What Are My Job Prospects
The study of chemistry provides global work opportunities. Chemistry underpins understanding and progress in almost every sphere of science, technology and industry. It also makes a vital contribution to the economy, commerce and industry.
While many careers involve graduates using their chemistry skills directly, many employment destinations do not involve doing chemistry on a day-to-day basis. Not all chemists wear white coats!
Instead, employers value the generic problem solving skills of chemistry graduates, and graduates use their talents in a variety of career areas such as: scientists, educators, project managers, consultants, patent attorneys, entrepreneurs, sales/service people, policy makers, analysts, writers, editors.
Find out more about careers and read some of our graduate profiles.
What Can You Do With A Chemistry Degree
Chemistry will open the doors to countless careers, both in the lab and out of it, and people who have studied chemistry are employed in many sectors, including medicine research, manufacturing, and education.
Chemical scientists have a higher employment rate than students of other subjects, and they tend to be paid more too up to 15 per cent higher in some cases! Over 70 per cent of chemistry students will enter a professional or managerial role when they have finished their studies and double the UK average go on to further study. *
Common career choices for chemistry students are:
- law such as a solicitor or legal secretary
- food science e.g. using titration to determine how much salt or sugar is in a product
* data from Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017 RSC membership annual report
What Types Of Chemistry Degree Are There
At most universities, you can either choose to do a three-year BSc degree or a four-year MChem/MSci degree . The first two or three years of BSc and MChem/MSci degrees are often the same. The fourth year of MChem/MSci courses generally consists of a large quantity of more advanced material that isnt studied in a BSc course. For this reason, entry requirements for MChem/MSci courses are usually higher.
Some courses include a year spent working in a certain industry, which often involves an independent research project. This can help you to decide which area to pursue after graduation.
If youre planning to apply to the University of Cambridge, be aware that it doesn’t offer chemistry as a single honours course. Instead, it offers natural sciences, a four-year degree that covers chemistry, biology, physics and optional modules in a range of other sciences. However, you can choose to specialise in chemistry after your first year.
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Courses For A Chemistry Minor
If youre fascinated by chemistry but dont want to pursue it as a major, you may be able to earn a chemistry minor. Combining a chemistry minor with a major like biology, business, or medicine can help your employment prospects, as youll have a broader range of specialized skills to draw from.
Schools that offer a minor in chemistry typically require the completion of 6-8 chemistry coursessome at the 100-level, some in 200- or 300-level courses. For example, North Central College offers a minor in chemistry. Requirements include General Chemistry I & II, Chemical Analysis, and 10 more credit hours in chemistry courses at the 200-level or above.
Getting The Perfect Score
I cant do it. I just cant do it. Not everyone is smart enough to get an A in Chemistry.
How many times have you heard a variation of the above? You can replace Chemistry with any subject or activity you are attempting to master, and youll find the same thing: many people limit themselves in what they can accomplish.
In academics we have the barrier of intelligence. The worst theory to ever come out of psychology is that each of our brains is wired for some specific task. Some of us are gifted with math, some art, some languages. Weve all heard left and right-brained learners. Rather than the blank slate, we imagine that each of us was conceived and birthed with a list of attributes that would eventually decide whether we wound up as chemists or fashion designers.
Well thats not the case.
Your brain is an elastic piece of equipment. Whatever you want to learn to do, whatever task it is that you want to master, you can. You just have to know how to do it.
I preach hard work on this website because its the key ingredient to getting anything done. But in the world of academia, particularly if youre trying to learn a difficult subject, its not enough to just work hard.
You also have to work in the right direction.
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Which Major Is Better For Med School: Biology Or Biochemistry
To some, it may seem intimidating and like something that only happens in beakers on Bunsen burners in controlled labs. That is not so. Chemistry is all around you. From the fibers that wick away moisture in your clothing to the purified water in your bottle, chemistry can be found in nearly every part of our modern life.
There are many reasons for studying this fascinating subject. Whether or not you are planning on pursuing a career in chemistry, the study of this diverse subject can be rewarding on many levels. There are many advantages of studying chemistry.
Take Advantage Of Lab Time
When it comes to understanding and learning chemistry, there is no substitute for hands-on experience, and there is no better way to get this experience than by attending chemistry labs. Take every opportunity presented to work in the lab. Working through chemistry problems and conducting chemistry experiments in a practical environment will strengthen your understanding and knowledge of chemistry.
Best Reasons Why You Should Study Biochemistry
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should study Biochemistry arranged in no particular order
Biochemistry is a broad field of study. Although it is seen as just the study of life processes at the molecular level, it finds wide application in various areas like Pharmacy, Medicine, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Industries, Bioremediation, water treatment, food management, etc. Gaining knowledge of Biochemistry is a huge achievement that has monetary gain if properly utilized and applied. Also, youll develop a deeper understanding of the fundamental processes of life at the molecular and cellular levels with a key focus on areas like virology, neuroscience, biodiversity, and bacteriology. Youll explore other relevant areas like pharmacology, immunology, and toxicology in your final years of study. These will give you a deeper understanding of the course and allow you to specialize in your area of passion. Youll also get the opportunity to work with a project supervisor to carry out your scientific research, thoroughly analyzing protocols, literature, and data.
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Chemistry Is Used In The Food Industry
Cooking and food production are chemical reactions, so it makes sense that chemistry would apply to this field. Food chemists work on improving food safety, which is a matter of life and death. In America alone, the CDC estimates that 48 million people get sick from food each year, while about 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses. Chemists also often work on developing new methods for storage and preservation, so food has a longer shelf life.
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Being Interested In Chemistry Opens Up Career Options
Chemistry is a broad field. Having an interest and understanding of chemistry opens many doors. Well go over some of those options later on, but for now, just know that chemistry can help your job search in a big way. Even if you dont work as a chemist, the skills learned through studying the subject apply to fields like the food industry, publishing, education, and more.
What Should I Study If I Want To Study Chemistry
To study chemistry at university, its highly advisable to take chemistry at school. While not all universities require prior study in chemistry, the vast majority would see it as a must-have. Most universities assume prior knowledge of the basics of chemistry, and university level courses may not include some of the chemistry basics taught in school.
Its also essential to have a strong grounding in maths. Chemistry students need to learn and use complicated equations when carrying out experiments, so most universities require applicants to study mathematics up to the start of university. On top of chemistry and maths, some universities also favour a second science subject. The overlap of biology and physics with chemistry makes them useful subjects to be familiar with when studying chemistry.
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Do I Need To Be Good At Maths To Study Chemistry
Maths is an integral part of chemistry, and you will use it throughout your studies. However, not all courses will require you to have a qualification higher than GCSE or Scottish Standard Grade. Many providers will offer support and chances to improve your skills through further study.
Chat now to Violet who can tell you all about it.
Benefits Of Studying Chemistry
Chemistry is one of the three core sciences, and breakthroughs in the field have truly changed our world. The things we have built modern society with, such as medicine, food technology, and the battery technology that will drive our transition to green energy, have all needed the knowledge of a chemist.
Studying chemistry at a prestigious university puts you at the forefront of scientific breakthroughs and can lead to an exciting career in the future.
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Bringing It All Together
What The Future Holds For Biochemistry
As stated earlier, Biochemistry is an emerging field, and the numerous fields in it are certainly going places. Genomics is one of the most closely related biochemistry fields that has a long-term implication for clinical and drug development workflows. For instance, Genome sequencing is causing a revolution in early diagnosis- a mouth-watering breakthrough in the biochemistry world that can skyrocket the development of new therapies for a wide range of health conditions.
More so, with more biochemical research being amplified by the rapid advancement in machine learning and artificial intelligence, the ability to explore other forsaken areas of biochemistry is now made possible. Biochemistry provides biochemical explanations for all life processes at the cellular and molecular level. A biochemist is a professional specialized in studying the chemistry of living processes and systems.
A thorough study of the chemistry of living systems shows that enzymes are responsible for catalyzing the biochemical reactions that take place in living cells. Most drugs act by blocking the metabolism of unwanted compounds in the body or inhibiting enzymes activities in living cells. Scientists and researchers in biochemistry have taken advantage of the differences between disease-causing germs and their host organisms to design potent drugs that kill these germs without harming the animal harboring them.
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You Want Flexible Job Prospects
Everyone needs materials scientists. Aerospace, petroleum, architecture, semiconductor, and automotive industries obviously need materials scientists, but they arent the only ones. Because materials scientists are trained to learn new information quickly, many companies are willing to hire materials scientists from other backgrounds because they can quickly learn the new industry.
Even within traditional materials science fields like pure metallurgy, ceramics, or polymers, there is a high demand for materials scientists. I realized the extent of this when I attended a materials science camp sponsored in part by Pepsi.
Why would Pepsi need materials scientists? Pepsi sells billions of cans each year. Sure, they buy those cans from another company, but as materials science improves, the cost of those cans decreases. Pepsi also has machines to mix their products together and buildings that house those machines. Materials science can provide cheaper lighting and improved insulation for the buildings, and cheaper, longer-lasting equipment. Regardless of what Pepsi produces in-house and what they buy from other companies, improvements in materials science helps the company.
There is not a single industry that is untouched by materials science, so if you want a degree valued by Pepsi, Boeing, Tesla, Intel, Nestle, Exxon Mobil, or Apple, materials science is the major for you.
What else can materials scientists do? They can work on . . .
Chemistry Today And In The Future
Nations around the world are increasing their investment in science and technology. Australia’s initiatives are indicative of future directions. See the Australian government’s strategic research investment initiative ‘Industry & Science‘.
Chemical discoveries and their applications have played a pivotal role in the advancement of humankind, and will continue to have a profound impact on health, the environment, industry, agriculture, science and technology.
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Chemistry As The Foundation To A Students Career
Even if a student doesnt pursue chemistry directly , having a strong foundation in the subject can positively impact their performance in many other fields. Any STEM-related field will require at least general chemistry, if not organic chemistry and beyond. While this may make following a STEM career path seem daunting, chemistry can be a fun and exciting science to learn.
In fact, STEM-educated graduates are in high demand across many industries. Job growth in STEM fields is on the rise year-over-year, and often pays above median salaries due to the specialized knowledge and skills its pursuants are required to develop. Many industries seek out chemists for a variety of roles whether working in chemical research or production, or applying chemistry knowledge and skills to other functions. Plus, chemistry graduates bring along many critical thinking skills developed from their studies that make them desirable as professionals, from robust analytical skills to traits like adaptability, perseverance.
STEM majors typically start with general chemistry and, over time, can take more specialized courses like organic, inorganic, and/or biochemistry. These courses take students deeper into the foundational concepts that power us and the world around us.
Non-majors headed for humanities degrees are required to study chemistry at the introductory level. Again, this is key for helping build strong analytical skills and a well-rounded education.
Reasons Why Chemistry Is Important
Put simply, chemistry is the study of matter. This branch of science involves identifying different substances contained in matter and how they interact and change. Even people who dont work as chemists engage with chemistry: its everywhere. Here are 10 reasons why chemistry is important in our world:
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How To Study Chemistry
Chemistry typically overlaps with other scientific disciplines. Common modules studied on a chemistry degree include organic chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical methods and maths in chemistry. At the undergraduate level, students often choose electives in their first year, which will inform their dissertation topic and possibly lead to further study. Specialisations may include biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, astrochemistry and nuclear chemistry.
Teaching is made up of lectures, tutorials and practical lab sessions, which cover organic and inorganic synthesis and using analysis to work out an element or compounds concentration.
Many universities offer students a three-year BSc degree or a four-year MChem/MSci degree . Some courses give students the option to spend a year in industry, which includes an independent research project alongside full-time work.
Jump In With Both Feet
As with other challenging subjects, including biology, jumping in with both feet is key to your success studying and learning chemistry. Partial efforts don’t cut it. Decided now that you’re going to succeed in chemistry and that you’re going to give it your all.
The following are links to other study skills resources we recommend for chemistry students.
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Chemistry Careers In Healthcare
Healthcare careers for chemists are once again largely based in laboratories, although increasingly there is opportunity to work at the point of care, helping with patient investigation. Often called clinical biochemistry or healthcare science, your tasks will be to in order to aid in the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of disease and illness.
Although some roles will require clinical expertise , many scientific roles in healthcare simply require scientists to liaise with clinicians in order to interpret patients test results, acting as support in diagnosis and assessment. While chemists are unable to advise on medical treatment, their work is vital in ensuring results are accurate, root causes are found, reports are accurately kept, and research is applied.
If you pursue healthcare careers in chemistry, youll likely be working as part of a team comprised of fellow chemists, biochemists, biologists, clinicians and pathologists.
Chemistry In The Home Field
A background in chemistry, either from a few classes or as a minor, can help you in everyday situations. Chemistry is lurking in your kitchen cupboards and under the bathroom sink. If you mix bleach and ammonia, the chemical reaction of the two cleaners creates toxic vapors called chloramines. These can create watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and other respiratory irritations when they are inhaled.
Mixing baking soda with vinegar causes the two kitchen staples to erupt in a powerful but explosive mix. The acetic acid in the vinegar reacts to the sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda. Hydrogen ions form when the two materials meet and form carbonic acid. The carbonic acid then begins to compose into bubbling water and carbon dioxide gas.
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