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While being a student a physics professor told me:

"Study physics now. Because later when you have a job, you might get paid to learn using some software tool or a new programming language. But no company will ever send you into a quantum mechanics lecture. "

He was right.

Oddly enough, I received similar advice from my parents, 35 years ago when I started college. This was of course just at the dawn of the personal computer age. My mom was teaching programming at a nearby college, and she literally thought that programming was too easy to spend 4 years learning in the classroom. People were getting programming jobs after one year in her course. Also, nobody had any idea where the industry, or the economy, were headed.

Both of my parents started their careers as scientists in industry after getting graduate degrees in the 50s. They saw people with science background being able to go into practically anything, including programming, business, entrepreneurship, and so forth.

I learned programming in high school, and fell in love with it, but I had an internship at a computer facility, and also looked ahead at the typical CS curriculum. It all seemed terribly boring. So I majored in math and physics. Oddly enough, the people who were doing things with computers, that interested me, were in the physics department. I developed the ability to design computerized electronics for measurement and control systems -- which became my career. This was even before "embedded systems" was widely taught in EE departments.

But realistically, a large portion of the software industry today does not require people with a science background. What I don't know is if I'd still find it boring.

Perhaps my parents' attitude was along the line of "you can do anything with a liberal arts education," but with the stipulation that the liberal arts include math and science.

> no company will ever send you into a quantum mechanics lecture

I bet D-Wave has some interesting quantum mechanics lectures!

If you make enough money, you can send yourself.

No he wasn't. At the google X labs we had a quantum mechanics lecture from a guest speaker, literally only a couple of months back.

1 lecture at arguably undergrad level vs. 30 lectures (2 semesters) of grad level qm

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