potassiumnitrate
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
I've already applied to universities for chemistry however I'm starting to hear bad things about a chemistry degree.

-is it more difficult to get a job with, compared to other STEM degrees?

-lower salaries

-is it more restrictive? ' not much you can do with it'?

Even though I've applied, I still feel a bit undecided and am worrying whether its a bad decision or not, compared to a degree in physics or engineering
0
reply
cdoyle
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 years ago
#2
(Original post by potassiumnitrate)
I've already applied to universities for chemistry however I'm starting to hear bad things about a chemistry degree.

-is it more difficult to get a job with, compared to other STEM degrees?

-lower salaries

-is it more restrictive? ' not much you can do with it'?

Even though I've applied, I still feel a bit undecided and am worrying whether its a bad decision or not, compared to a degree in physics or engineering
Hi,

I did a Medicinal chemistry degree hoping to go into pharmaceutical labs. I lost interest in chemistry after about a week of the course having transferred from a health degree. I did however stick out all of the degree- don't know how. Searched for jobs anyway but most were three to five years experience, masters or PhD preferred and jobs not requiring those were technician level that didnt require a degree.
0
reply
floatationdevice
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
(Original post by potassiumnitrate)
I've already applied to universities for chemistry however I'm starting to hear bad things about a chemistry degree.

-is it more difficult to get a job with, compared to other STEM degrees?

-lower salaries

-is it more restrictive? ' not much you can do with it'?

Even though I've applied, I still feel a bit undecided and am worrying whether its a bad decision or not, compared to a degree in physics or engineering
mind if I ask why you chose chem over Chem eng. etc?
0
reply
potassiumnitrate
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#4
(Original post by cdoyle)
Hi,

I did however stick out all of the degree- don't know how. Searched for jobs anyway but most were three to five years experience, masters or PhD preferred and jobs not requiring those were technician level that didnt require a degree.
Have you found a job right now? and would you have chosen another degree if you could go back in time?
0
reply
potassiumnitrate
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#5
(Original post by floatationdevice)
mind if I ask why you chose chem over Chem eng. etc?
I originally chose chem eng, had a personal statement written out and all but I decided against it because I realised I wasn't that interested in engineering and instead just wanted a high graduate salary lol.

I then chose chemistry because it's the subject that I'm the best at and interested in, however, I could have chosen physics or even maths. Now after I've applied I'm having second thoughts about chemistry and I really can't change much. Physics and maths degrees seem to have better job prospects and easier to get into non-science related careers too.
0
reply
cdoyle
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report 3 years ago
#6
(Original post by potassiumnitrate)
Have you found a job right now? and would you have chosen another degree if you could go back in time?
Nope. Applied for my last job middle of October and got no word back. I am applying for Podiatry at uni as I really don't want a lab career,
0
reply
Cobalt_
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 3 years ago
#7
(Original post by potassiumnitrate)
I've already applied to universities for chemistry however I'm starting to hear bad things about a chemistry degree.

-is it more difficult to get a job with, compared to other STEM degrees?

-lower salaries

-is it more restrictive? ' not much you can do with it'?

Even though I've applied, I still feel a bit undecided and am worrying whether its a bad decision or not, compared to a degree in physics or engineering
Here is the issue, it really depends.
Chemistry IMO is great, it opens so many career options I could list like a good 50 however im sure you know how much you can do with it.

However being blunt the reason you hear negative things about chemistry and to be honest a user above as just illustrated this is because;

Chemistry is Hard.

What ends up happening is people do chemistry with not a significant interest and end up hating it. There is 300 people on my course and I can safely say a good 200 of them are in this position. They end up sticking it out and graduating however decide Chemistry is not for them and shut off all the jobs related in the chemical sector. As I mentioned Chemistry is tough, it really is, if you dont have the passion nor enjoyment to overcome that then you do start to hate it.

As to work in the Chemical sector ideally you need a PhD to progress within industry (Obviously for research you will need a PhD also) and since most hate chemistry after their first year, a PhD is way off their agenda and therefore most choose to avoid the chemical sector.

This isnt a bad thing as Chemistry is very very respected in other fields and chemists get respected high paid jobs all over. However it explains the backlash chemistry gets. People find it too hard/Dont effectively use their time at university well.

For example I have friends in the finance sector doing Audit, IB, Tax, financial risk assessment, Banking, corporate finance (by the way, all on amazing salaries, super jealous haha). Others have gone into teaching, software engineering, IT, Patent law.

Talking about finance ive actually spoke to a few companies myself (Big4 are always at my University trying to persuade students haha) and they told me they bloody love recruiting chemists due to how problem solving we are. Finance is an extremely popular career path for chemists (who decided chemistry isnt for them) as they're desired and the money is quite amazing.

I also know people who decided chemistry isnt for them but wanted to stay in science doing Mechanical/aerospace/chemical engineering, nuclear eng/science, biochemistry, medicine.

The people who actually enjoy chemistry at degree level normally go on to progress onto PhD's (Fully funded) or in industry working for companies such as astrazenca/GSK/Merk etc (I even have a friend who with BMW, once again super jealous xD)

Luckily I know a lot of people on my course and from other universities who studied chemistry and I dont think anyone has a similar job. Just goes to show you the range of jobs you can achieve within chemistry.

HOWEVER the one thing you need to realise about every single case above is they all have one things in common. They didnt just do a degree.
They participated in societies, become UCAS rep leaders, ambassadors, got jobs and internships. Thats how they landed their amazing jobs in whatever field. Doing a chemistry degree ALONE wont get you far (goes for any degree no matter the subject), you must get involved in extra activities outside of university and research the sector you will like to enter. This will score you a good job.

My advice to you is make sure you're really interested and will put the work into Chemistry. When you go to University really stay motivated and if you end up enjoying chemistry then peruse it, do a PhD (a lot of fully funded PhD's out there!!) and go into research/industry. However if you find Chemistry isnt for you then providing you used your time at university effectively there is literally any door in any sector which you can enter.

For me (if you're interested), im close to finishing my degree in Chemistry and can say I did really love it. I cant get enough of Organic (synthesis) and Inorganic (some topics such as organometallic/f block chemistry). I'm unsure about my next step, a massive part of me wants to pursue a PhD in synthetic biology or organic chemistry, using organometallic compounds for anti cancer therapies or maybe looking into aging diseases such as Alzheimers, another part of me wants a change and wants to explore f-block chemistry more but from an engineering point of view and therefore do a MSC/PhD in Nuclear engineering. Then again Finance seems like a good career for a while ($$$$$).

Most likely it'll be pursuing a PhD within organic chemistry (synthetic) as ive really enjoyed organic chemistry, I dont think im ready to give it up just yet. After my PhD ill probably then going into industry such as GSK (Pharma) as more of a project manager type of role. However as ive said im not 100% certain and I may go down another route. Then again who knows, my PhD may lead me a different route.

As you see my options are fairly open and I cant say I regret doing a Chemistry degree. The fact its so broad as really opened my mind up to the world a bit more, im considering careers I never even heard of at your age.

Hopefully this was helpful although probably boring/rambling.
13
reply
potassiumnitrate
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#8
(Original post by Cobalt_)


As you see my options are fairly open and I cant say I regret doing a Chemistry degree. The fact its so broad as really opened my mind up to the world a bit more, im considering careers I never even heard of at your age.

Hopefully this was helpful although probably boring/rambling.
Thank you so much for this long answer, I think you've definitely given me some hope for chemistry. I don't really know if I where I want to work in after chemistry, but I do very much enjoy the subject at college and I think I would work hard at it.

Another question if you don't mind, how much do you think the RSC accreditation matters?

I've got an offer for Durham for chemistry which is RSC accredited but I was hoping to change to chemistry with maths, which for some reason isn't accredited, do you think this will narrow my job prospects in research/lab work?
0
reply
Cobalt_
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 3 years ago
#9
(Original post by potassiumnitrate)
Thank you so much for this long answer, I think you've definitely given me some hope for chemistry. I don't really know if I where I want to work in after chemistry, but I do very much enjoy the subject at college and I think I would work hard at it.

Another question if you don't mind, how much do you think the RSC accreditation matters?

I've got an offer for Durham for chemistry which is RSC accredited but I was hoping to change to chemistry with maths, which for some reason isn't accredited, do you think this will narrow my job prospects in research/lab work?
This is good, you wont know what path to take till at least your 3rd year to be honest, maybe end of your 2nd.
Good you enjoy it and if you'll work hard you'll do just fine.

In terms of RSC accreditation;
Durham is a great university and well known, without RSC accreditation wont matter that much however I can definitively see some companies looking down on it. Fact is though, if you do Chem wMaths realistically you're not going to end up in a practical lab setting. Most people I know who take maths along side with Chemistry end up going down the Physical/Computational route (if they stay in chemistry) or decide to go into Physics/Eng or mainly high finance such as IB. Basically very mathematical end jobs.

If you really enjoy both Chemistry and Maths i'd do it. It'll restrict your job prospects in fields such as Pharma industry however it'll open more careers within finance/physical chemistry research. Depends what you enjoy really.

As I imagine you would miss out on a lot of Inorganic/Organic chemistry to compensate for the additional maths (if its a dual honors).

Really comes down to how much you enjoy maths. Universities normally allow you take one/two optional modules a year so why dont you ask them to do maths? That why your degree is still Chemistry (with accreditation as you're not missing organic/inorganic content/labs to compensate for maths) however you still have some elements of maths (although no where near compared to a dual honors).

If you're happy with missing out on orangic/inorganic content/labs for additional maths then go for it. It'll open careers within more physical chemistry research/computational research however you will be restricted when it comes to (some)inorganic/organic research.
0
reply
potassiumnitrate
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#10
(Original post by Cobalt_)
This is good, you wont know what path to take till at least your 3rd year to be honest, maybe end of your 2nd.
Good you enjoy it and if you'll work hard you'll do just fine.

In terms of RSC accreditation;
Durham is a great university and well known, without RSC accreditation wont matter that much however I can definitively see some companies looking down on it. Fact is though, if you do Chem wMaths realistically you're not going to end up in a practical lab setting. Most people I know who take maths along side with Chemistry end up going down the Physical/Computational route (if they stay in chemistry) or decide to go into Physics/Eng or mainly high finance such as IB. Basically very mathematical end jobs.

If you really enjoy both Chemistry and Maths i'd do it. It'll restrict your job prospects in fields such as Pharma industry however it'll open more careers within finance/physical chemistry research. Depends what you enjoy really.

As I imagine you would miss out on a lot of Inorganic/Organic chemistry to compensate for the additional maths (if its a dual honors).

Really comes down to how much you enjoy maths. Universities normally allow you take one/two optional modules a year so why dont you ask them to do maths? That why your degree is still Chemistry (with accreditation as you're not missing organic/inorganic content/labs to compensate for maths) however you still have some elements of maths (although no where near compared to a dual honors).

If you're happy with missing out on orangic/inorganic content/labs for additional maths then go for it. It'll open careers within more physical chemistry research/computational research however you will be restricted when it comes to (some)inorganic/organic research.
Yeah realistically I can't see myself working in a lab. I enjoy practical work to some extent but I definitely prefer theory and maths of chemistry more which is why I'm considering the chemistry with maths. I currently do further maths to A level too, and for some reason it feels like a waste of maths? to not do anything maths related. Since engineering/physics degrees would use the further maths I've learnt and chemistry mostly wouldn't.

I just thought that since Durham is a good university, that the chemistry with maths would be RSC accredited (since chemistry with physics or chemistry with biology is) and I didn't know whether it would be looked down upon.

Thanks for your reply. Hope you're enjoying your chemistry course
0
reply
AnnoyedChemGrad
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#11
Report 3 years ago
#11
(Original post by potassiumnitrate)
I've already applied to universities for chemistry however I'm starting to hear bad things about a chemistry degree.

-is it more difficult to get a job with, compared to other STEM degrees?

-lower salaries

-is it more restrictive? ' not much you can do with it'?

Even though I've applied, I still feel a bit undecided and am worrying whether its a bad decision or not, compared to a degree in physics or engineering
Hello. I graduated two years ago so I thought I would chime in. I managed to achieve a fairly high 2:1 from ICL.

I enjoy chemistry, I really do, but stereotypical chemistry jobs will not fulfil a deep interest in chemistry. Most jobs available with just an undergraduate degree will be something like quality control or lab tech. Typically you will run the same reaction over and over without considering the chemistry involved until something messes up.
There are a lot of loosely related job options that aren't lab based though. I work on chemistry equipment like GC/MS and FTIR as a glorified handyman. I made roughly £19,000 directly out of university. Not great, especially considering I work and live in Central London.
If I were you I would consider chemical engineering. A degree in engineering carries a lot more weight. The fact is, the world doesn't need more chemistry graduates - the field is saturated as is. Whereas chemical engineering salaries are on the up and up.
0
reply
potassiumnitrate
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#12
(Original post by AnnoyedChemGrad)
Hello. I graduated two years ago so I thought I would chime in. I managed to achieve a fairly high 2:1 from ICL.

I enjoy chemistry, I really do, but stereotypical chemistry jobs will not fulfil a deep interest in chemistry. Most jobs available with just an undergraduate degree will be something like quality control or lab tech. Typically you will run the same reaction over and over without considering the chemistry involved until something messes up.
There are a lot of loosely related job options that aren't lab based though. I work on chemistry equipment like GC/MS and FTIR as a glorified handyman. I made roughly £19,000 directly out of university. Not great, especially considering I work and live in Central London.
If I were you I would consider chemical engineering. A degree in engineering carries a lot more weight. The fact is, the world doesn't need more chemistry graduates - the field is saturated as is. Whereas chemical engineering salaries are on the up and up.
Have you thought about working in finance/ completely non-chemistry jobs or is finding them in Central London very difficult? The average salary for chemistry grads after ICL are higher than 19k but I suspect that average is being brought up by banking jobs. Thank you for the insight into chemistry related jobs, now you've said it, it seems obvious that chemistry jobs would be very repetitive and I don't think I'd want to be a lab tech.

I've already applied for chemistry already so it's too late to change now, but I'll keep that in mind and see if I'd be able to change after getting my results or after joining the university.

Thanks
0
reply
mik1a
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#13
Report 3 years ago
#13
Call them up and ask them if they'll switch your offer. It's what I did, they changed it straight away. It can't hurt to try.
0
reply
potassiumnitrate
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#14
(Original post by mik1a)
Call them up and ask them if they'll switch your offer. It's what I did, they changed it straight away. It can't hurt to try.
Oooh you called them? which number did you call? The number of the department you want to change to?

Did you need anything to prove you're the person or anything like that or do you just ring up?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

With HE fairs postponed, would a virtual HE fair be useful?

Yes (68)
62.39%
No (41)
37.61%

Watched Threads

View All