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Physics vs Electrical Engineering

  1. Dec 18, 2014 #1
    I know this question has been asked here a lot of times, and sorry for repeating it, but I guess every case is different and even though I got some valuable insights from other threads, I think a personalised one might help. I'm 15 and I live in Europe. I'm good at math and physics and I recently started teaching myself to code (and I really enjoy it). I want to work in research and/or tech startups. I don't want to study computer science though, because I've seen so many people without degrees or with degrees in physics/math/engineering working as programmers that I think it is unnecessary. The areas of research that interest me the most are artificial intelligence, microelectronics and computers (including quantum computing). Now, I know that these three fall into electrical engineering, but I have heard of many physicists who have worked in these areas (mostly microelectronics and computers), specifically those who are specialised in condensed matter physics, nanotechnology, materials science and the like. I really love physics and I know that I would be happy as an applied physicist. So, which one is better? If I could double major I would, but those don't exist here. Also, I'm talking about undergraduate studies, not Master or PHD. Which one is the broadest? Sorry for my bad english :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2014 #2
    If you're speaking of undergraduate studies, my personal opinion is that electrical engineering is by far the best option for your purposes. Physics is a very broad field, and there's no guarantee of employment in a particular industry. I'd say you'd have a better chance with a degree that prepares you for said industries.

    That said it depends on your preferences as well. Engineers first and foremost design things. If you like that, you'd like engineering. Physicists typically hypothesize and experiment. This can be application-oriented or not. If you like that, then you'd like physics.
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