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Don't be a Physicist?

  1. Mar 19, 2014 #1

    interhacker

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    I'm currently a high-school grad waiting for university admission decisions here in Pakistan (they are due in April/May). I have mainly applied to science/engineering universities and intend to do a BS either in Physics or Electrical Engineering. Now, the primary university I am applying to offers to fund graduate studies for Physics if one gets into these selected institutions and in exchange one has to become a member of their faculty for a number of years (usually about 3-5) after getting the doctorate.

    One of the reasons I preferred Physics over EE is that (in addition to the fact that I am very fond of it) it will enable me to do my PhD in the previously unaffordable prestigious international universities in the above list via university funding. However, I just stumbled upon this article and have become a bit hesitant. Of course, since I am more like the anti-audience (if there is such a word) of the article and the writer himself suggests that graduate school be left "to people from India and China, for whom the prospects at home are even worse" (i.e me), I think a PhD in Physics will probably be better for me than most other options in my home country. However sentences like: "Can you support a family on that income? It suffices for a young couple in a small apartment, though I know of one physicist whose wife left him because she was tired of repeatedly moving with little prospect of settling down" and " I have known more people whose lives have been ruined by getting a Ph.D. in physics than by drugs." are a bit unsettling.

    What is your opinion on the validity of this article? Do you think I should switch to EE instead? I am really fond of Physics and would like a doctorate in it from a prestigious university for self-satisfaction, but then I have to pay the college fees of my younger siblings later in life and would rather be middle-class than all-out poor.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2014 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Please do a search in this forum. We had discussed this particular topic and article many times already and there are numerous open threads on it.
     
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