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Switching due to personal happiness?

  1. May 15, 2012 #1
    Has anyone ever switched a major because they like the department/teaching style in the
    classes a lot more, and not so much because of the course material?

    I'm trying to decide between EE and physics, and it's REALLY tough to... It's partly due to course material(my interests in EE lie in the nanotech/solid state and EM route, I can't STAND some of these digital classes I've had to take), but it's more due to the fact that I find the physics department more pleasant(and since I've had depression issues and such in the past interfering with my focus/studying, this could make a difference GPA wise). But I fear that I'm "jumping ship" right before the nightmare is over in EE, so to speak. I'm interested in research and grad school(LOVE research that I've been doing this semester), but I don't want something like that to be based off a decision I make when I'm 18. If I end up not going to grad school, I guess I'd rather stick with the engineering degree and make the job. If I do go to grad school, I can major in physics and do something like applied physics afterwards. I don't care TOO much about money, but I don't want to starve, and I might want to be able to support a family someday. I've read the books on upper level physics, and I've liked them a lot, but I'm fearful that I'm not smart enough math wise, and I know there is a difference between reading and doing.

    *Sigh*.... I need to decide in a few weeks, so if anyone has any insight on the EE/physics decision in general, feel free to post your experience. This whole year hasn't turned out the way I planned, but I guess that is life.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2012 #2
    I don't have any specific advice, as I am neither a physics nor an EE major. My dad did electrical engineering back in the day, but then he got an MBA and an MS in CS and now works in management at a tech company. On the flip side, one of the physics majors in my graduating class is going to grad school to get an MS in EE.

    I think it's legitimate to make a decision based on how much you like a department. STEM degrees in general are reasonably good for the job market, and a lot of people end up doing something different from what they majored in as undergrads. All else being equal, choosing the department that will make you happier seems a decent choice to me. I was a creative writing major, and I ended up spending a lot of time in the math department just because I had so much fun there. If you're thinking EE might be easier, is there a way to take both physics and EE courses until you find out so that you can hedge your bets?
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