1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Physics vs CE vs CS vs Physics

  1. Feb 8, 2015 #1
    Hi,
    Im currently finishing high school and I would appreciate some help.
    I would like to study physics, however I´m not sure. Other curses like Computer Engineering, Computer Science or Engineering Physics could another possibility.
    I have always loved science, especially physics and chemistry and also computers.
    Some factors that are influencing your choice are money and empregability.
    I don't really know much about the differences of all this courses.
    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2015 #2

    Svein

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Why specialize?
     
  4. Feb 8, 2015 #3
    Do you prefer to design things or learn about the universe?
     
  5. Feb 8, 2015 #4
    learn about the universe, in that way you think that I should follow physics,
    however I´m worried about the Employment Change of getting a nice job (outside the educational field) if I follow physics

    What do you think about engineering physics
     
  6. Feb 8, 2015 #5
    What do you mean
     
  7. Feb 8, 2015 #6
    Well, that's really only something you can decide. The BLS, as far as I know, only really applies to you if you plan on working in the US.

    How much exposure do you have to physics? What interests you about computers? What interest you about physics?
     
  8. Feb 8, 2015 #7
    I don´t know much about physics and I think that maybe I can have a too much poetic idea about physics.
    I love astronomy and cosmology, the night sky, nebulae, the size of the universe, planets, wormholes, black holes, astrophysical mysteries. I enjoy the technological and philosophical implications of string theory, M-theory, multiple dimensions, and relativity. What is time? Can we travel through it? Who are we? What is reality? Is it a simulation in the mind of God? What is math? Why is it so perfect for explaining our world? I enjoy quantum theory and how it works. I enjoy the quest for the theory of everything.
    I like the hardware and software part of a computer. I mount my own pc and I enjoy it, I know some basic stuff about programming, I know Python.
    However, I don´t wont to past the rest of my life doing something with no importance like improving the code of a program for a company.
    I don't like the thought of spending hours a day typing in code or designing webpages or fixing bugs, unless it was for something extremely exciting, yet, I would love to work on the videogame industry (but it is difficult...).
    What do you think about nanotechnology, quantum computers, nuclear physics, do you think that I would enjoy it
     
  9. Feb 8, 2015 #8
    Well the majority of physicists don't work on such things as cosmology, string theory, etc. The overwhelming majority, that is. The point is, there are "boring" jobs in both fields, and there are fascinating jobs in both fields. For instance, there probably are people who are just debugging programs for some company, but there are also people working on exciting things like machine vision.
     
  10. Feb 8, 2015 #9
    But it´s easier to get an exciting job on Computer Science than in Physics, because I it´s harder to get one on Physics, isn´t it?
     
  11. Feb 8, 2015 #10
    That depends on your definition of what an exciting job is. Statistically, a computer science major is more likely to work in computer science than a physics major is to work in physics, but it's ultimately you that knows your interests best.
     
  12. Feb 8, 2015 #11
    Thanks a lot, however could you help me saying what are main differences between computer science and computer engineering, physics and engineering physics
    What jobs could I get studying physics and computer engineering, besides education related jobs.
    Thanks
     
  13. Feb 8, 2015 #12

    Svein

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I am a mathematician. It's impossible to get a job as a mathematician. So I have been in analog and digital electronics, assembly-language software and C all my working life.
     
  14. Feb 8, 2015 #13
    Computer science is typically more focused on the software side of things, as well as more abstract ideas (algorithm-related stuff). At its core, on the theoretical side, computer science is often regarded as a branch of mathematics, though on the more applied side, it involves a lot of software programming, and some areas involve a lot of hardware interfacing. At my own school, some of the concentrations are cognitive science (involves artificial intelligence and whatnot), video game design, information technology (primarily focused on corporate work, database stuff, etc.), and scientific computing (for computational-type stuff).
    Computer engineering focuses more on the hardware-aspects of computers in addition to the software, so they would be interested not only in the software that runs on the computer, but also the chips that allow the computer to perform its tasks.

    I know that computer scientists can find work in a variety of industries, from oil and gas to scientific computing to finance, etc. I'm not too knowledgeable about what industries besides the computer industry hires computer engineers.

    As for physics vs engineering physics, I can't tell you much about that except that engineering physics probably focuses more on applications. I'm not sure what kinds of doors an engineering physics degree opens. I know that a physics degree can be useful for being employed in a variety of industries, possibly even as an engineer (perhaps less so when the economy is bad), but they often don't work in physics itself, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but a graduate degree is pretty much required to work in physics.
     
  15. Feb 8, 2015 #14

    Svein

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I have (among other things) been an associate professor of physics (electronics). My take on it is: A good engineer knows how to solve known problems. A good physicist is what you use to solve unknown problems (just do not tell him that they cannot be solved).
     
  16. Feb 8, 2015 #15
    Meanwhile, a physicist believes his equations approximate reality, but a mathematician believes reality approximates his equations.
     
  17. Feb 8, 2015 #16

    So, if I choose to study physics I will end working in something else, like a CS job. So it wouldn´t be better to study Computer Science
     
  18. Feb 9, 2015 #17

    Svein

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Not quite. A mathematician knows that his world is internally consistent.Reality is a TV show.
     
  19. Feb 9, 2015 #18
    CS jobs can be extremely boring and draining.

    If you believe you won't be working in physics, don't study it. Also, I don't understand why so many people here say that going into physics means they won't get jobs in physics unless they become academics(which I then assume they don't want).
    Where I live we don't have a lot of superhigh tech industry but we have quite a bit, and I always hear there is a great interest for MSc in physics from the private sector. I know in the past people got recruited before they even graduated. Now the economy is in downturn it isn't that easy anymore but is still a very solid and safe degree to get.
    And a lot of people do need to go into the private sector because while there is still a lot of research being done, government funds for research are way below what neighboring countries spend.

    I think a lot of people here are from NA. Maybe the professional certification for engineer has something to do with it? Still an industry job in applied physics would be hard to fill if you are an electrical of mechanical engineer(which all get MSc degrees here).

    Sure, CS has been booming and it is very easy to do a start-up (I can;t imagine doing a start-up myself in biotech or pharmacy, which is my field).
    Especially so in certain parts of the US, so maybe that plays a role; donno.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Physics vs CE vs CS vs Physics
  1. M.Sc Physics Vs Math? (Replies: 2)

Loading...