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Major Career Options: CHEM, CHEM ENGR, MATH, PHYS

  1. Feb 8, 2009 #1
    Right now, I'm torn between 4 majors, 2 of which are fairly similar (chem and chem engineering).

    My main questions is out of those 4, which one do you think will offer the best career options with just a B.S. Right now I'm not planning on a masters or PhD program.

    A few things about me:

    1) I love all types of math, not just science related. (i.e. business/statistics)
    2) I hate teamwork - this is one thing that I think might steer me away from any engineering major. Is it true that engineers, in general, work in teams a lot?
    3) Is a Physics major read the same way on a resume as a ME or AE major, considering they cover much of the same material?

    Thanks for the input!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2009 #2
    You have to learn how to work with people. You will be doing it after you graduate, regardless of the major you choose.

    The reason engineering majors work in teams a lot is because it happens in the real world. Even if you get a degree in physics and end up getting a job related to ME or AE, you will still be working closely with your colleagues.
  4. Feb 8, 2009 #3
    Interesting choice selection. I went from being a Chemical Engineering major to a Physics major to a Physics/Math major to a Mathematics major. The reason I picked and have stuck with math is that my justification for the other two was: "I like math, and they involve a lot of math." Well, math is about as much math as you can get.

    There will always be a demand for people that can do math well. My combinatorics professor would always be getting calls from companies (like Ford) asking him to find the number of ways something or rather can be done.

    So, if the reason you're thinking of Chem Eng or Physics is that you like math, then just go to math and be happy.
  5. Feb 8, 2009 #4
    I've gotta give props to Chemical Engineering.

    Although a math major may make you happier while in school, the job possibilities(outside academia) are relatively less than most engineering majors. And if money is any incentive(it usually is for most college students) then it's probably important to note that chemical engineering graduates made more money their first year in the workforce than other other bachelor's degree.

    All of those majors are about equally hard, depending on where you go, so I guess that's not an issue.

    Whatever you choose, good luck, and hang on.
  6. Feb 9, 2009 #5
    do engineering imo. you can always get into grad school by staying an extra 2 yrs afterwards, into any of subjects. and if you get bored, which many do, you have a solid job to fall back on with engineering.

    id avoid math unless you have real talent in it. probably the same with theoretical physics.

    a bs in math or physics isnt as employable, because ur not certified like engineers. to employers a bs in math or phy is just that, bs.
  7. Feb 10, 2009 #6
    Really now,this advice is not based on anything even remotely grounded in reality.
  8. Feb 12, 2009 #7
    really? what part?

    the op expressed clearly he has no plans of graduate school, so pursuing math or physics is disadvantageous as it is not as employable. employers will take an engineer over a scientist any day for most industrial work, because that is what an engineering degree trains you in. if he decides to change his mind down the road, an engineering degree will have taught him most of what you see in the first 2 years of a physics or math degree anyway, so he would only needed junior and senior upgrading. if not, he has something to fall back on.

    and if you arent good in math or physics, you have to wake up because positions are limited and competition is fierce for theoretical positions. not so much for applied math/physics.
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