1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Don't be a Physicist?

  1. Mar 19, 2014 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    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.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook