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Programs Is engineering in chemical biology right for me?

  1. Feb 15, 2017 #1
    It's basically a program where chemistry overlaps all aspects of biology. I am interested in understanding biological systems from the perspective of chemistry, and I would like to apply this knowledge to different areas of biology/chemistry such as synthethic biology, protein development and genetics.

    I'm moderately proficent in mathematics, chemistry, physics and exceptionally good at biology. My favorite subjects in HS were biology, mathematics and a bit of chemistry (lost interest due to very bad teachers).

    Now I'm wondering if this engineering program is right for me. My problem with engineering is that I DO NOT like to build stuff, I'm not a technical person and never been good at that. Should I still take this program? I want to have any job related to biology and the reason why I think this is a great one is because it puts an extensive focus on the chemistry area.

    Or should I perhaps pick biomolecular program? It's more theoretical and I don't have to care about building stuff.

    ______ Disclaimer______
    I have made a post before on what I should study but it largely became irrelevant since gettings jobs would be too difficult, hence why I created this one.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2017 #2
    Can you link us to the course list of the program you are looking at?
  4. Feb 21, 2017 #3
  5. Feb 21, 2017 #4
    I'm not sure if engineering is right for me, mainly because I do not like organic chemistry (I think, might be interested without knowing) and I have never ever been interested in engineering, science has always been something I liked.

    So it's either between this engineering major, physics or marine sciences.
  6. Feb 21, 2017 #5


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    This thread is extremely puzzling.

    You said you want to apply chemistry to biology. Fine. So why can't you major in either Chemistry, or Biology, or Biochemistry? Why are you looking into "engineering", especially when you have no interest in it?

  7. Feb 21, 2017 #6
    I want to major in Marine science or biology, problem is there are very few jobs. That's why I considered engineering, just wondering if it would fit me.
  8. Feb 21, 2017 #7


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    This is getting more twisted by the minute.

    If all you care about is getting a job, regardless of what you like and what you are good at, then does it matter what we tell you? Just look at the employment rate, and pick the ones that are at the top. After all, you're sacrificing everything else for the sake of getting a job.

    The topic of this thread should be "What is the job with the best chance of employment?" Then state where in the world are you hoping to seek that employment. This thread as nothing to do with "Is engineering in chemical biology right for me?", because that apparently is not your goal!

  9. Feb 21, 2017 #8
    I just looked into what I might like. I like science, so I thought that engineers use a lot of science and they have a higher likelyhood of getting a job. I don't care too much about a job, I just want to work with something related to my field. Studying marine biology is viable but there aren't that many jobs related to it unless I choose to be very competitive. I honestly care more about what I'm studying rather than the job, but that doesn't mean I want to work in mcdonalds.

    Should I in this case just go for marine science/biology instead of engineering?
  10. Feb 21, 2017 #9
    Your degree is a science degree. Not an engineering degree.

    Chemical biology, biochemistry, biomoleculair science, those are scientific fields.
    Synthetic biology is an engineering field, or at least it aims to be. But you will find synthetic biology is an academic endeavour, usually with people with a scientific background. This is changing though.

    You say you do not want to build stuff? What does that mean? You don't want to build your own protein, biomolecules, membranes, genetic circuits, biopolymers? Or does it mean you don't want to engineer machines?

    Either you take something from nature, study how it appears, characterize it, and present your report of what has been observed. Or you create something that doesn't exist in nature, characterize it, then tweak it to your needs.

    Traditional engineering is something different altogether.

    I don't get the marine biology angle.
  11. Feb 22, 2017 #10
    Yeah what I meant was I don't like to engineer machines. Some told me that is what you do so I lost interest.

    There is a engineering program in chemical biology where I live but once picking it you can also go the scientific route instead of the engineering (Basically the first year is for both engineers and the rest, after the first year you either specialize in getting the engineer degree or the science).

    I'd like to engineer my own proteins, try to understand how they work and interact. Problem is I'm not strong in chemistry, and probably not that into it.

    Should I pursue this program?

    Or I could study marine science (covers physical, chemical, biological and geological oceanography) but because it's interdiciplinary I'm not sure if it's right.
  12. Feb 22, 2017 #11
    you are confused, if going for job just go for business or management degree (or something easier and technical like industrial engineering). I wish I had never changed my degree from economics, and before that I wish I I had gone into pure mathematics.

    if you want to do work with proteins and things you should get familiar with computers and programming I guess. I don't think most people in engineering have built things before or even go into it for that kind of thing (but most of such people don't last very long in it), so I am sure you can do engineering too. I don't understand what a technical person is, as long as you know the science and logic you can do it. One has to work hard and be motivated, is all. I think reading your posts again I feel you have to go the engineering route as it balances your needs well.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  13. Feb 22, 2017 #12


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    @Mulz : Considering the confusing and puzzling paths you seem to envision here, and in the equally puzzling and similar question you had in another thread, I strongly suggest you meet with someone one-on-one and discuss this. I do not know if there is a guidance counselor in your school in Sweden, but at the very least, talk to one of your teacher/instructor. You seem to be going in all different directions, and you need someone who understands the educational system there (and employment opportunity) to give you a better assessment.

    At this rate, don't think you have all the information that you need to make a decision.

  14. Feb 22, 2017 #13
    You're right.

    I'm just gonna pick something I want to study, wether there are jobs or not. Just gonna pick marine science since I've always liked it.
  15. Feb 22, 2017 #14
    Why don't you go visit the universities and talk/attend a few lectures for these subjects? It sounds like you need to think more on this rather than making a hasty decision. Apply to all the places but decide carefully and give a lot of thought into it.
  16. Feb 22, 2017 #15
    I'm gonna do that before applying.
  17. Feb 22, 2017 #16
    The more fundamental your science degree, the more options you have to diversity into certain areas.

    Yes, certain degrees prepare you for jobs that don't exist. I can't imagine how vexing it must be to study a subject you love, work really hard to be really good at it, you learned how much fun it is to be really good at your passion, graduate with debt, and then you find you just cannot get the job you trained for.

    The other side of the coin is that surveys show that people who pick degrees for job opportunities, income, status, pressere from parents/friends, end up dropping out a lot more.

    That said, regardless of your degree nowadays, everyone seems to have to worry about if you can get a quality job.
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