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M.S. Physics/EE - Is it worth doing?

  1. Apr 1, 2008 #1
    I work primarily with electrical engineers, physicists, and mathematicians. I have a degree in psychology and I have been taking a few classes per semester in lower division science/math courses; e.g., I am taking multi-variable calculus this semester. Both of the local universities San Diego State University and UCSD in my city do not grant second bachelor's degrees in science fields. The reasoning being that I already had my shot and I would be taking up the spot of someone who hadn't had the opportunity to go to college. Fair enough. SDSU has told me that I must apply for a graduate program (in this case EE) in order to get be considered but must have taken most of the courses out of their undegraduate curriculum.

    My co-workers have offerred the following advice:

    "You're wasting your time. You'd be better off smoking pot and watching episodes of Survivor."

    "You should be at the beach staring at *@*#$@# and @#$@#$."

    "Engineering is on the decline and it is a global market. Someone else can do your job for half as cheap and twice as efficient."

    "You'll never use any of that crap."

    "Go out and chase women instead."

    "It doesn't matter, you have a steady government job and no one ever uses what they learned in school."

    I have the following questions: Why do so many people who have engineering degrees (people whom I would consider intelligent) say such things?

    Are they right in any sense?

    I find that I'm interested more in physics than EE. What are the job prospects for people with an M.S. in physics from a school like SDSU and am I better off smoking pot and watching episodes of Survivor?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2008 #2
    Theres been a good sicussion of the job market for science (physics) and engineering degrees. this is a good debate a few weeks ago. https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=220618

    Yea outsourcing is a huge problem. Maybe ur co-workers are right. Also, form my job hunt for physics jobs...it's REALLY HARD to find one, and if there is one, you're gonna face huge amounts of competition. Tons of apps for one spot.

    but check out the thread, see if it answers ur questions.
  4. Apr 2, 2008 #3


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    A MS in EE will offer many, many more job opportunities than a BS alone. An MS in physics, however, usually a consolation prize offered to those can't hack a PhD program. :frown:

    - Warren
  5. Apr 2, 2008 #4

    I've BS physics Penn State '74 and MS NucE '78, also a CompSci MS from RPI. To me physics was the most interesting, because you've just exploring nature, not running a power plant or getting an accounts payable program, that pays thousands opf vendors, to run every night. Anyway, you have to go in at the graduate EE level (I suggest) and slug it out as best as you can. I've only heard of one history major, who upon graduation for BS, started over as EE freshman and he took 4 years to complete that BS EE. At least at PSU, many a doctoral student received at least one 'C,' so don't be intimidated. If you are young (under 40) and as you are working with EE types, you can complete the MS EE or even doctorate. You always want to get the most education as you possibly tolerate.
  6. Apr 2, 2008 #5
    are you serious? engineers, mathematicians and physicists said these things? thats hilarious! i figure they at least encourage you to read or whatever.
  7. Apr 3, 2008 #6
    Have you considered the possibility that these "advisors" recognize your potential and are concerned that they will be working for you one day if you earn a degree and remove the glass ceiling that is currently holding you down?

    Michael Courtney
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