Would it be stupid to switch to engineering at this point?

In summary, the third year student is having a major crisis trying to decide what to do with their life. They are majoring in physics and may end up with a minor in math, but are considering switching to mechanical engineering. They are not sure if they like building machinery, but are interested in the different fields of engineering. They are considering dropping physics because there are few jobs available in theoretical physics. They are considering pursuing a Ph.D. in experimental physics, but are unsure if this is a feasible option. They are considering pursuing a M.S. in engineering with the intention of becoming a P.Eng.
  • #1
proton
350
0
I'm currently a 3rd year student majoring in physics and will probably end up with a minor in math. I'm having a major crisis tryin to decide what to do with my life.

I'm currently taking upper-div mechanics, but the class is pretty boring. I'm thinking about leaving physics also because there's so few job opportunities available. But, I think it would be stupid to switch at this point since I already applied to 13 REU programs for physics. It would be a total waste if I didnt continue with physics as I put a TON of effort into those applications.

I could continue and complete my math degree but none of the jobs you can get with it sound interesting: actuary, computer programmer, finance, etc

So I was thinking of switching to mechanical engineering. But I'm not that into building machinery, but it sounds the best among all the engineering fields. But it would take 3 more years to finish it (unless I take like 5 classes per quarter), whereas math and physics would only take 2 more.
 
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  • #2
Your REUs are all going to reject you if you change majors?

Take some upper-div lab courses and tell me if you're still bored. It may just be that you're destined for experimentalism not theory...
 
  • #3
proton said:
I'm currently taking upper-div mechanics, but the class is pretty boring.

and

So I was thinking of switching to mechanical engineering. But I'm not that into building machinery, but it sounds the best among all the engineering fields.

It sounds like you might want to look into what engineers do a little bit more. I am not sure what "best among all the engineering fields" means but it does not mean it's the best for you. Since you've applied to REUs, maybe you should go to one (assuming you get accepted), see you what you think about prospects in physics from the research point of view, and decide at the end of the summer. Meanwhile, you can look into the different engineering fields and see if that's what you really are interested in.
 
  • #4
Asphodel said:
Take some upper-div lab courses and tell me if you're still bored. It may just be that you're destined for experimentalism not theory...

I definitely like theory more than experiment. which is another reason why I'm considering dropping physics: there's few jobs available for theoretical areas of physics

bravernix said:
It sounds like you might want to look into what engineers do a little bit more. I am not sure what "best among all the engineering fields" means but it does not mean it's the best for you. Since you've applied to REUs, maybe you should go to one (assuming you get accepted), see you what you think about prospects in physics from the research point of view, and decide at the end of the summer. Meanwhile, you can look into the different engineering fields and see if that's what you really are interested in.

aerospace eng sounds the most interesting but i heard doing undergrad in mechanical eng has more job opportunities and can lead to aerospace-related jobs.
 
  • #5
I'm not sure how it is in the States, but in Canada you're able to directly enter into a graduate degree in engineering. If you're smart and find what the requirements are to get (what would be the equivalent of) Professional Engineer (P.Eng), then you can take the few required undergrad courses (~5-10) so that you pop out with a masters in engineering and have the qualifications to become a P.Eng.

Plus, you have the benefit of choosing whichever discipline of engineering that suits you most, at a graduate level.
 
  • #6
proton, you sound like you have no idea which degree you really want to do, which is a little worrying for a third year student! I would advise that you book a meeting with your advisor/tutor and go and talk to him/her about the options you have. They should know you a lot better than we do, and will be able to advise you based on what you have taken as to what an appropriate route would be.
 
  • #7
well i talked to my faculty advisor about this and he wasnt very helpful. he just said pursue what you like, don't worry about making money/finding a job. but he did say one thing useful, that is if he isn't lying: you can find jobs easily with a phD in experimental physics, even in areas like particle and highenergy physics.

i'll probably make my final decision after i do my REU this summer and/or take my 1st quantum mech class
 
  • #8
I think I like theory more than experimentalism.
 

Related to Would it be stupid to switch to engineering at this point?

1. Is it too late to switch to engineering?

No, it is never too late to switch to engineering. Many people make career changes at different points in their lives, and engineering is a field that offers numerous opportunities for growth and development.

2. Will I have to start from scratch if I switch to engineering?

It depends on your current educational and professional background. If you have a degree or experience in a related field, you may be able to transfer some credits or skills. However, you may need to take some additional courses to catch up on the necessary knowledge and skills for engineering.

3. How long will it take to complete an engineering degree?

The length of time it takes to complete an engineering degree can vary depending on the program and your previous education or experience. Typically, a bachelor's degree in engineering takes four years to complete, while a master's degree can take an additional 1-2 years.

4. Will I be able to find a job after switching to engineering?

Engineering is a growing field with a high demand for skilled professionals. Switching to engineering can open up a range of job opportunities in various industries, including technology, construction, and manufacturing.

5. Is engineering a difficult field to study?

Engineering can be challenging, but it is also a highly rewarding and fulfilling field. It requires a strong foundation in mathematics and science, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills. With dedication and hard work, anyone can excel in engineering.

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