I've asked a similar question before I think, but now it's a bit more specific. If I get a Ph.D. in Applied Physics (places like CalTech offer them), how will that affect my career? I plan to go into industry or possibly a government lab. I highly doubt I will ever go to academia. I'm just wondering if getting a regular physics degree will be "safer" than getting an applied physics one. I would rather do something more applied than straight-up research. Research is fun, but I enjoy it a lot more when the end result goes toward something that is usable in the near future vs. information that might be used in the distant future. Of course, you can do applied physics under a regular physics program usually, so that's my question: would it be better to do what I want and end up with a physics ph.d. or do what I want and end up with an applied physics ph.d.