Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is it better to do a general degree, or a specific degree?

  1. Feb 28, 2009 #1
    I'm currently in my first year of university, and I have a couple options for my degree. I can:

    1) Take a degree where you concentrate in two areas. You concentrate on one a little more than the other, but end up with a broad knowledge of both.

    2) Do a degree in physics.

    3) Do a degree in some kind of math... general math, statistics, etc.

    The problem is, I'm not sure what kind of career I'm looking for yet. I'd kind of like to be a teacher, or maybe someone who works for a polling company.

    I'm also not sure if I like physics or math better - I thinkI prefer physics, except for the lab components of the course.

    I have to declare a major at the end of this year... aah! Any advice? Is it better to do a degree that concentrates in both areas? I could also major in math/physics and minor in the other.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2009 #2
    Are you sure that you have to decide by the end of this year? Universities should allow students time to decide what they want to do...but I am not sure of your universities policies.
    Anyways, if you want to be a teacher, then a concentration in two areas would be a good idea. Not too sure about the qualifications to work at a polling company, you should ask them.

  4. Mar 2, 2009 #3
    I remember my high school calculus teaching telling us that she became a math major because she didn't want to have to write term papers anymore; she claiming that lab reports were just glorified term papers.....

    Anyway, I would argue that the lab components of a physics curriculum are but only a small part. One of the complaints of physicists turned engineers is that physics curricula are too theoretical. Once you pass introductory physics (i.e. the physics that everybody takes), you will probably see only one to two lab class a year. Compare that to the engineers who will probably see that many each semester.

    I suggest you do what you think you will enjoy the most. It's definitely not an easy decision but one that society makes us choose at such a tender age. Good luck.
  5. Nov 19, 2011 #4
    my friend is 3rd year physics but he isnt interested in physics he wants to become an engineer abroad , he didnt work out in making engineer and i dont know if he is going to do well any advice?????
  6. Nov 19, 2011 #5
    Depending on what country you're in, the rule may be that you have to declare a major straight out of high school. That rule, at least, goes for most universities here in the Netherlands.
  7. Nov 19, 2011 #6
    "or maybe someone who works for a polling company."

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