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Late bloomer: Physics, EE, or both?

  1. Apr 18, 2010 #1
    Hello all. I am new to the forum and have already learned a lot about the academics and career choices facing scientists and engineers. I believe I have a somewhat unique situation, and need some opinions from people in the field.

    Basically, I am a Junior in college who has just found out what he does not want to do in school. For my first 2 years in school I just took general ed courses, mostly humanities and social sciences(the easy classes), and just last year I took an astronomy course and was truly astounded by physics. I also found an interest in math, but I am quite behind for my age/time in school.

    Now I plan on going for a physics degree. Starting next year(my 4th year in college mind you) I am going to take University Physics 1, and depending on how much calculus I get done this summer, Calc 2 or 3. Aside from starting late with my physics pursuit, I have already completed virtually all the general ed requirements, and therefor will be pretty much exclusively taking math and physics for the next 3 years(including summer courses).

    This sounds painful, but I love physics now, I definitely want to try and do this. On the other hand, I am not particularly sure what I plan on doing with a physics B.S. I have thought about teaching and that would require a M.S. for a community college, but I also have heard good things about the semiconductor industry, and obviously about electronics and such, which brings me to my next thing.

    A lot of people at my school and even on this forum recommend EE over physics for a job. Now, I am not going through school solely for a job. I am doing what I am interested in, but a job IS important because if you have no money, you surely wont be happy. I like applications, and I like tinkering and believe I am good at hands on stuff as well, which is why I think EE would also be a good choice for me.

    I'm a bit torn. I am surely going for physics because it interests me the most, but would a double major in EE be a good idea in case I decided to not go to graduate school and just want a regular job after college? It seems like a lot of topics overlap in the 2 degrees as well, which could hopefully reinforce each other. I have thought about getting a B.S. in physics, then going back to school for 1.5-2 years and getting a B.S. in EE instead. What do you guys think?
  2. jcsd
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