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Confused about what degrees to get, what career options to consider etc

  1. Oct 20, 2006 #1
    Hi all, I am currently in the last year of high school, and currently I am considering what faculty to enter in University.. most likely Engineering or Computer Science, because the admission average for Science is way too high for me. I am mostly interested in physics, math, and computers.

    I am really confused because there's such a large range of knowledge and things to know out there, but so little time to study it all. I am afraid of choosing the wrong courses or majoring in the wrong thing that will result in a downfall in my future career. Such as I see there's so many branches in physics, mathematics, etc. that i have no idea what I should pick in the future.

    I will outline what kind of things I prefer: no hands-on work or labs, more "number crunching" and problem solving. I also do not intend to become a teacher or anything. I would really like to go deeper into the theoretical and abstract side of things (like quantum physics?), while being able to apply more practical knowledge into a job like engineering.

    Perhaps I'm too ignorant, but whenever I see the word engineering, I instantly think of construction. I also heard that electrical engineering is dangerous because of exposure to electricity and machinery. Can someone please explain what you really do in studying engineering and as an engineer.

    What types of engineering are there, and if I would like to take part in jobs in industries like aerospace, robotics, or anything really "high-tech" then what should I study in University?

    My apologies if I wasn't able to express myself clearly :rofl:
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2006 #2
    How about Computer Science/engineering?
  4. Oct 21, 2006 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Electrical Engineering is not necessarily dangerous, certainly no more so than any other technical job. Be smart in whatever you do, and you should be fine as far as safety.

    My undergrad university (Univ. of California) had basically the same "lower division" program for all engineers and physicists. The first two years were mostly the same classes, and the last two years were where you specialized. I changed my choice of major (from EE/ME double major to EECS) at the two year boundary, based on what classes and other projects I enjoyed the most in those first two years. If you can attend a univeristy with this kind of flexibility, you have a much better chance of chosing a degree and career direction that will be the most enjoyable and rewarding, IMO.
  5. Oct 21, 2006 #4
    EE is a good degree for interdisciplinary stuff- they have to take the math (vector calc, linear algebra, fourier analysis, ODE/PDE's, complex analysis), the physics (mostly the E&M, and possibly some quantum and optics if you so choose), and some of the computer science(programming, computer architecture, and possibly data structures and algorithms)

    So it is somewhat (relatively) easier to go from EE to other fields.
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