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College Courses - What profession would be better suited for me?

  1. Apr 6, 2014 #1
    College Courses -- What profession would be better suited for me?


    I'm 16 yrs old turning 17 in. Few months time. I'll be graduating from high school soon and I'm haven't decided yet on what kind of college course I would take. I literally perfected all my tests whether it be pop quizzes or final exams (with the exceptions on PhysEd, HomeEco and English). I'm fluent in English and Tagalog, knowledgable in Japanese and hoping to study German and Russian in the future.

    Ever since I was a child I had a strong passion and curiosity for science. Both my passion and curiosity led me to indecisiveness and made me want to learn everything.

    Having found out that, as mortals, we are only given a small amount of time to live our lives... That idea sparked my interest in trying to find ways to become immortal. However, due to my religion being a Catholic I gave up on that quest.

    Now after regretfully narrowing down my options I came up with a rather short list of courses.

    Nuclear Engineering
    Quantum Theory
    Material Sciences/Engineering
    Applied Physics

    If possible I would like to know your opinions regarding to what may be the most suitable course for me to take putting into consideration:

    My religion
    My aim, which is to further advance humanity
    The most efficient course to take.

    Thank you
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2014 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Against my better judgement, I will respond to this.

    First of all, this is a very puzzling post. Let's start from the obvious one. Where exactly are you offered this short list of courses? From your description, you are about to finish high school and about to enter college. How are you capable of enrolling in a class in "nuclear engineer", "astrophysics", "quantum mechanics", ... etc? These are advanced undergraduate classes that require not only a higher level of mathematics that what you presumably know at the moment, but also a more sophisticated understanding in physics!

    Secondly, and it is the one that puzzled the heck out of me, what does your religion have any bearing on any of this? You somehow failed to give a clear description on why it matters. Does that mean that you won't ever take a evolutionary biology class? Or do you have a problem with taking a course that is completely devoid of any supernatural intervention as an explanation? Doesn't this rule out ALL science courses?

  4. Apr 6, 2014 #3
    College Course

    In your first question of course I would still need to learn higher math so I thought of taking up Nuclear Engineering as a doctoral degree from the University of Tokyo (TODAI)

    I think I should have phrased it as
    "What profession would be better suited for me" and "What kind of undergrad course would be the best choice if I where to pursue Astrophysics /Nuclear Engineering /Quantum Mechanics"

    Though I do understand that in order for me to further my studies i should be able to draw a clear line between religion and science. It's just that my high school experience is rather rough when it came to these matters. In short I don't know what college would be since my science teacher used try and disprove my religion and we had many arguments.

    Sent from my iPad using Physics Forums
  5. Apr 6, 2014 #4
    I'm not familiar with how the schooling system works, but why are you considering taking up a doctoral degree when you haven't graduated high school yet? Are the undergrad/grad programs in Japan somehow integrated?

    Also, I also went to a religious high school and am still very religious. It should not affect your studies at all.
  6. Apr 6, 2014 #5
    It's just my opinion but I would elect for Materials Science as a it's a fast moving landscape and has the best opportunities for making a real difference in one lifetime. Good luck in whatever you decide, we live in exciting times!
  7. Apr 6, 2014 #6
    You're still in high school. You shouldn't be thinking of a doctoral degree. A lot can change in undergrad, you might even find out you don't like science as well as you did, that happens a lot. Counting on getting a doctoral degree is insane, most students who start college won't get up obtaining one. You should definitely have a good Plan B ready.

    Either take up Engineering or Physics. The first year will likely consist mostly of math courses, and intro physics course such as classical mechanics. So you can still decide to switch after freshman year without losing a lot of time. Be sure to take both physics course and engineering courses to see what you like best.

    I personally believe the religion and science are pretty much disjoint. But you shouldn't be so sensitive when it comes to religion. A lot of people will try to prove you wrong, and that will not make them bad people or bad teachers. Just ignore the people and don't try to start a debate, they will lose interest sooner or later. But that does not mean you should actually avoid going to some school because some people will try to debate you.
  8. Apr 7, 2014 #7
    From someone who has spent a lot of time and effort learning about the relationship between faith and reason, specifically from a Catholic perspective, none of those fields will conflict with your religion.
  9. Apr 7, 2014 #8


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    Staff: Mentor

    I have the impression that "course" means different things in different parts of the English-speaking world. In the US, "course" and "class" are more or less synonymous: a sequence of lectures etc. on a particular topic (quantum mechanics, or thermodynamics, or electromagnetism). In some other places, "course" means more like what we would call a "major", i.e. a sequence of what we in the US would call "classes" or "courses" but they would call "units" or "modules".
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