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For those who went to or are attending college

General Chat
DarkRiff  
23 Oct 2012 22:03 | Quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
United States
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Karma: 12
What did/are you major(ing) in?

I for one want to major in Physics or Astronomy. But simply can't wrap my head around calculus.

I might wind up being a History major.
btimm  
24 Oct 2012 06:51 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
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Karma: 16
I majored in nuclear engineering and received both a BS and an MS.

I would say that it is fine and dandy that people will say to major in something you love, but the reality is that if you cannot make a respectable living with it, then you are putting yourself in debt literally for no real reason. That may sound harsh and jaded, but it really is true.

Also, where you go to college and the financial costs associated with that should not be taken lightly. For example, I went to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and grew up in Michigan. I had to pay out of state tuition because the University of Michigan also offered nuclear engineering. That is fine, because I make a salary where I can pay off my loans over time. I stop sometimes and think of people who go out of state and then major in something like English or literature. They have a passion for it and love it and then wind up working in a field that has nothing to do with their major, while having to pay off a degree they cannot afford. It is an unfortunate part of the American educational system and people at a young age do not think things through well enough. You think the economy is bad enough because of the collapse of the housing bubble? Wait til the bubble collapses and people start defaulting on their student loans.

I think without a graduate degree, you will find it difficult to find a career based on any of those possible majors. Then again, if you are not spending out of your ass for your collegiate education, then maybe it won't matter. But it would be a shame if you studied your tail off, paid $60-80k for school and couldn't find work.

Just some things to think about. If you really enjoy physics, think about a career in engineering. It's essentially applied physics. :o)

I must clarify though. By all means, I am not saying do not study something that you love. I am saying make sure it is something you can afford to do, even if you cannot find work in that field. Teachers are a great example. The country needs teachers, and the country needs good teachers, but the country does not need teachers paying six figures for their education when they can get a comparable education for $20k total.

I hope I made sense and am not just rambling, hahaha. Best of luck dude and enjoy your college experience - it truly is going to be one of the best experiences of your life.
thatguitarguy  
24 Oct 2012 09:25 | Quote
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
I am a physics major and hope to get a degree in engineering. Im not super great at math but then again Ive always been kind of mediocre at a lot of things so it will go as well as anything else for me. That and an engineering degree can get you all kinds of jobs that pay well.
DarkRiff  
24 Oct 2012 12:11 | Quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
United States
Licks: 2
Karma: 12
I have thought about Electrical or Mechanical Engineering also. I've also contemplated going a Masters eventually (Maybe). Is it true though that one could teach a high school class with only a bachelor's degree? Right now I only have to worry about getting my associates, but I'm trying to plan ahead. Did you guys find calculus that difficult? Because I'm pretty sure Engineering majors have to take it as well.
Sorry for all the questions.
thatguitarguy  
24 Oct 2012 12:26 | Quote
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
a masters is the way to go.

I have to take at least calc 1 because most of my schools physics are calculus based. If you go to a school with a lot of math options you can probably avoid taking calc 2 and up by choosing another math. Im taking pre-calc this semester and calculus next semester so I dont know if calc is much harder. pre calc isn't all that hard. My friend in the same major said that calc to is the hardest of them and calc 1 is the easiest but that could just be him.
DanielM  
24 Oct 2012 13:52 | Quote
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
I'm doing a degree in artificial intelligence and that covers specialist areas of computer science such as neural networks, algorithms, and more hardware orientated areas such as the basics of electronic engineering and robotics

For engineering maths we covered calculus, complex numbers, algebra and matrices.

Calculus isn't that hard once you get into it, what are you struggling with? Search Khan academy they have good maths tutorial videos. If you really need help I could see what I could do to help, just drop me an IM. I'm not on often but I'll try and get back to you promptly
DarkRiff  
24 Oct 2012 14:49 | Quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
United States
Licks: 2
Karma: 12
@thatguitarguy

My local college requires one to take calculus 1-3 to get a bachelors in Physics or Engineering. And the Associates degree only allows Pre calc or higher for the degree in any science.

@DanielM

Someone actually just showed me Khan Academy. I'm using it to refresh my memory on math.
I didn't really have trouble with Algebra 1 or 2 it's just Geometry and Trig that screwed me up.

Has anyone ever used the "for Dummies" books for help in a subject?
thatguitarguy  
25 Oct 2012 11:16 | Quote
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
I love khan academy. greatest site I have found for physics/math explanations.
Guitarslinger124  
25 Oct 2012 20:56 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
Lessons: 12
Licks: 42
Karma: 38
Moderator
Right now I'm close to an A.A.S. in General Engineering, so when I'm done that I'll be working on my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
DarkRiff  
25 Oct 2012 21:38 | Quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
United States
Licks: 2
Karma: 12
Wow, everyone that has replied has studied some form of engineering or holds an interest in it.
Is there some association between engineering and guitars? haha
btimm  
26 Oct 2012 21:38 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 16
I didn't find calculus challenging really at all. At my university, it was a requirement to take Calculus I, II, and III, as well as matrices and differential equations. Honestly, the professor can make or break the difficult level in any class. But if you work hard, and I imagine you will, there is no reason to doubt yourself. It is people who are unwilling to put in the effort that need to be worried.

Most challenging class I ever took in my 6.5 years of getting two degrees? My junior year working on my BS, I had to take nuclear physics. Far and away the most challenging class I ever had.

Also, most people don't understand how to study. Forget memorization if you can. Yes, of course you will need to memorize some things, but if you learn why things are the way the are, remembering and learning become infinitely easier. Remember that.
DarkRiff  
26 Oct 2012 22:48 | Quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
United States
Licks: 2
Karma: 12
@btimm

I get what ya mean. Especially when it comes to who's teaching.

I had a teacher who knew math in and out but couldn't teach it very well. I remember we were going over sine waves and no one in the class was getting it. Then he was out for a day and the substitute taught us the same concept and we all passed that section. Plus my high school Chemistry teacher was a video (The school was/is unaccredited so they can do that). Everyday we had to watch a teacher on a DVD try to teach us Chemistry, which I think is partly responsible for my getting a D in that class.

I do plan to try hard though (especially with the math). Which is partly why I'm trying to re-teach my self geometry and trig.

Did/do any of you guys have to work a part time job while attending college? I'm certainly will have too.
btimm  
26 Oct 2012 23:58 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 16
I did not for undergrad and was quite thankful for that. For my MS, I had a GA, and I worked 20 hours per week for the Department of Radiation Safety, while going to school. One thing for my particular discipline that I noted was the significant reduction in HW for my graduate degree vs undergrad, so that helped.

If you must work, try your best to find a job that will allow you to be able to do homework or study while working. When my wife did her graduate work, she worked helping people find temporary work. As a result, more than half her day was spent doing homework. That won't work for eveyrone, but it will for some.

I take that back though, I did work 4-8 hours per week my first two years in college either between 12am-4am or 4am-8am at the front desk in my dorm. I studied and did homework then obviously and that gave me some money for some, ummm, particular liquids.


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