Should I choose a career in Physics or Chemistry?I'm at the end of high school, and still undecided about my future studies. I love both Physics and Chemistry, and tend to work well at school in...

Should I choose a career in Physics or Chemistry?

I'm at the end of high school, and still undecided about my future studies. I love both Physics and Chemistry, and tend to work well at school in both. I wish to do my masters and eventually PhD and get into research and academia. What are the merits of doing Physics or Chemistry? What is it like to be a physicist? Or  a chemist? Please help!

Expert Answers
jerichorayel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If I were to suggest it would be beneficial if you would pursue Chemistry.

Apparently you have made an option for two very related sciences. along the course of which ever path you've choses, you will encounter the subjects to be similar. for example you have taken physics you will still have chemistry subjects along the way though your concentration would be more physical but the topics would be chemical. and if you're gonna do a thesis you should be familiar with the chemistry part of your work.
If you would pursue chemistry, there are lots of physical science topics that ranges from thermo to quantum though your approach would be more chemistry type. However you are more likely to be focused on the industry rather on theoretical.

there's no such things as "easier area" because in either way you really should work hard to get a degree.

i personally shoose chemistry because i would want to deal more with the chemical aspects of life. and i found out that there are plenty of universities that offer financial assistance in my dessertation (btw im focusing on computational chemistry, more math than physics).

1. chemistry has visible reactions, physics is more on how things work

2. chemistry wants to know the effects of the reaction to a system(e.g humans) physics deals with the nano level of the particles and how they are working in quantum mechanics

3. both have rigid calculations.

4. chemistry is more on life physics is more on the movements of life.

5. both focuses on the atoms, molecules and compounds

6. you cannot take physics without chem and chem without physics.


ps. better take a chemistry degree and pursue a physics maters :)

hope this helps

jihyunkim67 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like the post #4 said, I agree that you don't need to make a life decision at the end of your high school career. There are multiple pathways you can take that require knowledge in both Chemistry and Physics so if you are passionate about both subjects, you can easily choose to take further college classes in both fields of studies. Both careers have their strengths and weaknesses so rather than making a definate choice, I would suggest you to take more time and learn more in both areas until you are sure of your own choice.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would go into college and take classes in both and see if that leads to any discovery.  It's great that you are focused and have a plan, but you college level classes will be much different than high school in all probability.  You will have plenty of time in college to get it figured out, and if you change your mind along the way you will be part of the vast majority of college students who change their majors.  Enjoy the journey.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If  I were you I wouldn't feel too obligated to make a decision until I had been in college for a little while. In college you will have access to a lot of resources and people who can give you the information and insights you need to make a good choice. Sometimes just taking one class in a field is enough to help a person make a decision.

William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like #5 I think you should wait a bit before making a career choice. College is the best place to decide on a career. You can take courses in both physics and chemistry and see (1) how you like each subject, and (2) how you do in each. As lentzk says, "You will have plenty of time in college to get it figured out...."

astrosonuthird | Student

Take physics, physics is the best branch.


I like astrophysics and I want to become an astronaut.


loveranimal | Student

the one in which u are intrested more and good

appaerently i would prefer chemistry

manishamishra | Student

the feild you should choose must depend on your likings and passion i am also a student and hv taken science.the same thing occured with me when in class 8 when  i was supposed to choose bio or computer i was best in both the subjects and i loved to study both of them but taking both was impossible so i just  thought finally about my aim and that showed me the subject which i should take.same as that i would recommend you to first decide your aim and then take any further step.