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Major in Physics or Engineering?

  1. Apr 14, 2012 #1
    First of all, there are two things I seem to enjoy a lot: obtaining a deep understanding of the universe (that enlightening feeling) and inventing things with that knowledge. Sure, that doesn't include all my interests and hobbies, but those are definitely two things I enjoy and entertain pursuing professionally. In school I'm exceptional at mathematics and have a knack for solving really difficult physics problems. I'm also good at programming, and some of the most fun I've had was messing around in garry's mod building space ships, tanks, cars, planes, and so on. Although, that's not to say I don't like theory because I've read just about all of feyman's lectures on physics just for the fun of it. My question is as my title suggests -- do you think I should major in physics or engineering? Something to note is that I do not really enjoy or get far with designing things on paper so much and I've never been one of those boys who was always in the shop working on his lawn mower. I'm much more the stay inside reading books kind. I notice I'm quite different from most of the guys I've seen major in engineering, and it looks so mundane to me sometimes. I wouldn't want to be making mail processing machines, but I wouldn't mind figuring out how to make a heat seeking missile all on my own. I just don't know how realistic this is.. I feel like if it came down to it, I would rather be teaching physics at a little university than engineering something I found overly boring. Another thing to think about though is that I sure wouldn't look forward to several more years of school after undergrad if I pursue physics.

    What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2012 #2
    I think you just answered your own question. If you don't like engineering don't do it. Besides the amount of boredom you will experience by not enjoying it, there is an ethical consequence to engineering. If you aren't passionate about it and don't put the utmost interest in creating sound designs people's lives are the damage, also the large financial component. But, however, engineering is extremely broad. If you don't want to make a mail processing machine then don't apply to the job. If you want to work in the defence sector then apply to those jobs. Engineering is extremely versatile and so is physics, the only distinction being that physics trains you to be a researcher where as engineering trains you to be a professional. You can get jobs as an engineer with a physics degree but it's more difficult. Have you looked at ABET accredited engineering physics programs?
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