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Other Dilemma of pursuing only one major

  1. Feb 7, 2017 #1
    Do you ever feel or think about what could have been if I studied this topic instead of that??? How do you deal with it?

    Because when ever I read wikis about topics say in mathematics , software development , game development, quantum physics etc... I think to myself how cool if I studied those instead. Don't get me wrong, I like what I am studying now (civil engineering) but I just can't help my self think of the what if because I know I can lean them and probably do something useful with them, which really promotes this existential crisis.

    Source for this though provoking post: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_learning
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2017 #2

    ZapperZ

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    1. You could be a jack-of-all-trades and master of NONE. Why? Because to be a master at something requires full-time dedication, hard work, and a lot of effort, something you can't spread over too many different areas (unless you are a superhuman). So you will likely end up not providing deep insight into anything.

    2. You can't simply pick up, say, "quantum physics" and think that you can "do something useful" with it. This is a fallacy. It is not a book that you can pick up, read, and then understand. That's like saying you can pick up a hammer, and thus, you should be able to build a house. The same can be said about the other subject matter you listed.

    3. Focusing on a particular area does not exclude you from going into another area, especially if the knowledge and/or expertise/skill can be applied elsewhere. As a physicist, I find that 75% of my work is in engineering. I design and then build stuff, which is interesting because I entered my undergraduate program as an engineering major before switching to physics. There is nothing here that says that one must be confined only to such-and-such an area based on the subject area printed on the diploma.

    I have zero qualms about pursuing "only one major".

    Zz.
     
  4. Feb 7, 2017 #3
    Thank you for the response.

    These two points really put it into perspective for me.

    May I ask you what type of engineering , stuff you build as a physicist?
     
  5. Feb 7, 2017 #4

    ZapperZ

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    Particle accelerator and thin-film deposition system.

    Zz.
     
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