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Old 07-13-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
kingbean
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Default Career prospectives for physics

Hey i know that people keep saying that you should go study what you like and enjoy but still i'm concerned about the future.
I'm currently in nus chem engineering but i'm having second thoughts and thinking of taking up FOS physics instead as i really enjoyed physics in jc.
However, i don't want to be a teacher and physics seems like the least popular science in FOS and i really wonder what i can work if i eventually graduate with a physics degree.

Secondly, i was wondering which would be more valuable for your future? A mediocre average grade chemical engineering degree or a above average FOS physics degree. (Assuming i'm not good enough to be a chemical engineer) I'm reluctant to abandon chem engi degree as it seems more 'prestigious' as compared to a physics degree but maybe its just naive.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingbean View Post
Hey i know that people keep saying that you should go study what you like and enjoy but still i'm concerned about the future.
I'm currently in nus chem engineering but i'm having second thoughts and thinking of taking up FOS physics instead as i really enjoyed physics in jc.
However, i don't want to be a teacher and physics seems like the least popular science in FOS and i really wonder what i can work if i eventually graduate with a physics degree.

Secondly, i was wondering which would be more valuable for your future? A mediocre average grade chemical engineering degree or a above average FOS physics degree. (Assuming i'm not good enough to be a chemical engineer) I'm reluctant to abandon chem engi degree as it seems more 'prestigious' as compared to a physics degree but maybe its just naive.
Hi there! I understand what you mean... Prospects vs interest. I suppose. There are often many scenarios where interest is not equivalent to prospects'. In such cases, ask yourself, what you really want to do in the future? follow the crowd and do a 'prestigious' degree, or do something that u really enjoy?

Remember, no matter what industry you are in, ur interest will bring you as far as you want to. Qualifications will set the starting line, but it's ur ability and interest that will determine your end point. =)

Well, valuable or not, depends on how u view it. A chemical engineering degree may be deemed more valuable as compared to a physics degree if you wanna work in petrochemical industries, but the reverse is true if you are interested in research areas specialising in nanotech? =)

Well, if u still feel insecure about having a mere physics degree, you can try aiming for a double major or even double degree, in maybe business, economics, or management? The opportunities are there!

Disclaimer: Advice given is only meant for reference purposes btw, and that's what I think. =P
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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http://www.physics.nus.edu.sg/corpor...undergrad.html

may wish to find out more from here?
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
goldleaf
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Hello.

Just in case you haven't found them already, here are some links you might want to look at:
http://www.physics.nus.edu.sg/corpor...undergrad.html (for current undergraduates. see if you like what they're doing maybe)
http://www.physics.nus.edu.sg/corpor...icsdegrees.pdf (article from the American Physical Society on the job market for physicists)
http://www.physics.nus.edu.sg/~physoc/forum/ (NUS physics society forum)

What are you interested in doing after you graduate? I'm not a physics major myself but from what I've heard, besides teaching there are quite a few other job opportunities. Apparently one can go into banking and finance too. And there's research and other positions in the industry (e.g. semiconductors, nanotechnology etc... I think.)

Have you started your studies in chem engineering, or are you about to start this coming semester? If you can't decide and don't really want to risk it, you could try doing a minor in physics or taking physics as a second major...

Last edited by goldleaf; 07-13-2009 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Removed an overlapping link :)
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:46 AM   #5
kingbean
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i'm actually entering university next year, so i do have one last chance to change my course if i want to. I heard that only a small number of people studying chem engineering eventually become chem engineers, is it true?

If so. Assuming i eventually do not get to be a chem engineer and diverse into some business related career path, then regardless of whether i study physics or chem engineering, the usefullness of the degree to my career is still the same right?

So might as well go for physics, ( which i assume is less stressful), and i'm more confident in scoring better then my peers as compared to the crowd in chem engineering.

Personally i'm more interested in the sciences and especially physics. But is this kind of thought even encouraged?
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:50 PM   #6
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I have heard of people changing course even after starting university, but ya lah it's better to make up your mind from the start I guess. =)

I wouldn't assume that physics is less stressful than chem engineering though, even taking the bell curve into consideration. It's best to like, or learn to like, the maths that comes along with the physics theories.

Sorry I'm not very sure how a chem engineering degree compares with a physics degree in terms of flexibility in the job market. Hopefully someone can help answer that question..
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