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Which Branch of Physics is more Rewarding?

  1. Jan 16, 2014 #1
    Hi! At the moment I am in high school and have been considering to become a physicist. I just have a couple questions though: Which branch of physics is more rewarding? and what classes should i take to prepare myself?

    In regards to the first question, I am asking about which branch would take you "out there" and could possibly pay more. I am debating between going into biophysics or astrophysics. Most of the physicist I seem to have read in papers all seem to be professors at universities. Are there any jobs that a physicist could do that doesn't involve teaching?

    The second question is self-explanatory.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2014 #2
    You don't need to worry about which sub-field you want to go into until maybe 3rd year, after you finish your core courses and can start taking "survey" courses in modern physics topics. Until then, all the required courses are pretty much the same. However for something like biophysics, you should probably have a few bio courses under your belt...

    I don't know about your HS, but mine only offered Pre-calc and Calc I. Those are a must, as well as any physics classes that are offered. If higher math courses are offered, take them. Programming classes will also be very very useful, the earlier you start programming, the better. Statistics or Data management will also be quite useful.

    Whichever branch is most rewarding depends on the person...ask yourself why you like physics, what problems do you like solving, and how do you like to solve problems? However, I suspect that you do not have enough background in physics yet to properly answer these questions.

    Most physicists work in academia I think, which involve teaching responsibilities. Some work in national labs, where there is no teaching. Some work in industry, but I know nothing about that as I don't know any
  4. Jan 16, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    I always liked Computational Physics because you can see visually the state of a system evolve. I think that as you learn more physics you will migrate from topic to topic as I did over the years.
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