I like to believe that you can make anything out of your life that
you want, so long as you're willing to work hard for it. In your case,
it sounds to me like your biggest difficulty in finding any
is going to be overqualification, if anything. In the end, though, I
think your chances of finding a good job in engineering based solely on
a physics degree are going to depend mostly on three things:
(1) What area of engineering you're looking to be involved with.
For example, a degree in physics will put you in better stead if you
are looking for a job in applied mechanics than in computer science.
(2) Where you choose to focus your physics education. For example,
if you decide to place your emphasis on theoretical particle physics,
you probably won't have as much success in finding a directly related
career in industry as if you choose to focus on an area like fluid
mechanics, however the mathematical and reasoning skills you develop in
either case will be very useful for almost any career you choose.
(3) How much patience you have during your job search.
All in all, though, I think it's most important for you to consider
what exactly you want to do and how you plan to accomplish it. Once you
know what area of engineering you want to focus on, you can determine
what skills are going to be important. So long as you ensure that you
develop those skills (and make sure your potential employers know you
have done so!), it won't matter as much what is written on the piece of
paper that is your degree.
Think of physics as the foundation upon which you will build the specific career you are interested in.
(republished on 07/13/06)