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    So I'm not quite sure what type of degree I should do; however I do know that I would like to do something with Physics or a form of engineering. I am currently doing my GCSEs and I wondered whether it would be of any use doing a broad physics degree, rather than a specified Engineering degree, so it would give me the opportunity to go into, for example research science, with also the possibility of going into engineering if that was what I decided to do once I left uni? Thanks in advance!
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    Its very early to pick if you're doing your GCSEs, but that is no bad thing. The earlier you decide what you want to do, the more chance you will have of getting there.

    Personally, unless you are REALLY set on being a scientist, I would do engineering. I am just finishing a Physics degree and if I could start again I would do engineering.

    The main reasons, in my opinion, are
    - research science is poorly paid. You have to do a phd after your degree - thats an extra 3/4 years of being a student (its funded but not well). After that you are a post-doc - again poorly paid. There are very few professor type posts, and lots of people, so unless you absolutely love your job there's not much in it. A lot of what you do will likely be very repitive and dull.
    - engineering is the opposite. There are LOADS of jobs, very highly paid, in a wide range of fields. Plenty of opportunity for travel etc. If you decided you wanted to do research you could still do it - lots of areas of engineering cross over very well, depending on the modules you do.

    Look at gradcracker.com - its for science/engineering jobs - to get an idea of what is out there. I would also highly recommend doing a course with a year in industry, it sets you up much better to look for work (and you get paid!).
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    (Original post by sudo_euclid)
    Its very early to pick if you're doing your GCSEs, but that is no bad thing. The earlier you decide what you want to do, the more chance you will have of getting there.

    Personally, unless you are REALLY set on being a scientist, I would do engineering. I am just finishing a Physics degree and if I could start again I would do engineering.

    The main reasons, in my opinion, are
    - research science is poorly paid. You have to do a phd after your degree - thats an extra 3/4 years of being a student (its funded but not well). After that you are a post-doc - again poorly paid. There are very few professor type posts, and lots of people, so unless you absolutely love your job there's not much in it. A lot of what you do will likely be very repitive and dull.
    - engineering is the opposite. There are LOADS of jobs, very highly paid, in a wide range of fields. Plenty of opportunity for travel etc. If you decided you wanted to do research you could still do it - lots of areas of engineering cross over very well, depending on the modules you do.

    Look at gradcracker.com - its for science/engineering jobs - to get an idea of what is out there. I would also highly recommend doing a course with a year in industry, it sets you up much better to look for work (and you get paid!).
    Whist it's true that research science is poorly paid, doing a science degree doesn't pigeonhole you into a research career.
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    What do you guys mean exactly, when you said 'poorly paid' ? Also what are the working conditions like for physicists compared to engineers?
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    in Uk, so can we say: is engineering getting more valuable recent days?
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    (Original post by Namige)
    What do you guys mean exactly, when you said 'poorly paid' ? Also what are the working conditions like for physicists compared to engineers?
    Well, i can only really talk about what I have experienced. At the end of my degree my options are
    i) Research career, which would require doing a phd, then a post-doc
    ii) Enter the job market.

    Now, Phd funding varies, but you look at http://www.findaphd.com or http://jobs.newscientist.com for examples. The first few I just found:
    -- Manchester - £13,590 p.a.
    -- Aberdeen - £13,726
    -- Bournemouth - £14,000

    And it is important to consider that this is what you get for 3 years - you won't get a raise (maybe a hundred or so to compensate for inflation). During this time you’re not saving, not getting any closer to having a deposit etc. Also, think about working hours. Research is not 9-5. Every phd student I know works ridiculous hours and is under immense pressure. The equivalent hourly wage is pitiful and would be illegal by any other standard.

    Compare that with the average graduate salaries - usually over £20,000. And after three years you will have progressed and will be earning more. (Not to mention options that are open to physicists may pay much higher, banking and oil for example have starting salaries in excess of £30,000 and rise very quickly).

    tldr; unless you absolutely live for research, don’t do it.
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    Yep, consider the lifestyle you want. Research is great, it's amazing to be at the forefront of the field but at the end of the day, I choose getting real world experience at the job immediately. I just cannot stand the idea spending more than 4 years at the university.

    You have time to think about this.
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    I should mention that I am not suggesting that you make life choices based entirely on how much money you can earn. However, it is definitely something to think about. Personally, I do not enjoy research, so I am not willing to do it for such low pay. If I really enjoyed it (as many people do) I wouldn't mind about the salary. Conversely, I wouldn't be happy taking a job I hated even if it was very well paid. As with most things, the key is compromise.
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    It is extraordinarily stupid to decide on a career based on the pay or job prospects. Both engineering and physics are competitive fields and you have to be extremely motivated to do well in both. You're competing against people who have been passionate about engineering or physics for their entire lives and have probably done a huge amount of independent study on the subject, not to mention the fact that if you turn out not to enjoy it, you'll be spending the rest of your life doing something you're not interested in. What you need to do is research both fields properly - possibly doing work experience or ECs - to get a proper understanding of what both careers are like because there's a huge difference between a career that looks cool from the sound of the things you do and something you actually want to do. I wanted to go into Computer Science because it looked interesting, until I properly researched it and bought books on it where I realised that actually, engineering was the subject for me.

    Having said that, Engineers do get better paid than researchers. If you still adamantly believe that money is more important than interest, definitely go into engineering.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    It is extraordinarily stupid to decide on a career based on the pay or job prospects.
    **
    Having said that, Engineers do get better paid than researchers. If you still adamantly believe that money is more important than interest, definitely go into engineering.
    No. It would be extraordinarily stupid to choose a career WITHOUT considering pay or job prospects. There are essentially three questions you need to ask; i) would i enjoy it, ii) is it possible (i.e. job prospects), and iii) would it support the lifestyle i desire.

    Also, he didn't actually advocate choosing a career based solely on income (and neither did I, for that matter). OP doesn't even mention money, and I made a point of saying that there is a balance to be had - job satisfaction is the most important thing, but how satisfied people are with their jobs also depends on how well paid they are.

    I do understand where you're coming from, for example all the money in the world wouldn't make me go into accounting. But if its a choice between two equally interesting areas (physics and engineering), then it is not at all stupid to consider finances. In fact, it would be shortsighted not to.

    --edited my terrible grammar
 
 
 
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