Careers for Graduates with a Degree in Chemistry

Graduates with a degree in chemistry can tell you that everything you see around you is based on chemical elements. The fact that our world is chemically based also means that there are many careers in which graduates with a degree in chemistry help us to work productively with this environment. Because chemistry is an international common denominator, graduates with a degree in chemistry may pursue careers throughout the United States and abroad in accordance with international laws and personal choice. Many graduates with a degree in chemistry will find that opportunities and salaries increase dramatically with additional graduate study, laboratory experience and specialization. But even graduates with a simple degree in chemistry after four years of college study will find that there are career opportunities available in a wide variety of fields.

Medical and Pharmaceutical Companies Having achieved great success in conquering or controlling diseases like small pox, polio, typhus, leprosy, and yellow fever, medical researchers in the United States continue to track down cures for “killers” still on the loose. The fear of life taking pandemics from hybrids of HIV, Bird Flu or Sars has put many nations on alert and put many graduates with a degree in chemistry to work in important, potentially life saving careers.

Certainly the top discoveries made in the world of medical research today are unlikely to be made by graduates toting a simple bachelor’s degree in chemistry. But around the leading medical researchers with their impressive doctorates are always assembled huge teams of chemists, men and women graduates with degrees in chemistry, who have worked in medical labs tirelessly testing, recording and retesting to narrow the search for cures for cancer, Aids, paralysis, personality disorders, even obesity. For graduates with a degree in chemistry there are real opportunities to use your education in a career that will provide financial stability and the feeling of assisting mankind.

Medical research is carried out on many levels. There are state and federal government programs and institutes, private studies in medical research facilities and many programs sponsored by the medical arm of large universities nationally and world wide. As a graduate with a degree in chemistry, choosing a career in medical research will also likely mean choosing a work environment that suits your personality and choosing a work place that geographically is a good match. For those driven by financial reward, the big money is of course reserved to those with the big resumes. Working in medical research allows you to add experience to your degree in chemistry in your own portfolio and prepare for larger financial compensation as your career unfolds.

Not surprisingly Pharmaceutical companies employ graduates with a degree in chemistry. Many graduates with a degree in chemistry are employed in the laboratory work that goes into the making of new medications or refined versions of older medications. Some companies employ graduates with a degree in chemistry not only as research assistants but also in sales operations. Drug companies have learned through experience that professionals who are graduates with a degree in chemistry can do a much more effective job in promoting a new drug than can a person simply trained in advertising. Graduates with a degree in chemistry can talk effectively with pharmacists, doctors, and medical staff about the selling points of their firm’s newest medication because their presentation because they understand its composition and how it will function in a patient.

Industry It might seem as if there are plenty of career opportunities for graduates with a degree in chemistry just in the medical/pharmaceutical field alone. But chemistry is everywhere and so are jobs for graduates with a degree in chemistry. So many products that we take for granted today have in their make up synthetic components which were created by the research and development teams in industry labs around the nation and the world. Those teams are themselves comprised of at least some graduates with degrees in chemistry. Other products that we use have be researched over and over again with the current product being the result of several recreations. These improved products again are the result of research and development departments staffed in part by graduates with a degree in chemistry.

Seeking jobs in the research and development departments of large industries requires some research itself. For graduates with a degree in chemistry the opportunities are certainly widespread, throughout the United States but also in other nations around the world. In part the opportunities that present themselves in industry may depend upon your willingness to accept relocation. Additionally, each graduate with a degree in chemistry has his or her own area of expertise or interest. Graduates may have had a specific concentration of studies in college, previous experience through intern programs or summer employment, any of which might give them an advantage in applying for a position with an industry or a clear understanding of what work in a particular industry might be like. In most instances however the basic qualifier and what gets you an interview is your degree in chemistry and probably the reputation of the chemistry department at the college you attended.

Agriculture We know today that even our most natural commodities, agricultural products, are still affected by chemistry. In some cases soil that produces fruit and vegetables is enriched through chemical means. In other situations insect pests are destroyed through chemical means . Variations of seeds are enhanced and developed through chemical means. Rain is sometimes induced chemically to keep crops from dying in drought conditions. While we struggle to reduce harmful chemical additives we are faced with a world in which chemistry and agriculture are necessary and sometimes highly productive partners.

For graduates with a degree in chemistry who also have an interest in agriculture or experience on farms, there are careers available within the Department of Agriculture and within private industry to pursue research and development to help American farmers to be more productive and to produce more durable, safe and health producing products. Some graduates with a degree in chemistry and an interest in agriculture may also seek work with international development agencies where their expertise can be of great assistance in improving the yield of existing farms and adding to the overall tonnage of nutritious food being produced in third world nations. Of course working in international development requires sacrifice in terms of relocation and financial gain but provides incredible experience, good networking opportunities and most important of course the opportunity to put a degree in chemistry at the service of needy men, women and children.

Criminal Justice For many years criminal justice has been assisted by the work done by labs across the nation in the difficult but important task of correctly identifying materials, prints and persons at a crime scene. Chemistry has always been an element of that search and graduates with a degree in chemistry continue to be sought out to fill careers within law enforcement contingents on the local ,state and national level. Anyone who has watched even a few crime shows on television knows the frequency with which both prosecution and defense attorneys refer to the physical evidence involved in trying to incarcerate or free a suspect. Connected to many of those investigation are chemical tests or procedures that can provide incontrovertible evidence admissible in court.

Graduates with a degree in chemistry who might also have had a secret, or not so secret, ambition to somehow be involved in law enforcement may in fact have a rather sure path to such a position. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and State Police laboratories across the country need graduates with a degree in chemistry to assist in the testing and identifying processes.
While there is certainly a sort of tedium involved in continuous lab work in any pursuit, for some there is a definite injection of excitement when your lab work is connected to proving the eventual guilt or innocence of a defendant.

Graduates with a degree in chemistry are right, the world is made up of chemicals. To extend that thought, the world is also made up of careers connected with the use of chemicals to produce a better world for human habitation. Whatever the job a graduate with a degree in chemistry eventually chooses it is likely that he or she will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the planet .

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