Do I really want to go into engineering?

<p>So I am a rising Senior in High school. I have already decided what I would do for the rest of my life. I am going to be a professor. Why? I see no point in doing research in the private sector. I feel that the research done in the private sector is geared towards making people money. I just do not feel appealed to that. If I will be doing something, I would rather do something that benefits others. That comes with teaching and doing research. Research in academia usually has a less aggressive agenda than in the private sector. I really like that idea. Sure, the pay is terrible for a professor, but why live life saving up money? I would rather learn all that I can and pass it on to the next generation. Now, this is where my dilemma comes it. </p>

<p>I was planning on double majoring in computer science and electrical engineering. I already have a taste of what computer science is like. I started teaching myself C++ when I was 11 and continue to program. I have started assembly middle of my Junior year and that is where EE comes in. I was never that high level programming type of my. I like the nitty gritty side of the low level. I just like making everything from scratch. </p>

<p>In college, I just want to learn all that I can. If time allows, I want to take classes in all fields of science from astrodynamics to quantum mechanics. I want to be enlightened. It is hard to describe how I feel, it is like this obsession to understand the clockworks of the universe. But with an engineering major, I probably will not have time to take classes outside Physics. I am applying to a few liberal art schools to leave that option of CS and Physics double major open. </p>

<p>Oh, and I am clearly aware of the workload. I do not plan on having a social life.</p>

<p>I am just this kid out on his own island of thought. Anyone have any advice?</p>

<p>You could plan on taking some subjects outside of your research area a few years after obtaining tenure, perhaps.</p>

<p>Wouldn't that be awkward? Just having a professor taking a class along side the students?</p>

<p>Actually pay is great as a prof in engineering. Not sure why you think otherwise- academics in professional schools earn considerably more than those in other fields. </p>

<p>You can't decide your career yet, certainly not an academic one. How can you know already you love doing research? </p>

<p>The pressures of industry are different than those of pure research, but it's still pressure. In either you can 'do good' and contribute in a meaningful way, or just take a focus to benefit your own person it's all about the choices you make.</p>

<p>Assembly is annoying. C pretty much replaced assembly except for very specific applications. Why double major when you can just go into Computer Engineering and go to graduate school for either CS or EE? Double majoring seems like a big waste of time and effort if you're just going to grad school for one of them. Well I guess that's how I look at it. One of my professors double majored in CS and EE and now specializes in embedded systems (no surprise there haha). But if you want a flavor of both without overworking yourself, go for CE as an undergrad. It seems like there are more CE majors at my school than CS. I'm a CS.</p>

<p>Hey starbright, how much do professors of engineering make, roughly? My dad is a physics professor that makes roughly 130k/year after 20 years in the job. How much would the equivalent engineering professor make?</p>

<p>OP i totally understand how you feel. I want to major in so many things and learn so much that i too consider becoming a professor. As for private sector vs research as a professor, a lot of private sector jobs do their research for the government. Thats how the computer was made and perfected. Just try not to decide what to do too early. Go to college, learn all you can, finish your bachelors and go from there. I know that at Berkeley CS (not EECS) is in the college of letters and science, so you have a lot of freedom to take other classes that interest you instead of the rigid schedule you have to take in college of engineering</p>

<p>Well, if I want to be a professor, I would have to decide at my age. Even getting into a PHD program will need a lot of research during my under grad years. Well, considering the fact that being a professor requires dedication and perseverance. All day everyday dedicated to research. To even get tenure, it is more publishing. I've heard there is a lot of politics too in academia. But there is politics anywhere I work.</p>

<p>David, you need to take it one step at a time. Before becoming a professor you need to complete a good grad program, before you can do that you need to do some research at the undergrad level, and before you can do THAT you need to have a couple of years with really good grades in a quality undergrad program. So concentrate for now on getting into a good program and then getting a really good GPA - this will be good for you even if (like the majority of college students) your life goals change while in school. You are not likely to do much worthwhile research before your junior year, and few professors would want you in their lab unless you have a pretty high GPA. Take it one step at a time and make sure you are keeping the future steps in your sights.</p>

<p>As a quick aside, you do seem to have some conflicting goals - you seem to crave a great deal of breadth in your education, but graduate education and becoming a professor are all about progressively narrowing your field of investigation until you can finally find something narrow and new about which you can become the world expert.</p>

<p>I would also caution you against minors or double majors - most grad programs won't care about them, and the extra breadth they provide is generally not worth the extra work, especially when that extra work costs you time, money, grades, or research opportunities.</p>

<p>Regarding good undergrad programs. Would you consider LACs a viable option? They do have CS, and they do have good grad school placement, but I am not sure on their research. I know that St Olaf has research in massively parallel processing, which is one of my interests. I am also looking at College of Wooster.</p>