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Physics degree, need advice.

  1. Feb 11, 2012 #1
    Hy I have to make a decision and this is my dilema:

    Let's say this is my top3 :D

    Bachelor's Degree:
    1.Engineering Physics(45%)
    3.Applied Mathematics(15%)

    Master's Degree:
    1.Interdisciplinary Science: Integrated approach to Natural Sciences(60%)
    2.Renewable and alternative energy sources(30%)
    3.Earth and Atmospheric Science(10%)

    Phd Degree(after 5-6 years other options will come for sure):
    1.AeroSpace Engineering(55%)

    The goal:All the above are areas that I am passionate about, the goal would be a wide range or interesting variety of work.

    PS:MONEY DOESN'T MATTER TO ME just Creativity, Potential, Exploration, Progress, Freedom, Sharing, Information, Mathematics(language), Imagination, Dreams, Truth....
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2012 #2


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    What exactly is your question? Do you want random people on these forums to pick out an academic path for you? Do you want a list of schools that provide these programs? Or are you just introducing yourself and your interests?
  4. Feb 11, 2012 #3
    What do I choose if my goal is a wide range or interesting variety of work(could be building engines, could be astronomy, alternative energy sources, biotechnology.....). With what degree do I start ?
    Physics, Engineering Physics or Applied Mathematics?

    I am looking for suggestions for example why should I take Physics over Engineering Physics and viceversa.
  5. Feb 12, 2012 #4
    Physics would be your best bet for a wide variety.
  6. Feb 12, 2012 #5
    I disagree- physics is a way to get a broad background, but not a good way to get a job doing any one of those things. If you want to build engines, get a mechanical engineering degree. No one hires a physicist to build engines. If you want to work on solar cells, look into material science, etc.

    Having a broad background is great and all, but most employers don't care unless you ALSO possess the skills they are looking for. They want someone ready to go.

    So if you got to work on interesting projects, but you never made better than minimum wage, you'd be happy with the outcome? Do you hope to have a spouse and children someday? People who say money doesn't matter at all tend not to have thought it through.
  7. Feb 12, 2012 #6
    I work 180 hours a month for 240$ and last year I've worked 340+ hours for three months in a row for 460$ per month so it's slave money anyway atleast I would do something that I love. And if I emigrate from this country to UK, Germany, US, France...with a degree I would make atleast 2000$ a month that would be eight times my one month salary.

    So I am between Physics and Engineering Physics so I think the comparation should start there.
    1. Could I go in Aerospace Engineering just with Physics and Interdisciplinary Science: Integrated approach to Natural Sciences degree and + self study about Aerospace Engineering ?
    2. There are alot of areas that Physics is releated to Electrical/Electronical/Mechanical Engineering... Is it easier to get for example a job as a Electrical Engineer with a Physics degree or Engineering Physics?
    3. Why Physics over Engineering Physics?

    I must point out that I self study alot, from books, internet... any information source.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  8. Feb 14, 2012 #7
    No one can answer the above questions? pls.
  9. Feb 14, 2012 #8
    With this logic you're going to be living just above the poverty line in any of those countries. You must account for the cost of living standards, goods, and services when you move to another country.

    Self-study isn't worth anything to an university or a college if you can't prove that you know the material.
  10. Feb 14, 2012 #9
    I did put in account living standards, goods and services... there are almost the same prices as here.... the housing, cars, electronics, rent are the same. Electronics being a bit more expensive here.

    And about self-study I know it dosen't worth anything if I can't prove that I know the material, but what if I can prove ? Don't you have some steps to get in to phd? If you pass those steps dosen't that mean you are ready for the phd ? I know you have to publish some work and take a test to.... isn't that proof tht you know the material ?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  11. Feb 14, 2012 #10


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    If your goal really is to get into some king of engineering, I would highly advise pursuing an engineering degree. In most cases the first year is pretty common, so whether you do aerospace, mechanical, electrical, eng physics or whatever, you will end up with similar courses. By second and third year they begin to diverge and that's where you really need to start making up your mind.

    Engineering is a profession, which means most of the jobs (depending on where you live) require some kind of certification. In a profession certification and credentialling are important. Without them, you'll struggle, regardless of how well you know your stuff. This is because only a small fraction of people involved in hiring and employing you will actually be able to evaluate your engineering skills. Instead, they'll look for stamps. If you have the "P Eng" designation, your resume goes into pile A. If not, you hope for a strung gust of wind to occur as your resume is tossed into the recycle bin.

    As to the last question, studying physics usually allows the student freedom to explore the more exotic topics in the senior classes. For example, when I was a physics undergrad I was able to take courses in general relativity, cosmology, stellar structure, etc. My engineering physics colleagues were able to maybe take one of the more fun courses, but not all of them because they also had engineering courses to complete. Compare lists of required and elective courses for each major to see what I mean.

    I would go for physics if you're extremely interested in physics and see graduate school as an eventual goal. If on the other hand your interests lie on the engineering side of things - I would pursue one of those options.

    The good news is that you can always go back and for the first year anyway, it's pretty easy to move over without penalty.
  12. Feb 14, 2012 #11
    The only way you could prove that you have the knowledge is to test out of the course via CLEP, AP, or DSST. But, these are only limited to high school and basic college courses. Colleges won't let you test out of a higher-level course because you proclaim that you self-studied it.
  13. Feb 14, 2012 #12
    I like science so much more than engineering but I am pretty much of an idea man, everyday ideas come how to improve stuff, and I want to build stuff aswell...
  14. Feb 14, 2012 #13
    If before Phd you convince an employer to hire you even as a volunteer as a Aerospace Engineer or that you did work equivalent to a Aerospace Engineer, to build experience wouldn't that help ?
  15. Feb 14, 2012 #14
    I've looked in my courses for Physics and Engineering Physics and I can do this: take the 3 year Physics degree and go right in to my 4th year in Engineering Physics with only two unpassed courses from year 3 Engineering Physics but with enough credits to go right straight to my 4th year. I don't know how much it matters but I can have two degrees in 4 years one in Physics and one in Engineering Physics.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
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