When I choose to study as a degree of physics and applied physics, I know there’s no return way if I feel it’s too tough for me. I was selecting from two choices, Aerospace Engineering, which is the first choice (because it is rather close to my ambition, Astronomer). Unfortunately, I failed to get the Aerospace Engineering in NTU, but in Malaysia’s University. Somehow, I selected to study in NTU as Physics and Applied Physics.
In second year of study, I was given options to choose the major I would like to take, either Pure Physics or Applied Physics. I have chosen Applied Physics, which I think it would be more applicable in my future prospect. What’s the difference between Pure and Applied?
On year 3 onwards, Applied Physics student can start to specialise certain concentrations by taking some required modules. Such concentrations are Nanotechnology, Biophysics, Optical Technology, and Semiconductor technology. However, for Pure Physics students, they have only nanotechnology as their concentration.
Back to talk about my ambition, an Astronomer. Astrophysics is a course which is a direct way for a student who has a great enthusiasm toward Astronomy. However, NTU does not provide such course (or degree). Or I can say, none of university in Singapore, and South East Asia. In order to enable myself to approach Astronomy, I have to study into that myself, and concentrate in Optical Technology which can be somehow related to Astronomy field, such as astrophotography. That is what I think, by taking degree of Physics and Applied Physics, I can approach Astronomy field even faster than the Aerospace Engineering.
Recently, I’m following a professor to do research which is mainly on nanotech as well as optics. He assigned two mentors to monitor me, so that I can learn from them. I appreciate the time learning from the way they study and do research. Spending time sitting in the office together with my mentors, I can feel their enthusiastic of exploring the field they are in to gain knowledge through reading papers, journals and other publications. I’m learning the way they study as a graduate students or researchers.
What is the job prospect of having degree of Applied Physics? Researcher. I am keen to be a researcher, just like what Astronomer do. They are mainly researching too. What reason else? Research is a whole life career. Rather than relying on a company or an industry, researcher can still be independent on the career even after retirement.