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Master's vs. Bachelor's in Chemistry

  1. Apr 26, 2010 #1
    Hey all, I have a (hopefully) quick question about the difference between a Master's degree in chemistry and a Bachelor's. First of all, every single person I've talked to about this has told me to go on to grad school, which is what I want to do anyway. But let's say that's not an immediate option for me once I get my Bachelor's. Maybe something comes up and I need to take a year or two off and get a job. What are the career options for someone with a Bachelor's compared to someone with a Master's? I'm not concerned with the financial side of it as much as the experience and level of chemistry actually involved.

    I'm just finishing my first year of undergrad so I won't be worrying about this for another two years or so, but I'd appreciate any input.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2010 #2
    Well, first and foremost you get paid more with more education. [I'm not sure if this is what you mean by the financial side]. However, along with more education comes more use of said thing, thus if you get a job with a master's degree, expect to use that knowledge too!
    Career-wise, to be honest a bachelor's doesn't mean much anymore. If you want a good job (or a job at all), you should definitely go to grad school.

    & experience is always a plus when apply to graduate school, if you can get it.
  4. May 11, 2010 #3
    This isn't true, at least where I come from. And the OP asked what the options for bachelors graduates are since they might want to take some time to work after graduating, with the intention to apply to grad school later so saying "forget it, go to grad school" isn't particularly helpful.

    I'm not sure how valid toriii's comments are in the States, but here in europe it certainly doesn't ring true. A bachelors is enough for just about every job in industry. You could perhaps look at the websites of some chemical/pharmaceutical/oil companies in your state and check what the requirements are for their graduate training programmes - if they want a Masters then check out individual jobs on the sites. Having a quick check on job sites is an easy way to find out, and if you want to go into it in a bit more depth then you can always speak to your university careers service who should have a good idea.
  5. May 11, 2010 #4
    Actually, i'm from Canada.

    and here, it is increasingly hard to get a job with just a bachelor's. you can check the requirements, but the requirements are the minimum. unless you're in a co-op program, it is difficult.
  6. May 11, 2010 #5
    Don't stop at a Bachelor's. I was in your same position and got talked out of finishing a Master's (1 year of extra classes) and I am paying the price. Chemistry is an almost useless major unless you use it to go to grad or some professional school. Which is what I am starting now, 4 years after I should have.

    If you only have a bachelors you will probably only use what you learned in the first year or two of undergrad in the jobs you will be able to get. A Master's opens up doors down the road. If you only have a BS chances are you will sit in front of a machine all day long running thousand of samples over and over again until you could do it in your sleep. It is a nightmare.

    Never stop with a BS.
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