Which is more respectable?

  • #1
A Ph.D in Computer Engineering or a Ph.D in Quantum Physics?

I am having a tough time deciding between the two... but I think I have made my decision based on what I am more fasinated in. Just want to hear your opinion. What I mean is which career is harder?
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Curious3141
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What do you mean by respectable?
 
  • #3
Alright, let me rephrase, what is more difficult?
 
  • #4
Curious3141
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physicscrap said:
Alright, let me rephrase, what is more difficult?
Oh, OK. This is very subjective, because people have differing abilities and aptitudes. But by and large, I believe quantum physics is heavier in intellectually intensive subjects like advanced mathematics, etc., so many would consider that more "difficult".

I'm not in either field, so I could be wrong. I'm sure someone with more direct experience will be around to answer your question soon.
 
  • #5
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One question, did you even finish your undergrad yet?
 
  • #6
berkeman
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cyrusabdollahi said:
One question, did you even finish your undergrad yet?
Great point. I was taking him seriously there for a minute. If he were applying for grad school, he would be able to answer his own question. :rofl:
 
  • #7
physicscrap said:
I am having a tough time deciding between the two... but I think I have made my decision based on what I am more fasinated in. Just want to hear your opinion. What I mean is which career is harder?
That's a stupid question. There is no singular career associated with each particular degree and the degrees themselves can be as hard as you make them. There are no absolutes when judging entire fields.
 
  • #8
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Also, I don't think there is such thing as "PhD in Quantum physics" (nor "PhD in Classical physics"). The closest to that would be Quantum Information or maybe interpretations of quantum physics (latter being more philosophical).

Areas you can get (as in "areas most people" get) PhD in, are Condensed matter physics, High energy physics, etc... most of which use (more or less) quantum theory, among other things.
 
  • #9
J77
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You can do a PhD based on any title, in any field whatsoever.

It's not the case of which is most respectable but simply how good are the results of your study.

Doing a PhD is not like learning stuff for a degree.
 
  • #10
hmmm ok. I was just trying to help curve me decision. I am really interested in hardcore physics, so I guess I will pursue that.
 
  • #11
J77
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physicscrap said:
hmmm ok. I was just trying to help curve me decision. I am really interested in hardcore physics, so I guess I will pursue that.
...and, funding opportunities may curve your decision more.

(What level of eduction are you currently at?)
 
  • #12
I just graduated from high school haha. But I looked at both course's curriculum and they are different in the beginning. So I guess I have to choose now?
 
  • #13
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Not necessarily, talk to your advisor in college, see if you can set up a program whereby you graduate with a dual major in 4 years. This isn't as impossible as it seems, especially as some of the courses you will have to take will help you in both majors.

As a second note, do whatever interests you the most, if you are doing this to earn respect, that motivation will never be enough to get you through the tough times you'll need to go through in order to get your degree.

Good luck!

~Lyuokdea
 
  • #14
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physicscrap said:
I just graduated from high school haha. But I looked at both course's curriculum and they are different in the beginning. So I guess I have to choose now?
I suggest you wait until you get a taste of reality in college before posting any more of those types of questions.
 
  • #15
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cyrusabdollahi said:
I suggest you wait until you get a taste of reality in college before posting any more of those types of questions.
Oh so true.:rofl:
 
  • #16
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Corneo said:
Oh so true.:rofl:
Since US college student drop-out rate is so high.....

back to topic, PhD is not something that you think it is easily approachable. I am an undergrad maths major and just went to a graduate level maths class yesterday called "quantum information". I didnt understand anything out of that class at all. Phd is a lot further than most people might think. I thought i would get a Phd but i guess i would be satisfied with a professional master degree now.
 
  • #17
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leon1127 said:
Since US college student drop-out rate is so high.....
Where is this coming from? I know of a few people that were kicked out because they simply were not surviving. I don't think there is a huge amount of people droping out though.

My earlier comment is refering to what a lot of people may think about college before actually attending college. Math and Science classes in college are extremely difficult. Just wanting to get a Ph.D is not going to be easy.
 
  • #18
J77
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There seems to still be some confusion here...

Doing a PhD is not like doing a bachelors or masters

You don't get taught - although I see in one thread some US schools do make them do Grad classes, although I'm not sure if this is good...

In a PhD, you have to motivate yourself. If you need some knowledge, you pick up a book or read some journals - you're not made to follow a structure because you won't know in what direction the PhD may turn - there is no final exam, there is no test!

Back to the OP - it's good that you're thinking of doing a PhD - when I left school, I had an idea that I could get a PhD when I was 25 (and I did), but I certainly had no idea of what field it would be in.

Best advice would be to continue your studies - at some time you'll probably have to do a project, this will let you get an idea of what research is. Then after you finish, this project could start of a PhD or you could do something completely different.

The main skill you should have when going into a PhD is not intimate knowledge of a specific subject, but a desire to work! You'll pick up the specific skills as you go along.
 
  • #19
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Corneo said:
Where is this coming from? I know of a few people that were kicked out because they simply were not surviving. I don't think there is a huge amount of people droping out though.
Just from my observation. In "some" of my upper level classes, drop out rate from the first week of class to last day of drop out is about 30-40%. Though, i assume the rate decreases as higher degree is pursued.
 
  • #20
Awesome, I love it when you guys say the college math is very difficult. I love a challenge! can't wait. Hopefully I will understand it all, which I think I will. I took AP calc and felt that it was really easy.
 
  • #21
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J77 said:
There seems to still be some confusion here...

Doing a PhD is not like doing a bachelors or masters

You don't get taught - although I see in one thread some US schools do make them do Grad classes, although I'm not sure if this is good...
I believe you are mistaken here. The US system is not the UK system. In the UK you get your masters first, then your PhD. Not so in the US. All those masters classes are taken in the PhD program. So yes you do get taught, up through the qualifying exams, after which you work on research.
 
  • #22
mathwonk
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it takes a lot of hard work to get a PhD and I recommend that you go with what you love and have a knack for. people will respect you either way, but you will be happier with your real love.
 
  • #23
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physicscrap said:
Awesome, I love it when you guys say the college math is very difficult. I love a challenge! can't wait. Hopefully I will understand it all, which I think I will. I took AP calc and felt that it was really easy.
Perhaps you should spend your time to get into a top school instead of wondering if college's maths classes are difficult or not. You might find that a differential equation class in Princeton is a little further than a DE class in community college. I hope you will like that :!!) :!!)

BTW, don't expect college too much. Just be normal and see what you really like when you get there. I thought I like EE but I have sent myself to a even more devil major-maths. I think APs were more demanding than my ODE class. APs are nowhere near HKAL pure math which is taken by HK secondary school students lol. And all we have said is that PhD is beyond just taking a class. I dont really see where we have said college maths classes (Undergrad/grad) are difficult anywehre at all. perhaps it is just my ignorance. please forgive me:frown: :frown:
 
  • #24
J77
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franznietzsche said:
I believe you are mistaken here. The US system is not the UK system. In the UK you get your masters first, then your PhD. Not so in the US. All those masters classes are taken in the PhD program. So yes you do get taught, up through the qualifying exams, after which you work on research.
Do you get a separate masters after your first year, or does this first year just count towards the PhD.

If the latter, surely you're being taught things specific to your PhD?
 
  • #25
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J77 said:
Do you get a separate masters after your first year, or does this first year just count towards the PhD.

If the latter, surely you're being taught things specific to your PhD?

In the US system, you can get a straight Ph.D. with no Masters. Going this route, you usually have about 2 years of classes and then the qualifier. Some people pass their qualifiers before finishing classes others don't. Some schools also allow you to get your masters along the way. The school that I am at now, allows the physics grad students to get a masters after passing their qualifiers.

These classes are typically broad spectrum that you are taking. For a physics Ph.D. you would expect to take Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, and Classical Mechanics. Mixed in with these is usually a Mathematical Physics class and some classes that pertain to your specialty. Some schools require more classes after you pass the qualifier- some only want you doing your research. It all depends on the institution.
 

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