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Direction (already hired) for my Chemistry career

  1. Mar 25, 2014 #1
    Hi all,

    Thank you in advance for your responses. I recently graduated with my bachelors in Chemistry (December) and was gainfully employed immediately thereafter (Early January) by company X. I am seeking advice as to the order in which I should pursue certifications and post Bachelor degrees. It is not a matter of what I should get, but rather a: what order would be recommended question.

    My current job is labeled Chemist 1 with the following job duties:
    -Oversee and improve the development and implementation of production of certain chemical compounds.
    -Manage said production facility if the supervisor is not in.
    -Attend meetings and sit on boards and contribute to improving QA and QC of said process.
    -Prioritize production and oversee chemical operators
    -Approve changes to controlled process

    The job I want to get eventually is Production Supervisor with the following expectations/"wishlist":
    -Manage production in said facility
    -Continue and seek active ways to improve QA and QC by scrutinizing procedures for production
    -Hold meetings and sit on boards and contribute to improving QA and QC of said process.
    -Prioritize production and oversee chemical operators and Chemists
    -Approve changes to controlled process
    -Apply ISO9001 and Black Belt Certification to improve process

    (Needs >/= 5 years relevant experience, preferred to have a master's and certifications but relevant degrees/certification can be substituted for experience)

    The certifications I want to get:

    ISO-9001
    Black Belt Certification

    The advanced degrees I want to get:

    MBA (emphasis unknown but leaning towards straight management or finance)
    PhD Chemical Engineering

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    I have passively talked to my direct supervisor about continuing my education and it has been suggested that they would be supportive of me continuing my education. Said company contributes towards your school expenses if planned on a given track.

    The Black Belt Certification would cost about $5000 to attend courses and be able to take the exams to get the certification.

    The ISO-9001 certification I am not sure how long that will take and how much it will cost.

    I plan on getting the other degrees online (~$4000 per semester) as they are more flexible and I would be able to build up a reputation within the company showing company while getting the degrees.

    The learning curve for the job is high and I am starting to get more serious with a girl (I would like at least four years before children). Those are my only time constraints currently.

    I was thinking of the following flow diagram for my career:

    Black Belt Cert (Fall 2014) --> ISO Cert. (Spring 2015) --> MBA (2015-2017) --> (Passively ChemE PhD)

    Suggestions? Are there certifications that I am missing that could be helpful? What MBA subsection should I specialize in?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2014 #2

    AlephZero

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If you have a career objective of doing a specific job in the company, you need to talk to the company about the best way to achieve that. Speculating on your own about what order to do courses etc is probably pointless. If the company is seriously into ISO 9001 and 6-Sigma, there are probably regular "training slots," either for in house or external courses, that the most appropriate people (in the company's opinion!) get sent on.

    Don't "passively" talk about it. Presumably you will have an annual performance assessment. That is a good time to "actively" bring this up and make sure it is registered in "the HR system" as what you want to do. If you don't want to wait till your first assessment, find out from your supervisor how to proceed with something definite, don't rely on vague "suggestions about being supportive".

    On the other hand you may be jumping the gun a bit here. If your target job needs 5+ years experience, don't be surprised if the company wants to wait for a while (maybe a year) till they decide how capable you are, and whether it's worth spending their money on training you.
     
  4. Mar 25, 2014 #3
    I've already looked up the systems of QA that they and the customers comply with so those would be the big two that stand out. They have a six months review. I am confident that they are expecting me to take on additional responsibility that would be supported by these certifications/degrees.

    True, I will probably bring it up in a month or so that I can plant the idea of getting certification in a less stressful environment. They do have in house certification, but I want to be proactive about advancing my career and may consider it worth the time and money to invest in it myself. I know about the executive MBAs and etc... but it may pay more just to get a simple MBA.

    With education/volunteering I may have the level of degrees/certifications/volunteer work that would qualify as "experience" such that I would only need 2-3 years of actual working experience to qualify for the supervisor position.

    Thanks again for your opinion. I appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
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