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Which major, which path?

  1. Jul 6, 2011 #1
    Hello all. I'm a recently graduated high school student entering a liberal arts university. Right now, my intention is to major in physics. But I'm concerned about several things:

    First, I'm concerned about whether there are any career opportunities for a physics b.s. I've heard that physicists are valued for their abilities to problem solve, but that their educational background is simply too general to be of use in, say, engineering. I've thought to myself that I would definitely want to pursue a graduate degree somehow. Most likely engineering of some kind: the options as to the type of engineering are still on the table, but I fear what might happen if I were to screw something up, compromising my ability to attend grad school somehow.

    The college I plan on attending does not offer an engineering degree of any kind, but they do have programs in which you attend classes on campus for three years, studying physics, and then head to another university for an additional two years to get a degree in engineering.

    I could also simply get a four year degree in physics, and then try to squeeze my hand into another state university to get an engineering degree. But that would take even more time.

    I guess what I'm asking is this: What advice would you offer? Do I take the bachelor's in physics and move on to a master's degree that would hopefully end up with me having a better salary, actually working in the field I've studied for? Or do I take a more direct route, skip the idea of grad school for now, just jump at the engineering programs, and worry about grad later?

    Any advice is welcomed. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2011 #2
    I say do what you love. If you like physics, what career do YOU wish to do? Astrophysics? Professor? Medical Physicist? ....

    The one thing you must realize about getting your B.S. is that you have to do something your passionate about. Don't chose one subject over another just because it has a "better chance" in getting you a job in the future. Most medical schools for example hate Biology/Chemistry majors because the vast majority of students who apply are either of these two majors. They love to see an English major who managed to learn the required sciences in something he/she loved. However, this doesn't mean do something different for the sake of being different. Many Bio/Chem majors make it to Medical school, its just a few individuals that choose to do these majors because they fulfill the required course requirements for Medical Schools.


    Also, this is the ONLY time where you'll be able to chill with friends, be independent, have LOADS of free time, and learn about something you love.

    The answer to your question should be, what do YOU see yourself doing for the rest of your life? Google around, there are plenty of jobs that require/use physics heavily.
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