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Career Change Advice

  1. Jul 13, 2004 #1
    This question is for any professors out there that have a spare moment.

    I'm 25 years old and finally realizing what my heart is and where it lies. I'm starting to understand what motivates and drives me, and I have to say my current career path just isn't it.

    I got double major in finance and international business with a minor in economics during my undergraduate days, because back in 1997, that was the hot thing to be in. Now while that was all interesting and good, and I learned alot about how the world works, I have to say I was a mediocre student at best. Even so, I still managed to pull a 3.15 GPA. Aside from that, my sister was influential in all the wrong ways. She is older and in finance and totally driven by money, and I figured that at the very least, I'd have a career that could provide me with decent prospects. I was a follower because I didnt know any better.

    Well boy was I wrong. I dont have any heart in what I'm doing now. The days go on by and I cant say I've been productive for society at all. I've been at my sales assistant job now for a little over a year, and it's the least stimulating thing I've ever done in my life.

    As a kid I grew up with the chemistry sets and the telescopes. I have HeNe and Argon lasers in the attic. I know I have this in my blood. I just didn't have the courage to go into the science field. But being older and wiser now, I think I've found that. I just dont know how to segway from finance into physics.

    I'm getting an MBA part time. It's summer time now so all my school advisors are on summer vacation. I think the moment the lightbulb went off in my head was in my last class, which I aced. I was learning statistics and it reminded me how easily I grasp analytics again. I think that was the final event that changed my mind.

    I know I need math, and a maybe undergraduate physics 101 and 102, but besides that, can I just go into a masters program? How do I do this and still make a living? I really want to go into energy, because I want to be a part of the team that helps solve the world's energy problems.

    I think ultimatly, I can intertwine physics and business somehow, but I really feel like I've lost a lot of time and have a lot to make up.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks a bunch,
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2004 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    OK, I will be blunt here and say no, you cannot do even a Masters in Physics simply having had intro physics courses (assuming that what Physics 101 and 102 courses covered). If that's all there is to physics, we would not need the rest of the undergrad physics curriculum.

    Take note that in many graduate programs in physics, even for a Masters degree, there may be something similar to a qualifying exam that Ph.D candidates have to take. So if the school you are applying to has one of these, even if you get accepted into the program, it doesn't mean you'll finish if you can't pass such exam. This is of course in addition to all the advanced graduate classes that you are required to take (and probably need to pass at a grade of B or better in competition with other graduate students in your class). I don't know about you, but this appears to be a rather daunting task.

    My advise: go back to school and get your B.Sc. You may not even want to major in physics. It appears that you may have an affinity for engineering instead. Also take note that there aren't that many people with both a physics or engineering degree, and also have a degree in finance or an MBA. Such combination is highly desirable in many areas of employment.

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