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Physics Vs Engineering for different careers?

  1. Sep 5, 2015 #1
    I've studied at an engineering course (1st year) for the last year at a decent UK university but due to some family matters, I'm having to move to another university closer to home( and starting from 1st year again). This is one of the London unis which is very highly ranked for electrical engineering and although not so highly ranked, apparently very respectable for physics too.

    Having spent the last year studying engineering, I am certain that I would much rather do a course in physics and the university offers a theoretical physics course which sounds just like what I'd like to do. I plan on graduating with a masters degree no matter whether I do the physics or engineering course. Ideally, I'd like to work in finance, specifically front office investment banking. The uni I will be attending is considered on of the top 5 investment banking 'target' unis. So with regards to extra curricular for finance interest etc, I should be ok.

    I've heard from forums, friends and relatives, that for the jobs I'm interested in (and most other fields too assuming finance doesn't work out) engineering is much more employable and sort after. My question is, do you think I'd be closing a lot of door with regards to employment prospects by taking the physics course instead of the engineering one?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2015 #2


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    Engineering is always going to be more employable than the sciences. Especially without advanced degrees. That said, if you want to work in finance, then physics might not be such a bad choice.
  4. Sep 6, 2015 #3

    Thanks for the reply. Do you have any reason for saying that physics wouldn't be a bad choice for working in finance, or any experience in fields similar to the ones I suggested working in? (Sales and trading hopefully). I've heard that maths or physics are more preferable than engineering assuming you wanted to work as a quant or perhaps an actuarist, but what about as a trader?

    Other than that, assuming that finance doesn't work out (seeing as how tough it is to get into these days I think it's wise to have a back up plan), is it possible to work in engineering or software/ other non-research roles with a physics background?

    Finally, going back to finance, assuming the uni I'm talking about is a 'target uni', do you think that the fact it's ranked much higher for EE than physics would make someone coming out with the physics degree much less desirable, or does the actual course ranking not matter so much given that you've been to the right uni and have a respectable degree?

    (Sorry for the long response and so many questions!)
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