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Chemistry Job prospects in chemistry

  1. Dec 17, 2016 #1
    After digging around the web to piece together a picture of the chemistry job market, it looks pretty abysmal. There are countless posts on other sites by disgruntled chemists complaining about working hard for advanced degrees only to end up in low-wage jobs with no benefits and minimal upward mobility. I also read "The Real Science Gap" (look it up, it's a good read), which analyzed why this has happened to so many scientists who came to the field expecting high demand. According to the article, it's tied in with the politics of academia, immigration, and myriad other issues. The overall picture I get is that the profession is in tatters.

    So, is what I've gathered accurate? I'm looking into potential majors and I have a strong interest in chem, but if the prospects are really that bad it might not be worth pursuing. Anyone have any insights into whether or not chemistry will be a viable field to enter within the next five to ten years? Or the best way to go about doing that in terms of specialization, research work, etc.?

    (On a side note, what's weird is how this goes against almost everything that gets pushed on you in school, that "STEM" careers are in insanely high demand and are all awesome fields to go into. It's almost like students are being lied to if this isn't really the case. )
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2016 #2

    symbolipoint

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    "Chemistry", is not any single field. It is extremely diverse.

    Some or much of what you described in your first paragraph truly describes a real problem. Even with all that, good prospects for jobs are usually match-able to candidates with higher grades, better sets of elective coursework, have had internships, or have had research experience of more than a year, learned to be proficient in some piece or type of measurement instrument, have learned how to operate some useful or common aparatus.

    Also consider, that Chemistry alone is not always enough. Other types of courses will make you better in addition to just the degree in Chemistry. Have you some computer programming and interfacing education and training? Some courses of Microbiology? Any engineering courses? Vocational training before you studied Chemistry? Were any of it related to anything chemical?
     
  4. Dec 18, 2016 #3
    I know a person with a PhD in chemistry but was working as a realestate agent.

    Your mileage may vary.
     
  5. Dec 18, 2016 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    I know a person with a PhD in chemistry but is working as Chancellor of Germany.

    Your mileage may vary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  6. Dec 18, 2016 #5
    Good point. For the purposes of this discussion let's say I meant specifically jobs within the chemical industry or academia that are directly related to chemistry.
     
  7. Dec 18, 2016 #6
    I know a person who never went to university and is now a billionaire who works for himself.

    Your mileage might vary. xD

    I actually personally know a person who did chemistry BACHELORS and now works in a bank.

    Your mileage might vary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  8. Dec 18, 2016 #7

    symbolipoint

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    Same idea. Too diverse. The "Chemcial Industry" is not a single industry. It is many different industries.

    One should think if possible, "what part of the chemical industry would I like to be in?"
    From that, one can investigate employment opportunities in that part of the Chemistry world and try to decide how to arrange an education for degree in Chemistry for that.
     
  9. Dec 22, 2016 #8

    mheslep

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    Know, or know of? If the former, maybe she can post in the Chem forum occasionally at your behest.
     
  10. Dec 22, 2016 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    Know of. But I did meet Joachim Gauck.
     
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