Vast career opportunities in Chemistry

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Vijay Garg

As if choosing the degree weren’t hard enough, you’re eventually going to have to choose a career path which holds its own circus of questions. A chemistry degree is a golden key that grants access to seemingly infinite professional possibilities.
Take time and think about your experiences. What did you enjoy most about your studies? What experiments or research truly intrigued you? What bridges the divide between who you are as a person and who you are a student? If you had the chance to do an internship, what did you value about it? Who did you meet?
Start developing a sense of what you want. Look at your network. See who among your contacts might have access to companies, laboratories or roles that fit your “passion point.” Use your honed study skills to become an expert of the search. The key is to analyze the market and find a way to turn yourself into a category expert that will easily differentiate yourself from all other candidates seeking a position in your chosen category.”
Become a student of your quest to find fit, and invite input starting with your own sense of what you want and then expanding out to your network.
Job Search Tips for Chemistry Majors
Continuing Education and Certifications
Chemical professionals can be divided into five main sectors: industry, academia, government, non-profit, and entrepreneurship. While some of these roles do not require advanced degrees, many of them do.
Many chemistry majors choose to attend graduate school, which can be free for graduate students who teach or complete research.
Higher education is always an opportunity to further your knowledge of the industry and make yourself a more competitive applicant when applying for jobs. For example, many scientist roles require a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Biophysics, Biochemistry, or related field. You can obtain an Associate Chemist role in a lab with a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.
Continuing Education and Certifications
Most Common Jobs for Chemistry Majors
The applied areas of chemistry can range from agriculture to astrochemistry to nuclear. However, here are the most common jobs across disciplines:
Chemistry Teacher
You will be responsible for following the curriculum and ensuring your students understand the coursework. Along with designing lesson plans, you will assign and grade homework, schedule tests/ quizzes and work one-on-one with students as needed. It’s important that you enjoy working with others and are willing to invest yourself in the success of your students!
Quality Control Chemist
Quality control chemists are essential to laboratory function. As a QCC, you oversee and assist in calibrating all laboratory events, documentation and archiving. Further, the QCC is responsible for training new lab personnel as well as all quality control functions as needed. Chemical engineers must be creative and innovative in their research of product quality. They must have strong analytical skills as well as communication skills to relay information to outside parties.
Doctor
Doctors obviously require extra degrees after Bachelor’s, depending on the area of study. With a full comprehension on the medical world, doctors also need to be able to juggle a handful of tasks flawlessly as well as relay information to nurses, patients and staff alike. This is a high-pressure, high-risk role, which is indicative by its competitive hiring field and salary.
Forensic Scientist
Forensic scientists see a wide range of work environments, from the laboratory, the field and professional meetings. Adaptability is the operative characteristic. They must be able to employ scientific concepts in their research and investigate problems to identify the cause. Along with the foundational responsibilities, forensic scientists should be able to collaborate on projects and participate when possible to enlighten.

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