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Switch to chemical engineering or stick with biochem?

  1. Feb 24, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone, my first post on here.

    I was hoping someone might have a few words of advice/suggestions. I'm a current sophomore currently pursuing biochemistry/molecular biology. My goal is to work in drug development of some sort, at a biotech company or so. Basically, I like to design and "build" things - not machines, but chemicals, substances, cells etc.

    I've recently been looking into the world of work a bit more, and it seems chemical engineering fits this profile fairly well. I've also heard that the current situation for biology majors is dire, most end up working as lab assistants in jobs that need no degree, the pay is low, and academia (which isn't a career I want anyway) is hopelessly overrun. Most of the people in my major are pre-med or planning on an academic career. Not to mention that ChemE at my school commands much higher starting salaries and the major seems to be applicable to a lot more fields than biochemistry.

    So, my questions: Do I have the wrong idea of what chemical engineering really is? I love science, but is there really all that much chemistry in chemical engineering? As a general idea, I could also see myself working on biofuels and such, but I do want a career that involves science in some form. I've looked at double-majoring, but given that I'm already a sophomore and that ChemE is very difficult on its own, it doesn't seem possible. I'm not especially talented in math (and haven't been getting high grades) but I could manage to get through it, as well as some computer programming courses and physics that I'm missing - I'm just wondering, should I?

    Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for answering!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2014 #2
    hi Lovethesun,

    I got onto this thread and read your post and realized I'm in a very similar situation you were in two years ago. If you're still around, would you mind telling me what you decided to do? Or do you have any new insight into what would be the best major/program for drug development?

    I know it's unlikely that you'll reply, but hey, it's worth a shot.

  4. Apr 24, 2014 #3
    You get to build things as a chemist and pharmacist. How about pharmaceutical chemistry? I am a biochemistry major as well but I'm wanting to go into biology research. Not a pharmacy person
  5. Apr 25, 2014 #4
    Drug development or drug production? Chemists typically invent the drug, ChemE's/BioChemE's will typically mass produce the drug (or work on ways it can be mass produced).
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