Which Paths Can A Chemistry Degree Bring To Your Future?

Career possibilities in science and technology are expanding at an unprecedented rate throughout the world, and individuals who study chemistry or another natural science at university today have greater job chances than ever before.

Chemistry is the study of all things chemical – chemical processes, chemical compositions, and chemical manipulation – to better understand how materials are constructed, how they change and how they respond in different contexts. With a molecular grasp of chemistry, chemistry graduates may use their knowledge in nearly limitless ways. 

What can you do with a chemistry degree?

Those that study chemistry go on to perform a variety of fascinating things in a variety of sectors. Among notable chemistry grads are NASA astronaut Story Musgrave and Marie Curie, the pioneering scientist who developed the idea of radioactivity. Essentially, the opportunities for chemistry grads are limitless.

What can you do with a chemistry degree
What can you do with a chemistry degree

Research

Chemistry graduates have several opportunities to use their expertise in a variety of research fields, including chemical engineering, chemical and allied businesses, healthcare, and more. Research jobs are more diverse than they look, as there are many different motivations to undertake research and many various locations in which to perform it. You may work in a university, combining research and teaching; a pharmaceutical firm, discovering and testing new drugs; or a public-sector research centre, ensuring national healthcare provision keeps up with new findings. 

While the role of a research scientist varies, the majority of chemical research professions are centred in labs, where research is carried out by teams using scientific techniques and standards. Chemistry specialists do a wide range of research, including the discovery of novel medicines and vaccines, better knowledge of environmental concerns, and the creation of new chemical goods and materials.

Chemical engineering

Chemical engineers are employed in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, energy, water treatment, plastics, toiletries, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage. Processes vary within each of these sectors, but chemistry and chemical engineering jobs are prevalent and are directly engaged in the design, development, production, and manufacturing of chemical goods and materials. Chemical engineers are usually charged with designing and developing novel chemical processes, frequently integrating other sophisticated and emerging scientific fields such as nanotechnology or biomedical engineering.

Chemical engineering
Chemical engineering

Chemical engineers guarantee the effectiveness and safety of chemical processes, modify the chemical composition of goods to suit environmental or economic requirements, scale up chemical processes for production, and apply new technologies to enhance current processes. It is important to note that, while undergraduate chemistry students are excellent prospects, many more engineering-related and specialized positions will be reserved for engineering graduates and postgraduates. 

Healthcare

Healthcare professions for chemists are once again mostly based in labs, however, there are increasing opportunities to work at the point of care, assisting with patient investigations. Your duties will be to help in the exploration, diagnosis, and treatment of sickness and illness, which is also known as clinical biochemistry or healthcare science.

Healthcare sectors 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 choose a career in healthcare chemistry, you will most likely be part of a team that includes other chemists, biochemists, biologists and pathologists.

Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical business, which is closely connected to the healthcare industry, is massive in its own right, with a correspondingly big labor market. Pharmaceutical chemists job are to design, develop and regulate new and current medicines as demand for speciality and novel drugs rises. These chemists, as well as holding technical expertise, also possess strong team, communication and management skills and understand areas such as mathematics and analytical thinking.

Pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceuticals

While synthetic pharmaceutical chemists concentrate on researching and developing new, cost-effective drugs for the market, analytical pharmaceutical chemists concentrate on testing and chemical analysis of new drugs, ensuring each product is safe for public consumption and in accordance with government regulations. 

Toxicology is another fast-growing field for careers in chemistry, in which specialists are tasked with identifying chemical risks and damaging toxins in any chemical that is to be used for public consumption. While a bachelor’s degree in chemistry may get you a lot of entry-level jobs in this sector, a master’s or even a PhD in a related subject may also get you a lot of high-level research jobs.

Public sector

In addition to positions as researchers in state-led projects, there is an increasing number of government-funded chemical careers in fields such as law, policy, defense, public health, and the environment. If you choose a scientific career in public policy, you may be able to undertake research that will assist in defining your country’s science policy as well as national health and safety laws.

Forensic jobs in law and policy are expanding, particularly since forensic research techniques continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Forensic experts, for example, may be called upon to debate results in court, and chemical experts are required to do evaluations on current regulations to ensure they are up to speed with scientific advancements. While advanced careers in law are out of reach with just a chemistry degree, many entry-level roles and specialized consultancy jobs may be available to chemistry graduates with a particular interest in law and/or policy.

Environmental consultancy, agribusiness, and chemical diagnostics are examples of public-sector employment for chemistry graduates interested in environmental concerns. These positions are all concerned with the chemical condition of the Earth’s environment and the study of pertinent data. The goals of such study will differ, for example, finding strategies to increase agricultural output or reporting on the impacts of particular chemicals on the natural environment. This knowledge may subsequently be used to influence future environmental policy and legislation.