Switching Careers: Is A Physics Degree Worth the Investment?

In summary, the speaker is a precision engineer with 10 years of experience who wants to switch to a physics related career. They are currently studying for a BSc in physical science, but the time and cost are a concern. They have calculated that their low income from college has not been offset by their higher income now, and they are considering switching careers before completing their degree. They mention that science related starting salaries are not great and the cost of a BSc is much higher than an AMA. The speaker also mentions their preference for a career in modern physics, but acknowledges the importance of financial stability. They ask for thoughts from others who have pursued a job they love without going to university full time.
  • #1
Kawakaze
144
0
Hi all. I am a precision engineer with 10 years under my belt. I want to switch to a physics related career. My school is to college level, mechanical and electronic engineering (in Europe that is not University), I am studying for a BSc in physical science, part time. The problem is the time and cost, I am 27 this year and I expect at least another 3 years to finish my degree.

I already crunched the numbers on my AMA. I worked for 50eur a week for 4 years. While my forklift driving friends were laughing at me, making 250eur a week for an unskilled job. After 6 years working I have worked out I am still at a loss behind my friends. My education has not offset my low income from college, despite higher income now. I only pulled this off because I was still living with my folks.

I am looking at science related jobs, very broadly speaking as I find the entire subject fascinating. I see their starting salaries arent really fantastic. The cost of a BSc part time is around 5x the price of an AMA, assuming a realistic career, I can't see how it would pay for itself within a reasonable time.

I know people will say take the option I really would prefer to do, ignore the finance. This is true, I would prefer a career in modern physics, but I also really enjoy having a roof over my head too. Ideally I would like to switch career before I complete my degree, then I would at least be gaining industry relevant experience and a recognised qualification. Anyone have any thoughts?
 
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  • #2
What is an AMA?
 
  • #3
So you became a precision engineer when you were 17? I hope you meant you were 37
 
  • #4
AMA = advanced modern apprenticeship. Its 4-5 days workplace training, 1 (damn long) college day per week. Its way to get papers and a wage. No, I started in the industry at 16. Finished training at 20. So that's almost 11 years in the industry, almost 7 working solo.

I don't get what you mean by you hope I was 37, please explain. Mechanical engineering is not exactly rocket science or brain surgery, even most doctors don't need 20 years training.

This is all besides the point, how many forum readers have gotten into a job they love and higher education without having to go full time to uni?
 
  • #5
Kawakaze said:
AMA = advanced modern apprenticeship. Its 4-5 days workplace training, 1 (damn long) college day per week. Its way to get papers and a wage. No, I started in the industry at 16. Finished training at 20. So that's almost 11 years in the industry, almost 7 working solo.

I don't get what you mean by you hope I was 37, please explain. Mechanical engineering is not exactly rocket science or brain surgery, even most doctors don't need 20 years training.

This is all besides the point, how many forum readers have gotten into a job they love and higher education without having to go full time to uni?

My bad, i meant 27. =)
 

1. Is a physics degree worth the investment?

The answer to this question depends on your career goals and personal interests. A physics degree can lead to a variety of fulfilling and well-paying careers in fields such as research, engineering, finance, and education. However, it may not be the right choice for everyone, and it is important to carefully consider your options and talk to professionals in the field before making a decision.

2. What are the job prospects for physics graduates?

Physics is a highly versatile and in-demand field, with job opportunities in a wide range of industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physicists is projected to grow by 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Additionally, many physics graduates also possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills that are valuable in a variety of job fields.

3. How long does it take to earn a physics degree?

The length of time it takes to earn a physics degree varies depending on the program and your course load. On average, a bachelor's degree in physics takes four years to complete, while a master's degree can take an additional two years. A Ph.D. in physics typically takes 4-6 years to complete.

4. What skills do I gain from a physics degree?

A physics degree provides a strong foundation in mathematics, problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills. These skills are highly transferable and can be applied to a variety of industries and careers. Additionally, physics graduates also develop strong research, communication, and teamwork skills through their coursework and laboratory experiences.

5. Can I switch to a different career with a physics degree?

Yes, a physics degree can open up a variety of career opportunities outside of traditional physics-related fields. Many physics graduates go on to work in fields such as engineering, finance, data analysis, and education. The skills and knowledge gained through a physics degree are highly transferable and can be applied to a wide range of industries and job roles.

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