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Physics vs. Engineering - Trying to figure out my life

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Up until this summer, I was a physics student, but I was an okay student, not the best, but good enough (B-average in advanced classes). The thing is, the life of the scientist, uninteresting research and fighting for grant money, doesn't appeal to me, so I finally made the decision to change to EE, and to not have wasted my time, minor in physics.

The thing is, all I see in this field are people in cube farms who develop one marketable product to the next and spend more time hunting for the cheapest parts than they do designing stuff they don't particularly care about. I'm beginning to regret my decision to change my major, but it might be too late to fix it now.

So, my choices are dry academia or anonymous mass product drone? Please, please tell me there exists somewhere in-between.

Oh, you haven't seen the half of it yet!  ;D

Wait until you spend 10 years in the cube farm and actually get nothing useful out the door at all in all that time! Sounds impossible to believe, but you'd be surprised at how much of a typical desk engineers effort in a big company will just go to waste.
I have a "dead projects list", it's orders of magnitude bigger than projects that have seen the light of day.

But it doesn't have to be like that, there are infinite options. The key is not to worry about that sort of stuff, just do what you enjoy, have a laugh, and work on your own projects outside of work if work isn't as satisfying as you'd like.
Everyone is looking for the "perfect job", and it essentially does not exist.
I've liked most of my jobs in one way or another, and took the good with the bad. But would I have done them if I didn't need to put food on the table? - no way.

If it's any consolation, there is very limited scope in physics compared to engineering.
Take Phil in my most recent video. Got his PhD in laser physics but had to work in retail for a while looking for a job. Never found a job in physics, and realised they didn't exist, unless he went back to uni to teach it, so went back to study and is now a Patent Attorney.

Electronics Engineering is not destined to be a Dilbert Cubicle Farm dwelling job. If you don't want to design electronics everyday then don't.
Want to get out and see the world?, no problem, plenty of jobs that offer that. A colleague of mine spent 6 months flying over NZ in a helicopter for an airbourne mapping company.
I've worked in the geophysics industry and could have taken my job anywhere if I desired. Survey boat in the middle of the North Atlantic? - no problem.
I almost applied for a job at the Square Kilometer Array a few months back, would have been typical boring big project work, but the application and project are incredibly cool.

Stick with engineering, there are countless options available to you. Physics will be very limiting.


Lots of money and long lunches? Try marketing :)

Don't underestimate the amount of deskwork in an academic career.
I think an engineer has more options to choose an interesting and practical job.

I am beginning to think going to medicine will be a lot easier.


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