Mathematics vs Physics vs Computer Science Watch

Kocytean
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Hi,


I'm in Year 11 at Secondary School right now which means I will take my GCSEs in the next 6 months, then I'm going to college to study Further Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics at College. I intend to take one of those subjects to degree level in preparation for a career.


As you can see, I have a pitifully broad spectrum. Something to do with science. I'd like to be doing technical work, and certainly not dealing with clients if possible. I'm equally able to study each subject, I'm pretty much A/A* in my subjects.


A job in a research setting appeals to me most, which is most likely to be available through a physics degree. I've got a deep interest in theoretical physics and have read Steven Hawking's entire published works. This subject holds most appeal for me.


Computer science is a waning interest to me. I have looked into game programming. I'm quite skilled in this area and the benefit of the subject is I am already building up a relevant portfolio. I'm planning to release a simulation game onto PC this year I designed and am programming with one of my friends. My concerns with this field are that I am not a big gamer so I lack some interest, and I don't think the same salaries are available in Computer Science as are available in other fields. I do care about money! What I like about this field is the opportunity to work for myself. Worth considering is Oxford's 25% acceptance rate of applications to the Mathematics and Computing course, which is considerably higher than the average.


Mathematics is also an interest, but mostly where it intertwines with physics. I've been reading books concerning chaos theory and others such as "A Beautiful Mind". I enjoy performing equations and my interest in maths is about parallel with my interest in physics, but my concern is lack of jobs in the subject. I would be extremely bored with a job such as accounting. I love the beauty of complicated equations and complex theories, but I am unaware of a career where I could continue to work with them; I have no interest in finance and economics. Again, there is the Mathematics and Computer course at Oxford to consider.


I'm going to continue finding reading material concerning these subjects in the hope that I will suddenly find a passion for one of the subjects above all the others, but the chances of that happening seem extremely thin. In less than two years I will be applying to universities. What subject do you think would be a good choice for me, and for what reason? If I can decide on a subject now, I can keep reading around that subject over the next couple years I have in preparation for university interviews. :P


Thanks
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sydneybridge
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Read some Uni prospectuses (you can send off for them from Uni websites), go to some Open Days in May/June (these are designed for Year 11s/12s) and look at jobs ads (what are they asking for in terns of degree and experience?).

Keep your options and ideas open - think about doing a joint subject degree (Maths and IT?, Physics with Management?), think about the value of a Year Abroad (Australia? USA?) or an industrial placement (Rolls Royce? A government Dept?) within your degree.

Remember you have FIVE choices on your UCAS application - and at least one of these needs to be to a Uni with lower grade requirements than your first choice so that you still have an insurance Uni to go to if your grades are less than you expected. So you need to think about many other Unis than just Oxford!

Useful websites :
http://www.physics.org/careers.asp?contentid=381
http://www.iop.org/careers/
http://www.mathscareers.org.uk/
http://educatingengineers.com/career-specialties
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/scienc...eering-careers
http://www.gradcracker.com/hub/138/r...ate-programme/
http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore...hcare-science/
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Davelittle
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Hawkin's entire published works by year 11? I highly doubt that but good on you for getting ahead of the game!

If you're interested in academia a physics degree would probably seem the best bet, I know people who did physics degrees who now work in computer science etc. as it is a very transferable degree.
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Kocytean
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(Original post by Davelittle)
Hawkin's entire published works by year 11? I highly doubt that but good on you for getting ahead of the game!

If you're interested in academia a physics degree would probably seem the best bet, I know people who did physics degrees who now work in computer science etc. as it is a very transferable degree.
I might have phrased that badly. I haven't read all his research papers, only his books.

Thanks for the replies so far. I am looking at other universities aswell, Imperial and UCL particularly, but as far as I'm concerned if I don't end up in Oxford then I have screwed up my life so far.

I'm liking the idea of physics, but there aren't any joint courses that interest me, so I'm really choosing between Physics and Mathematics with Computer Science.
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sydneybridge
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(Original post by dragonzrmetal)
as far as I'm concerned if I don't end up in Oxford then I have screwed up my life so far.
I suggest you get out and look at whole variety of other Universities and rethink this a bit before you apply.

An Oxbridge degree doesnt guarantee you lifelong happiness or success. There are as many unemployed grads from Oxbridge as from any other Uni.
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ScrewTheExams
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What are you studying and where?
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DuckDodgers
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What is it with this board and bumping old threads.
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Kocytean
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(Original post by ScrewTheExams)
What are you studying and where?
Maths and Physics at Warwick. I kind of never chose between Maths, Physics, and Comp Sci, because we also do a little programming.

I may carry on with theoretical physics, but I'm also interested in theoretical neuroscience right now.

Please forgive me the ridiculous arrogance from my old posts. I was 14. I don't even have the excuse that I may have been drunk.

If you don't mind me asking, why the interest? Just curiosity, or are you asking yourself the same question of what to study now?
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