Hey everybody, so I've been going through a bit of a dilemma and have done a kind of ridiculous amount of personal research on this including talking to people and looking at jobs/programs etc. I'm looking for another opinion, hopefully unbiased (disappointingly difficult for me on this it seems). I'm currently enrolled at a state school in a dual degree physics/engineering program with the intention on pursuing nuclear engineering at UW-Madison for the second part of the program. Let me first say I do absolutely enjoy physics and math and through my research have learned I will be able, even required, to take a lot of very advanced math, physics and computer science courses. Here's my problem, I'm having a hard time debating what I will go to grad school for. Of course, I'm looking at things a bit early but I tend to get obsessive about some things. I've had a strong interest in nuclear reactors and power production since I was 17, I am now 20. I've done nuclear physics research since I was a freshman and am currently researching nuclear physics at the University of Notre Dame for the summer. I've probed my most respected friends here on the topic of nuclear engineering vs. physics and they keep giving me the response that a Ph.D in physics vs. nuclear engineering & engineering physics (Madison's grad program is my main consideration at the moment) would look so much better on the desk of literally any employer out there and I'd automatically be at a disadvantage. Also who knows, maybe I change my mind about reactors in the future, though I don't see that happening myself unless I turn out to hate how reactors are studied for some reason. I just...can't find myself passionate about spending my life researching the structure of a nucleus. I do not mean to sound disrespectful but it's just so seemingly arbitrary, MSU, the #1 nuclear physics program in the nation has a long term plan to expand the chart of nuclides. Literally create as many isotopes as possible just to see what can be created. I have zero interest in going to school to operate reactors, I'd like to research them whether it be improving design or more recently I've been interested in fusion and plasma physics. Like I said, I tend to get obsessive so I am perfectly fine with working 60-80 hours a week when I finally receive my degree (I generally do ~60+ hours here as a REU student). I don't necessarily want to go into industry (industry research, that is) unless fusion falls through or I end up not being able to get a job after grad school. I'm not overly interested in teaching unless it's my route to my desired research, which is probably fairly realistic. TL;DR How correct is it that a physics Ph.D looks significantly better than a rather specialized engineering Ph.D to an employer? Were I to pursue a physics Ph.D would I not be equally as specialized? Any insight you can give is very appreciated.