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University -> Career - what path to take?

  1. Mar 6, 2005 #1
    Hi everyone,

    This being my first post to the forums, I figured I would seek guidance regarding my university applications which are looming over my head.

    I'm applying to several universities on different fronts. In high school, I had ****ty marks (past mistakes which I have learned the hard way from.) and do not have the best science/math background..yet...
    I'm highly fascinated by math/science/et al.

    So far, I've got three applications done...those will be my "fall back" applications. Into some easy arts programs to upgrade my GPA if my marks do not get me into primary choices.

    The rest...seven of them. What do I want? I don't know.
    I really like physics, but I think it's more from a recreational point of view. But it fascinates me so much..studying it would be cool too.
    I love math. I'm a numbers person, not a people person. I intend, one way or another, to combine all my interests. (Cognitive Sciences, maybe?)

    The majors I'm looking at: EE, Comp. eng., physics, math, english, psych and cog. sci.
    maybe a double major? I don't know..

    Maybe someone who has been there and is now in a career could help.

    I'm just thinking this out...throwing ideas around...reading / skimming text books and stuff.

    Thanks a lot for any help provided. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2005 #2


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    If you love math, go into Pure Mathematics.

    Applied Mathematics isn't math in my opinion.
  4. Mar 6, 2005 #3
    don't quote me, but this is what I heard and know: if you go with Comp engr or EE, either one...both are pretty close....the first 2 years of school is practically the same cirrculum, so you dont have to worry about which is more suitable yet. Just pick one, and learn more about it, and decide on your 2 or 3rd year.

    if you go with either engineering, the level of math you have is almost the same as to getting a math minor. So you can get a math minor for sure fairly quickly, and maybe a semester or more, you can get your second major as math.

    If you decide to go with just a math major, from what I heard, it might be a bit difficult to find a job with just a 4 year degree. It's wise to go graduate level....think about what you want to do with your life.....

    I think physics is the same case with math...i'm not sure.

    as for psychology, I have heard lots of people flat out say it is useless unless you go all out for ph.D.

    no comment on english.
  5. Mar 7, 2005 #4
    I second what semidevil said about the psych degree. Both my sister and my roommate have undergrad degrees in Psych, and both are doing menial jobs with no relation to their major ( one is a secretary for a bar exam prep company and the other works for a company that does web design ).

    From what you've listed as your choices, it seems like your all over the map, which is pretty normal for someone entering college. My suggestion would be to sample all those classes (I think they're prereqs anyway) and get a better perspective of the college level courses. All the while, narrow your cosiderations to specific careers rather than general categories. Get an idea of the day to day routines that people in these fields go through. Keep in mind that your decisions aren't final! Often these decisions are made over a long period of time and frequently change.
  6. Mar 7, 2005 #5
    Good points, but what are the requirements in US to be a professional psychologist? I think that would be the critical level of education in psych. Some kind of interest to practice psychology couldn't hurt either, if you pick that path.
  7. Mar 7, 2005 #6


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    What do you like and think is exciting for you?

    In engineering colleges first year is identical in all majors. You should get introduced to engineering class and principles, and from that choose which major you like the most and in 2nd year you'll be taking that major's introductory class. The 3rd and 4th years are basically the specialization, and you will learn more advanced concepts and techniques.

    Personally I think Chemical Engineering is a great field, but I cant see myself working for that industry - its not too healthy.
  8. Mar 7, 2005 #7
    Do what you love to do. If your math and physics marks in high school were not that reat, do NOT expect them to go up in university just because you read a few books and find the stuff interesting. If you want to go into EE or comp engineering, Get ready for MATH. These two engineerings deal with a lot of theoretical mathematics since they deal with Field Theory and circuit analysis in depth. On the other hand, if you like physics and not as much math, then I suggest you apply for Mechanical Engineering. I am a first year Mechanical Engineer and I love the program. Mechanics is the toughest course by far but the calculus comvered is hard but very applied to real life. I would say the best be for you would be to go into engineering since there actually ARE jobs out there. IF youre in math or physics, you most likely are guaranteed to need a PHd in order to work in a god field. (McDonalds is NOT a good field). Well, thats my 2 cents. By the way, I got into Physics and Mech. Eng. and I chose the Engineering exackly because of this reason.


  9. Mar 7, 2005 #8
    I too choose engineering. While it isn't quite an exact fit, it certainly covers enough to tie all my interests together. If, like me, you find that while you're pursuing a degree in ME (or whatever floats your boat), try out some personal side projects. If you can apply them to your field and get some kind of recognition (no matter how small), it'll look good on your resume. Good luck :)
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2005
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