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I need help with choosing my academic path

  1. Jan 18, 2016 #1
    Hello, I am a senior high school student living in Western Europe. Although I haven't been really fond of mathematics in the past years, I have began to admire it as I advanced. This year I have been introduced to pre-calculus and I really liked it. Also my major interest since my childhood has always been Physics since I knew that it was kind of "the Father of all sciences" that is based on explaining the reality and the universe itself. So last year I made a decision on going for Physics department in a good University, but I do have doubts that I will get to a good one. I have 2 options for now, Turkey or Germany. Turkey has some good universities in Ankara and Istanbul, and it would be really easy for me to study there since I speak Turkish fluently. And for Germany, I am learning German at the moment and I do believe I can crack it up until and if I go there. I have a few questions:
    1. Does where I end up as an academician depend on where I graduated from?
    2. Is being academician difficult?
    3. What else can I do rather than being an academician with the Physics I learned in college?
    4. I have doubts on which field of Physics I should go for, so should I just apply to General Physics and focus on a field later?

    I am sorry If I couldn't express myself well, I may have other questions that derive from your answers.
    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2016 #2


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    not quite clear what do you mean by Academician? i googled about it and it say Academician is a title denotes a Full Member of an art, literary, or scientific acedemy. So you are interested to be a physics researcher or did i got the wrong idea?
  4. Jan 26, 2016 #3
    I am sorry, I guess I confused the word with the meaning in my language. Yes, a researcher.
  5. Jan 26, 2016 #4


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    Yes and no. Personally I think that undergraduates put way too much emphasis on school name. What's important is that you get into a good school that will qualify you for where you want to go next. Then, what matters a whole lot more is how you perform while you're there. Look up data on graduates of the program that you're interested in, what are they moving on to do?

    Yes. Most people who are successful in academia really enjoy it and this can mitigate the stresses somewhat, but it's tought getting into academia. Assuming you're fortunate enough to complete a PhD, you have to then compete for post-doctoral positions, do extraordinaily well in those, and then you get to compete for tenture-track positions. Research itself rarely goes smoothly. There is always something that doesn't work quite the way it was supposed to. And then there are lots of competative people to contend with too.

    There isn't a lot of demand for someone who has an undergraduate physics degree, you so you have to figure out how to market yourself. The good news is that you actually have a lot of skills that employers look for (problem-solving skills, the ability to organize/analyze data, writing technical reoprts, project coordination, programming, electronics, etc.) The trick is getting them to recognize that.

    Its generally a good plan to start out general and then move towards specifics as time goes on.
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