What can I do with a degree in Physics? What doors and pathways will it open for me? How long will I need to study before I am able to call my self a Physicist and make a meaningful contribution in my field?
I'm about to make what seems to be the biggest decision of my life. Applications have been sent and responses have been received. Now comes the hard part.
My parents (one of whom is a computer engineer) are hell-bent on making me an Engineer (EE or CE) and have resorted to every known form of propaganda and coercion to force me to think like them. To be honest, I don't really think engineering is suited for me. I can certainly do the mathematics and tackle the theoretical aspects of it, but have never had the practical ability needed. I am horrendous when it comes to using my hands to do anything constructive (although I excel at things destructive).
The main argument my parents use is that engineering will quickly land me a good job after graduation, opportunities will be plenty money will come easy, whereas pursuing a career as a physicist would involve me studying till I get my Masters or PhD and most likely end me up in some teaching position (do not want) or spend the rest of my life as a lowly (and poor) researcher.
My question basically is this: Are my parents wrong when they say Physical Sciences is career suicide? Will I be able to do as well out in the "real world" following a career in Physics (Theoretical or otherwise)?
P.S. I will most likely attending U of Waterloo
(physical sciences) or McMaster U
(either physical sciences or engineering). Since engineering involves a common first year here, I have the choice when it comes to specialization
so I definitely have more choices than my parents present me with.