    Engineering Pros:

    You'll always have a job.
    You'll get to launch rockets or design motors or play with electricity or whatever you want to do, and it'll benefit thousands and maybe even millions or billions of people.
    You get out of college much sooner.

    Engineering Cons:

    It can get a little dreary if you land one of the many "boring" engineering jobs.
    You're not as smart as a physicist - probably.

    Physics Pros:

    You get to study at the forefront of human knowledge.

    Physics Cons:

    You probably won't get to study at the forefront of human knowledge, at least if the physicists on the board here are right when they say that your chances of landing a job in the field you want are very low.

    Conventional wisdom holds that industry engineers don't need to do a Masters, but research/academia engineers should do at least a Masters and probably a PhD at some point.

    I, like you, held a fascination for the universe, but my interests manifested as a desire to help create the machines that would drive exploration of the final frontier. Naturally I went aerospace engineering.

    Aeroeng is also pretty multifaceted. You can plot orbital trajectories, you can design rocket motors, you can model reentry heat transfer, you can model aerodynamic drag, you can design stable structures, you can design systems that control pitch, yaw, and roll - and that's just the astronautical part. There are other interesting things to look at in aeronautics. The sky's the limit when it comes to what you want to specialize in (pun fully intended).
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