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Not sure what to do

  1. Oct 20, 2015 #1
    I'm in my early twenties and have started a joint physics/computer science degree.

    I did so because I enjoy studying both subjects, but other than that I have no idea what to do after this degree.

    I could perhaps undertake further study and maybe even become a researcher, but I'm not sure if I would want to.

    I could go into industry and work some jobs, not sure if I'd enjoy that.

    I could stay at home all day and read books or something, but I don't think I'd like that either.

    Not really sure what to do with myself or my life really. I'm not really motivated by money or climbing corporate ladders and whilst I enjoy studying I don't know whether I'd find research tedious or not.

    Is there a way to find some direction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2015 #2


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    Gold Member

    Hm. YES there is way to find some direction.

    But you may want to just focus on your studies for a year or two if you are extremely new to it.

    If you are somewhat into your degree, talk to your professors, see what the suggest, talk to counselors, talk to everyone you know that has done such things.

    Ultimately, it comes down to YOU and what YOU are interested in doing. Do you want to research? Do you want to teach?

    There is plenty of other career choices with physics/CS degrees, many companies will take you on.
    There will be spots open to you, and if you enjoy what you are learning, then focus on the knowledge and making the contacts and finding your niche.
  4. Oct 20, 2015 #3
    What kind of lifestyle do you want? Do you like to travel a lot? Are you in a relationship and thinking of starting a family? Are you thinking of settling down? Are you interested in uber techno nerdly things? Do you like to lead people? Do you like to work on your own?

    These are things you need to know about yourself to get some idea of what sort of work you'd like to do. When you know that, you can decide what kind of work you'd like to get involved in.
  5. Oct 21, 2015 #4
    Hmm. I'm not sure if I like travelling a lot, I'm not in a relationship and I don't see that happening for me at any point. I'm not drawn to the idea of settling down, not really into nerdy tech things, as for leading people or working on my own, I wish I could say I had a preference, I suppose being lead is easier

    What kind of work should I look into?
  6. Oct 22, 2015 #5


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    Education Advisor

    To the OP:

    You are currently in a joint physics and computer science degree program. How far along are you in the program? And have you pursued internship or research opportunities during your studies? (Not sure where you are located, but if you are in the US, REU fellowships would be one place open) Because one way to understand what you wish to do in the future is to actually gain some experience via internships or research opportunities, to give you a taste of what the working world or the research world would be like.

    In terms of what kind of work you could look into, since you are pursuing a CS program, I would presume you are proficient in programming, so programming/software development/IT type jobs should be open for you to pursue, as just one example.
  7. Oct 22, 2015 #6
    It's hard to know what you like without trying stuff. Like other posters have said, try getting some experience.

    • Apply for internships. This will give you an idea of whether or not you enjoy working in a company.
    • Do some research. That, obviously, is the only way to know where you like research.
    • Try teaching. This will let you know whether you like working in an academic setting.

    If you can narrow down what you do/do not like in those three areas, you will be a huge step closer to figuring out what to make of your life.
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