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    I have always wanted to get involved in the renewable energy industry for a long time, but now have reached the point where I am not sure which path to take in order to get there.

    Many of the articles I read online are very vague about what working with renewable energy would require, but I have gathered that either a Physics, Chemistry or Engineering degree would be the main options.

    The thing is, which would be the most suitable. Visiting many of the websites of Universities that offer these degree courses, many of them claim to be suitable for the "innovative" energy industry, but upon looking at what the courses of Physics and Chemistry actually include, it is mainly theoretical and a lot of it irrelevant to the field I wish to get involved in. The Engineering courses also mention little about the renewable energy industry.

    Or would a degree of a different kind be the most suited?

    All help would be appreciated, and I hope to help any others in similar positions.
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    Mechanical or electrical engineering.
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    Physics.
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    Politics
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    theres a course at my uni Electrical and Renewable Energy Systems which is an Engineering degree which could be ideal?
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    Nuclear Physics
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    (Original post by Harry.C)
    Physics.
    That seems to be the popular answer I get from many people. However what is slightly deterring me is the difficulty of being accepted into a Physics course in comparison with a Chemistry or Engineering one.

    On average, from looking at many prospectuses of many Universities, one would be about twice as likely to be accepted for Chemistry than Physics and about 50% more likely to be accepted for an Engineering course than Physics.

    It is so competitive, that I think going down a route other than Physics may actually benefit me...

    Or maybe I'm just wrong....
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    (Original post by planetearth)
    That seems to be the popular answer I get from many people. However what is slightly deterring me is the difficulty of being accepted into a Physics course in comparison with a Chemistry or Engineering one.

    On average, from looking at many prospectuses of many Universities, one would be about twice as likely to be accepted for Chemistry than Physics and about 50% more likely to be accepted for an Engineering course than Physics.

    It is so competitive, that I think going down a route other than Physics may actually benefit me...

    Or maybe I'm just wrong....

    You might be right but i don't think so. I'm going to be doing physics, and I'm fairly certain its not more competive than those subjects. I think it was on average 4 or 5 applicants per place, which isn't bad. Also, you should be applying for the subject you enjoy most (within reason), you would perform much better in interviews etc.
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    (Original post by planetearth)
    I have always wanted to get involved in the renewable energy industry for a long time, but now have reached the point where I am not sure which path to take in order to get there.

    Many of the articles I read online are very vague about what working with renewable energy would require, but I have gathered that either a Physics, Chemistry or Engineering degree would be the main options.

    The thing is, which would be the most suitable. Visiting many of the websites of Universities that offer these degree courses, many of them claim to be suitable for the "innovative" energy industry, but upon looking at what the courses of Physics and Chemistry actually include, it is mainly theoretical and a lot of it irrelevant to the field I wish to get involved in. The Engineering courses also mention little about the renewable energy industry.

    Or would a degree of a different kind be the most suited?

    All help would be appreciated, and I hope to help any others in similar positions.
    The most obvious route would be engineering followed by a relevant masters degree, for example http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/postgraduate/taughtdeg/SES/

    IMO, there's not much advantage to an undergraduate degree that claims to prepare you specifically for one career or another. Your undergrad should give you flexibility to go into a variety of careers, allowing you to specialise at masters level.
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    I'd have thought engineering.

    Try googling up lists of final year projects for engineering and science degrees and see what you think about the sorts of questions people on those courses are looking at.
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    (Original post by planetearth)
    That seems to be the popular answer I get from many people. However what is slightly deterring me is the difficulty of being accepted into a Physics course in comparison with a Chemistry or Engineering one.

    On average, from looking at many prospectuses of many Universities, one would be about twice as likely to be accepted for Chemistry than Physics and about 50% more likely to be accepted for an Engineering course than Physics.

    It is so competitive, that I think going down a route other than Physics may actually benefit me...

    Or maybe I'm just wrong....
    Sorry for the late response.

    Physics is probably the most popular answer you get from people because most people don't really know what engineering is.

    There are plenty of engineering courses out there; there is no need to worry about not managing to find a place if you apply to universities within your grade limits. Some really god unis like Bath were recently in clearing (for chemical engineering) I've been told.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Sorry for the late response.

    Physics is probably the most popular answer you get from people because most people don't really know what engineering is.

    There are plenty of engineering courses out there; there is no need to worry about not managing to find a place if you apply to universities within your grade limits. Some really god unis like Bath were recently in clearing (for chemical engineering) I've been told.
    Are you kidding? Most people don't know what engineering is?

    Forget it.

    @OP

    Physics or Engineering, but physics is both harder to get into and to complete. Really either way you just need to end up doing a masters/phd based on renewable energy of some sort - and that's your gateway in!
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Are you kidding? Most people don't know what engineering is?

    Forget it.
    Correct. Most people don't know what engineering is.

    @OP

    Physics or Engineering, but physics is both harder to get into and to complete. Really either way you just need to end up doing a masters/phd based on renewable energy of some sort - and that's your gateway in!
    No. You certainly do not need to do a masters or PhD based on renewable energy.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Correct. Most people don't know what engineering is.



    No. You certainly do not need to do a masters or PhD based on renewable energy.
    I completely disagree, everyone I know - even less clever people know what engineering is.

    No but if they're interested in that field then it would make sense to do that? Don't be so pedantic, if they want to work with renewable energy doing a PhD is a good idea because they'd get to learn more about it and give something to the industry.

    After all you can't really do a Renewable Energy degree (like actually specific to RE) without being a bit of a mickey mouse subject.

    But if you do engineering, you can do Energy Technologies MPhil at Cambridge.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    I completely disagree, everyone I know - even less clever people know what engineering is.
    And your opinion is not echoed amongst the profession. Go read some Professional Engineering or something along that lines. Hell, even just go to the engineering forum here and sort the threads by post counts. You'll see that some of the ones with the most post counts are people moaning about the general public not knowing what engineering is.

    No but if they're interested in that field then it would make sense to do that? Don't be so pedantic, if they want to work with renewable energy doing a PhD is a good idea because they'd get to learn more about it and give something to the industry.
    It would only make sense to do a PhD if he wants to do a PhD. Otherwise, there is no need and it'd be a waste of time and money. There comes a time in engineering when what is needed is not more academia, but more real world experience.
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    Most of my colleagues in renewables have degrees in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering or Physics/Maths depending on whether you want to build stuff or model it. Although chemical engineers and chemists are becoming more involved with things like heat transfer fluids for CSP or dye-sensitized solar cells.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Most of my colleagues in renewables have degrees in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering or Physics/Maths depending on whether you want to build stuff or model it. Although chemical engineers and chemists are becoming more involved with things like heat transfer fluids for CSP or dye-sensitized solar cells.
    Gotta ask - I just stormed through American Dad Season 1-6 over the past week - are the quotes in your signature from it cause it sounds really familiar :P
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Gotta ask - I just stormed through American Dad Season 1-6 over the past week - are the quotes in your signature from it cause it sounds really familiar :P
    Second one definitely is, can't remember where I got the first one.
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    (Original post by planetearth)
    That seems to be the popular answer I get from many people. However what is slightly deterring me is the difficulty of being accepted into a Physics course in comparison with a Chemistry or Engineering one.

    On average, from looking at many prospectuses of many Universities, one would be about twice as likely to be accepted for Chemistry than Physics and about 50% more likely to be accepted for an Engineering course than Physics.

    It is so competitive, that I think going down a route other than Physics may actually benefit me...

    Or maybe I'm just wrong....
    What is your evidence for this statement that PHysics is significanty more competitive than CHemistry/Engineering? I really don't think that is true at all.

    Mechanical and Electrical Engineering tend to be the most common degree for technical roles in the renewable sector, but all Engineers, Chemists and Physicists have opportunities. You don't really need to study a specialist renewable engineering degree- once you have your base academic qualification the best way to supplement that is with experience.
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    Id advise doing a BEng in Mechanical Engineering followed by MSc Sustainable Energy Systems at Edinburgh uni
 
 
 
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