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Should I switch to Engineering?

  1. Jun 2, 2010 #1
    Hey all,

    I'm a third/coming fourth year physics major and I'm starting to get a little apprehensive. Graduation is looming and I don't know if this degree is going to do very much for me. I'm afraid that when I graduate I will have no prospects for a job or career or no acceptances to grad school. I'm even at a loss for which area I would want to specialize in-- I'm fairly pragmatic and not very passionate, so I do want something that makes me $$-- but medical physics, which my parents are pushing me towards, has absolutely no draw whatsoever for me.

    I'm wondering if I should switch to engineering, and wondering if any have you have made this switch and how difficult it was. Or would it be worth it to finish my undergrad degree and then attempt an engineering degree? (It seems like there would be some reiteration course-wise that might be economically better to avoid in this route.)

    In terms of interest, I am finding it difficult to pinpoint a path that balances what I am skilled in and what I enjoy-- software engineering is very attractive to me, as is computer science, but sadly I have found I have low to no aptitude coding-wise. Possible to overcome?

    For reference, my GPA is a 3.7 at the moment-- about as average as you can get-- hoping to get it up next year.

    tl;dr Wondering how hard a mid-degree switch from physics to engineering (speciality uncertain) would be and whether it would be worth it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2010 #2
    If your heart is not in physics, and you can switch to engineering in college, go ahead and do it. It might delay your degree by a year or two, but at least you won't fret about the year left and mess up your remaining classes worrying about jobs etc.

    On the other hand, I personally do not see much point in having two undergraduate degrees. If you are sure you cannot get an engineering job that you like with your physics major, then perhaps you could push it. Beyond that, I don't see why you would want to spend 4 more years, after you start college afresh...

    A Physics degree -- provided you can sell it well yourself -- can open roads to engineering as well as physics/science jobs. Certainly if grad school is what you want to do, you can switch to engineering.

    Yes, if you want to do physics, you will need more than just an undergrad degree in physics (as opposed to possibly doing some engineering with just an undergrad degree in engineering). You will need a PhD for research, whether its physics or engineering.
  4. Jun 2, 2010 #3
    i'd switch to engineering now and not get two degrees. tons of your math and science classes will work toward your engineering degree plus you can use some of your other science classes as tech electives mos likely
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