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!

Engineering Engineering Physics seems like a poor choice now

  1. Jul 9, 2012 #1
    Hello everyone! I am currently studying Engineering Phyics at Lund University in Sweden. I have one year left, which will give me a master of science degree with a specialization in simulation and scientific computing.

    Thing is, people have always been telling me that Engineering Physics is a great career choice, but now when I look for work abroad (primarily in the US and Australia, because Sweden is fricking cold and I need more sun to live) it seems like engineering physics is an almost unknown discipline outside of Europe. Questions:

    What fields do I "translate" my degree into? Since nobody is looking for engineering physics engineers, what jobs do I look at that I have a chance of snatching in front of applicants who actually have the requested degree? Do I need to get a PhD in scientific computing/numerical analysis just to find interesting work? I will be bummed out if that's the case, since I haven't been concentrating on getting good enough grades for PhD studies as I've been picturing myself getting into the job market asap. Also, I am primarily interested in actual engineering jobs, research does not really seem like my cup of tea.

    EDIT: thankful for answers, of course!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2012 #2
    Is your Engineering Physics major in the department of Engineering or the Department of Physics? If it's in the Department of Engineering, be sure to add that to your resume to make yourself more marketable as an engineer. If there is any way you could get certified/licensed as an engineer, that would also be helpful of course. During interviews for engineering jobs, they will probably question why you picked Engineering Physics over Engineering. You should stress the fact that you want to be an engineer, and the only reason you picked Engineering Physics instead was to get a deeper understanding of the engineering principles, or something like that. It might make you even more marketable than someone who only studied engineering, right? :)

    Anyway, I will soon finish my masters degree in a much less marketable field (lol), and I too am going to try to apply for engineering jobs. Don't feel alone or be too hard on yourself. Just try to tailor your resume toward engineering and apply for as many jobs as possible. I've heard that once you get yourself into the field of engineering (regardless of degree), it immediately opens the door to other engineering jobs. Good luck!
  4. Jul 15, 2012 #3
    I don't think so. Even an HVAC engineer has a very hard time transitioning to the related (CFD and all that) world of say, power engineering or aerospace. My cousin has a mechanical engineering degree, worked as an HVAC engineer, laid off, then retooled his skills and got a job in software, now is unemployed for 2 years. Still leeching off his parents. Seems like once you specialize, you get pigeonholed.
  5. Jul 15, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    There are Engineering Physics programs in the US at some high quality schools. Australian programs seems to be either physics or engineering, however, one could look into programs at the Research School of Physics and Engineering, The Australian National University, Canberra.

    Engineering physics is a bit of hybrid of engineering and physics. One on instructors in my nuclear engineering program actually had an engineering physics degree.

    It's perhaps more like Applied Physics, although apparently some draw a distinction between Appl Phys, Eng. Phys, and Engineering.

    Job prospects will depend on one's skills and experience (course work and research) and how they compare to the areas of demand. For example, if one has courses and research in materials science, then one should look for work in those areas. That would apply to jobs in electronics, electronic materials, renewable energy, etc.
  6. Jul 31, 2012 #5
    Thank you both for your answers!

    My specialization is scientific computing - I lack quite severely in "hard" engineering skills, except that I'm getting quite good at programming. Not even close to the programming skill of a comp.sci engineer though.
  7. Aug 1, 2012 #6
    I don't think you should have any problems with a degree in engineering physics. First off, it's a Master of Science degree, which is a generally accepted degree, becoming standard now with the Bologna process. Second, in Lund in particular there is a very large selection of topics and courses you can take so your choice here matters more for your skill set than whether you enlisted as physics or comp. sci. in the first place. When applying for jobs you should simply emphasize the courses and the choices you've made that are relevant for that particular job you are applying to.
  8. Aug 4, 2012 #7
    I don't know how true this is in europe, but in canada, engineering jobs are in very high demand. Very senior positions are being filled by engineers who are not even professional yet (have not worked under a professional engineer for 3 years.) A close friend of mine recently was hired as the lead engineer on a mining project that required 10 years experience and multiple projects completed. He only had 2 years experience and no project management experience. My guess is that if companies believe you can do the job, they will hire you, because they have to.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook