1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Should I stick with chemistry?

  1. Nov 17, 2011 #1
    I've been reading a lot over the internet that chemistry is a dead end career, and that it will be very hard to find a job with a chemistry degree. My dad on the other hand says that I should be able to find a great job as a chemist because there is a need for scientists in the US (He is an electrical engineer so I generally believe him when it comes to these things). PF, I would like to hear your opinions on this matter. I like chemistry and I am doing good in all my chem classes but I see no point in getting a BSc in a field that won't even have jobs. So, what do you think? Will I be able to make a living as a chemist? Should I switch majors?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2011 #2
    what would you want to switch to?

    also, what are your thoughts on grad school? a masters in chemistry would be pretty baller as far as career prospects go. . . other than that what do you like in chemistry? organic? materials?

    my ochem professor always told us that people with a phd in organic will make more money than a doctor...
  4. Nov 17, 2011 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    My opinion is based on my own experiences and observations, so take it as-is.

    Chemistry is a very difficult field right now. Many jobs followed manufacturing as it shifted overseas. It used to be fairly easy to pick up a standard lab job that paid well without much effort; now they are rare, and the pay can be pretty low (last job I saw advertised in my area was a night shift position offering $17/hour).

    I think your dad is remembering the "good-old days". The job market is different now.

    I'm in the south-of-Seattle area, btw.

    The good news is, there seems to be plenty of jobs in biochemistry. Might you consider shifting your studies toward that field?
  5. Nov 17, 2011 #4
    Moreover, have you considered Chemical Engineering?
  6. Nov 17, 2011 #5
    I honestly have no idea what else I would do. Maybe something along the lines of computer programming.
    I was actually considering o-chem but I haven't taken the class yet so I really can't say for sure. This is my first year as a chem major so I haven't been exposed to all the different fields of chemistry yet.
  7. Nov 17, 2011 #6
    Ha, probably. He is old-fashioned like that.

    That seems strange to me that the chemistry field is so bad yet the biochemistry field is doing well. I always thought that a chemist and a biochemist did nearly the same thing.
  8. Nov 17, 2011 #7
    i def wouldnt switch to biochem, if anything, chemical engineering would be the most practical. but honestly, it's ****ing difficult.

    what are your thoughts on physics and calc so far? because che is a lot of both.
  9. Nov 17, 2011 #8
    I know chemical engineering is very difficult, that's why I would never do it lol. I looked at my school's curriculum for chem engineering and it was pretty ridiculous. Another reason why I wouldn't do it is because you don't learn as much chemistry, it's more engineering courses.
  10. Nov 18, 2011 #9
    If you are worried about job outlook, you should check out:

    If you haven't taken Organic yet, then you really haven't done "chemistry". What makes you think that you would like it in the first place?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  11. Nov 18, 2011 #10
    I have been reading over the internet that earth is flat... well now seriously. Virtually all of the modern world is related to chemistry. Take a look to what chemists are doing today

    http://portal.acs.org/portal/PublicWebSite/careers/whatchemistsdo/careers/index.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook