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Delimma: Need advice from industry's point of view

  1. Nov 13, 2011 #1

    I am currently completing my degree in Applied Physics (starting 4th year) with the hope to work in Semi Conductors industry and computer world (research or engineering or both). My school is offering the following courses for my degree:

    http://students.sfu.ca/calendar/physics/appld_phys_hon.html [Broken]

    I am not planning to apply for Honours, but do plan to take the course loads for the knowledge. The program gives me the option to also take followings in addition to Semi Conductor Physics, Solid State Physics, Modern Optics Physics, Electromagnetic Waves:

    ENSC 426: High Freq. Electronics; ENSC 495: Introduction to Microelectronic Fabrication; ENSC 330: Material Science;

    My school also does offer an Engineering Minor in Computer and Electronics Design:
    http://students.sfu.ca/calendar/engineering_science/computer_electr_design_min.html [Broken]

    While at it, here is what a MAJOR in Electronic Engineering requires: (in short, i have to do 5 extra first year easy class stuff + mandatory co-op for atleast 3 semesters.)
    http://students.sfu.ca/calendar/engineering_science/ensc_maj_elec_eng_option.html [Broken]

    My delimma:

    At the moment, I am 25 years old. If I complete the minor, I will be graduating in Dec of 2013. If I dont, I will graduate in Dec of 2012 in age of 26.

    I personally like to do the minor simply because it could go well with my research and love for electronics and computers. But the question is, will it give me any edge when it comes to getting a job? Can i get a job as an engineer?

    On the other hand, if I do the Major in Engineering as well (Double Major in Applied Physics and Electronic Engineering), I will be 28 by the time I have graduated due to mandatory 1 year long co-op. The question is, Will I have a better chance compare to minor? Will my age prevent me the job?

    I guess, is it worth the Major or Minor or should I just stick with Applied Physics???

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2011 #2
    Anybody??? :(
  4. Nov 13, 2011 #3


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    In my view, if you want to work as an engineer, you're going to have a hard time unless you have an engineering degree.

    Think of your question this way: do you want to be 28 and have an engineering degree, or do you want to be 28 without an engineering degree?

    Your age won't be a big factor, I think, especially with the co-op.
  5. Nov 14, 2011 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    There are jobs in the semiconductor industry for applied physicists, mainly in technology development. These people push the designs of transistors and other circuit elements, making them smaller and perform better. The job never ends, because each new process node (feature shrink) requires the whole process to be done over again.

    That said, there are probably 100 EEs for every applied physicist in large semiconductor companies. You'll find it much easier to get a job with an EE degree, especially a bachelor's. All of the technology development people I've known have had graduate degrees.

    - Warren
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