If you have an interest in both physics and business, you might be wondering which would make for the better major. This post will show you advantages and disadvantages of each and which major would be more appropriate.
At a glance:
|Ease of finding a job||Moderate||Moderate|
|Types of jobs|
you can qualify for
|Difficulty of the|
|Key things to note|
A general degree. This can
make it difficult to qualify
for specialized jobs that
Can improve your job
prospects by double majoring with
something more specialized
such as finance or computer
Can make for a good minor.
A difficult major.
Very employable if
you combine it with
a more applied minor
such as computer
Also employable if
you combine it with
data analysis skills.
Source for physics pay and jobs
There are many things to consider when choosing between the two degrees. There are also alternative degrees that you might want to consider and there are some things you should consider doing when you choose either of the degrees.
Details about a degree in business administration
Below are some details about a degree in business administration.
According to Payscale, the average salary of a person with a degree in business administration is $66,127. This is lower than the average pay of someone with a degree in physics which is reported as being $86,600. This is likely to be because a physics degree can qualify you for more high-paying jobs, such as a data scientist, especially if it is combined with something such as computer science.
A business administration major will have you taking classes in a range of disciplines including business, finance, accounting, and economics. As a result, a business degree is a somewhat general degree that is not specialized for a particular type of job except for business administration. This means that the degree can qualify you for a large number of jobs. However, you will often be less competitive than people who have degrees related to that specific job.
While it can be difficult to compete with people who have degrees related to specific job roles, you can improve your job prospects by getting internships, completing projects and learning skills related to the specific job that you are interested in.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in business administration can include:
- Project Manager
- Marketing manager
- Account manager
- Operations manager
- Financial analyst
Overall, a business administration degree will usually be relatively easy when compared with alternative degrees such as finance, economics and accounting. The reason for this is that, being a general degree, you will not be taking many specialized classes that tend to be more difficult that other majors would include in their junior and senior years.
When compared with a physics major, you can expect a business degree to be much easier.
Classes you can expect to study
In a business administration degree, you can expect to take the following classes:
You can also expect to have the option to take other business classes as your degree requirement and the ability to take any classes in your electives. It would help to consider what job you are most interested in and to choose your electives accordingly.
If you are interested in a business administration degree, there are some alternatives that you might also want to consider such as:
Things to consider
As mentioned above, a degree in business administration can be quite general which can make it difficult to qualify for specific jobs. With that being the case, it would likely help a lot to minor in another field that is more specialized such as finance or computer science. A double major would also be an option if you are willing and able to put in the extra time. Alternatively, you could major in the more applied field and minor in business administration instead.
Regardless, you will be able to drastically improve your job prospects if you learn skills related to the job you are interested in, take classes related to the job you are interested in, complete related projects, and get internships in that field.
Details about a physics degree
Below are some details about a degree in physics.
According to Payscale, the average pay of someone with a bachelor’s degree in physics is $86,600.
However, something to be aware of is that the average pay of someone fresh out of college, with no work experience, will likely be a lot lower than that.
On average, the job opportunities for someone graduating with a physics degree will likely be higher than the job opportunities with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. But, it can still be difficult for physics majors to find jobs and there are alternative degrees that can give better job opportunities such as computer science and engineering.
A physics degree can give access to a wide range of job opportunities. However, a physics degree can be quite general in nature and it can be difficult to find a job with just a bachelor’s degree in physics. However, this will depend a lot on the classes that you choose to take. You can also greatly improve your job prospects by minoring in something more applied such as computer science, completing programming projects and getting summer internships.
Jobs that you could get with a bachelor’s degree in physics could include:
- Software engineer
- Data scientist
- Data analyst
- Mechanical engineer
Physics can give good job opportunities if you combine it with more practical skills. Currently, data science is a popular career path for physics majors. If you are interested in data science, it would help to learn programming, data analysis, machine learning to complete data science projects and to take a number of computer science classes including data structures and algorithms.
A physics degree can also be a very difficult degree and you will have to put a lot of time into the degree. A physics degree will involve a lot more math than business administration and the actual physics classes can be difficult. Overall, you should expect the degree to require a lot more time than a business administration degree.
You can expect to take math classes such as:
- Differential calculus
- Integral calculus
- Multivariate calculus
- Differential equations
- Linear algebra
- Partial differential equations
In addition you can expect to have the option to take more math classes if you would like. You might also have the option to take some classes from related disciplines such as statistics, engineering and computer science.
You can also expect to take multiple physics classes including:
Introduction to physics
Mechanics and waves
Electricity and magnetism
You can look here to see an example of required classes in a physics degree.
Differences between a degree in physics and business administration
Below are some of the key differences between the two degrees.
A physics degree will be more demanding
A physics degree will involve a lot more mathematics than a business degree. Also, the junior and senior-level classes can be very difficult. As a result, you can expect a physics degree to be a lot more difficult and time-demanding than a business undergraduate degree.
A physics degree should involve more programming
Also, most physics degrees will usually require that you take some classes from computer science. As a result, a physics degree can better prepare you for programming related job roles than a business administration degree. These jobs tend to be high in demand with good pay and job satisfaction.
However, it would still be important to make sure to take additional programming and computer science classes as electives if you want a programming type role. Getting a minor in computer science could also go a long way in improving your job prospects after graduating.
Both degrees can give better prospects if combined with a more applied minor
In both cases, supplementing the degree with a more applied minor related to the type of job you want would help a lot. It would also help a lot to try to complete projects related to the job you are interested in and to try to get summer internships while you are an undergraduate.
It would serve you well to really take the time now to research the types of jobs you think you would be interested in and what sorts of classes you should be taking for those jobs. One thing that could help would be to talk with recruiters for that job role and to ask what they look for in terms of classes, projects, internships and the most common major.
Overall, I would recommend majoring in physics over business administration most of the time. This is mainly because the bigger focus on mathematics and also some computer science will help you when applying to jobs and graduate programs if you also choose the relevant electives for that graduate program or job. It would also likely greatly improve your job prospects if you were to supplement it with a minor in computer science.
If you do decide to major in business, it would help a lot to take some classes in programming and data analysis since it will help you a lot in your job search after graduating. It would also help to consider the type of job that you are interested in and to take the relevant classes for that particular job. Another thing that would likely help a lot would be to minor in finance or computer science since they are more specialized with good job prospects.