Worried about future career prospects, need help ASAP Watch

Boop360
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I'm currently doing a BSc in chemistry.

I enjoy the theoretical side of chemistry, learning why some chemicals exhibit particular behaviours and others don't, how quantum mechanics relates to chemistry etc. I like the idea of continuing to develop my understanding of this, however, there is a prominent issue with the course.

I really don't like the job prospects, it seems like doing a course in chemistry locks me in to becoming a chemist doomed to synthesise chemicals and follow instructions for the rest of my working life, I don't enjoy the laboratory experiments we have to do, they're stressful and tedious, I feel it lacks creativity, I also want some level of autonomy within the job and chemistry careers do not seem to tick that box, I'm seriously contemplating switching courses to maths as it involves less practice and more theory, I want my career to be research based, at the forefront of understanding the new and complex, which chemistry does provide but it still seems almost entirely lab based in that aspect, However, with all that being said, I could be completely wrong, in fact, I hope I am.

I haven't spoken with people in that field so for any graduates, Masters students, PhD students/graduates or even people who have experienced or are currently in chemistry based jobs, am I right? Could you tell me what the research side is like? Is there any chemistry based jobs where I'm not confined to a lab? Who can I speak to about my issue?

My plan is to talk to careers, my professor, and my lecturers as well as anyone I can talk to in the maths department about this.

I'm very unsure at this point, there's no going back if I switch courses and I need to know I'm making the right decision, I've always been quite indecisive about my university course, so any advice would be helpful.

Thank you
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National Careers Service
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(Original post by Boop360)
I'm currently doing a BSc in chemistry.

I enjoy the theoretical side of chemistry, learning why some chemicals exhibit particular behaviours and others don't, how quantum mechanics relates to chemistry etc. I like the idea of continuing to develop my understanding of this, however, there is a prominent issue with the course.

I really don't like the job prospects, it seems like doing a course in chemistry locks me in to becoming a chemist doomed to synthesise chemicals and follow instructions for the rest of my working life, I don't enjoy the laboratory experiments we have to do, they're stressful and tedious, I feel it lacks creativity, I also want some level of autonomy within the job and chemistry careers do not seem to tick that box, I'm seriously contemplating switching courses to maths as it involves less practice and more theory, I want my career to be research based, at the forefront of understanding the new and complex, which chemistry does provide but it still seems almost entirely lab based in that aspect, However, with all that being said, I could be completely wrong, in fact, I hope I am.

I haven't spoken with people in that field so for any graduates, Masters students, PhD students/graduates or even people who have experienced or are currently in chemistry based jobs, am I right? Could you tell me what the research side is like? Is there any chemistry based jobs where I'm not confined to a lab? Who can I speak to about my issue?

My plan is to talk to careers, my professor, and my lecturers as well as anyone I can talk to in the maths department about this.

I'm very unsure at this point, there's no going back if I switch courses and I need to know I'm making the right decision, I've always been quite indecisive about my university course, so any advice would be helpful.

Thank you
Hi

Sorry yo hear that you're having second thoughts about chemistry. Changing courses is a big and important decision to make, so it's great that you're looking for lots of different opinions.

There are a couple of resources online that I think you might find useful. One is the Prospects 'what can I do with my degree' page, that gives you an idea of the type of roles you could do with a chemistry degree. This should give you an idea of what other types of roles might be available.

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-...gree/chemistry

You mentioned hearing from people who work in the industry, the Careers Box website has a host of videos of people who work in chemistry talking about their jobs and what they do. This should provide a good insight into those jobs and will hopefully help you make your decision.

https://www.careersbox.co.uk/?s=chemistry

Best of luck with it all - Mark
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Hope someone helps you ASAP.
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Anagogic
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There are many graduate schemes that don't specify what subject is needed, plus you could always do postgraduate study in another area once you've completed your degree. Chemistry is highly versatile, you'll find many graduates end up in IB for example. If you have a passion and enjoy the subject continue with it.
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mnot
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(Original post by Boop360)
I'm currently doing a BSc in chemistry.

I enjoy the theoretical side of chemistry, learning why some chemicals exhibit particular behaviours and others don't, how quantum mechanics relates to chemistry etc. I like the idea of continuing to develop my understanding of this, however, there is a prominent issue with the course.

I really don't like the job prospects, it seems like doing a course in chemistry locks me in to becoming a chemist doomed to synthesise chemicals and follow instructions for the rest of my working life, I don't enjoy the laboratory experiments we have to do, they're stressful and tedious, I feel it lacks creativity, I also want some level of autonomy within the job and chemistry careers do not seem to tick that box, I'm seriously contemplating switching courses to maths as it involves less practice and more theory, I want my career to be research based, at the forefront of understanding the new and complex, which chemistry does provide but it still seems almost entirely lab based in that aspect, However, with all that being said, I could be completely wrong, in fact, I hope I am.

I haven't spoken with people in that field so for any graduates, Masters students, PhD students/graduates or even people who have experienced or are currently in chemistry based jobs, am I right? Could you tell me what the research side is like? Is there any chemistry based jobs where I'm not confined to a lab? Who can I speak to about my issue?

My plan is to talk to careers, my professor, and my lecturers as well as anyone I can talk to in the maths department about this.

I'm very unsure at this point, there's no going back if I switch courses and I need to know I'm making the right decision, I've always been quite indecisive about my university course, so any advice would be helpful.

Thank you
Have you considered:
-Patent attorney - Technical yet no practical chemical work, also very good salary.
-Consultancy - less common in chemistry but i'm sure you could a MSc in Chemical engineering then look to join chemical based consultancy
-Sales or strategy at a pharmaceutical company, your technical knowledge is still beneficial, probably less 'technical' than other jobs but still an alternative.
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