Your experience in the food and drinks industry as a chemical engineer

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21allthebestx
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I would like to ask for opinions on whether or not if you found a chemical engineering degree worth it compared to the job you have/situation you're in right now.

I will start chemical engineering in 2021 if the masters+industry placement degree is still convincing enough, after that I will most likely be working in the food and drink industry. Which I am not entirely sure if that is a waste of my chem eng because it does not sound like high paid sector (especially if I am a fresh graduate). From my research, there are actually quite a lot of negative thoughts especially about the degree having a lower employing rate and salary every year, despite being one of the most challenging courses?

My a-levels are phy, chem and maths. In terms of uni courses, I think I am very limited to natural sciences and engineering. But I am having a crisis right now because I have been reading threads that repeats chem eng is not worth it and I always change my mind. I don't exactly know what I want to do in my life but I need to have a stable, well paid job.

Is chemical engineering the best degree if I want to get into the food and drinks industry (processing aspect which is still engineering eek) or related careers. Are people finding a hard time geting a job after their degree, I just can't trust stats on DiscoverUni. I apologise if this the most dizzy you have been after reading a post on TSR.

Afterall, what other routes can I try to go for? Your help will be very appreciated.
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21allthebestx
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and how would you compare a university graduate with a apprentice graduate
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trapking
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Ade9000 will be able to answer the question wrt the food and drink industry.

Since you're still in A-levels also bare in mind that what you're thinking now might very well change during your university course. You might realise you don't like a lot of things :lol:
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Ade9000
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(Original post by 21allthebestx)
I would like to ask for opinions on whether or not if you found a chemical engineering degree worth it compared to the job you have/situation you're in right now.

I will start chemical engineering in 2021 if the masters+industry placement degree is still convincing enough, after that I will most likely be working in the food and drink industry. Which I am not entirely sure if that is a waste of my chem eng because it does not sound like high paid sector (especially if I am a fresh graduate). From my research, there are actually quite a lot of negative thoughts especially about the degree having a lower employing rate and salary every year, despite being one of the most challenging courses?

My a-levels are phy, chem and maths. In terms of uni courses, I think I am very limited to natural sciences and engineering. But I am having a crisis right now because I have been reading threads that repeats chem eng is not worth it and I always change my mind. I don't exactly know what I want to do in my life but I need to have a stable, well paid job.

Is chemical engineering the best degree if I want to get into the food and drinks industry (processing aspect which is still engineering eek) or related careers. Are people finding a hard time geting a job after their degree, I just can't trust stats on DiscoverUni. I apologise if this the most dizzy you have been after reading a post on TSR.

Afterall, what other routes can I try to go for? Your help will be very appreciated.
Hi there.

I'm currently working as an engineer in the food and drink sector, been doing so for nearly 2 years. Also, I studied chemical engineering.

In regards to your queries about food and drink, I would say it is a pretty stable sector. Whether or not it is best to study chemical engineering for it depends on what you want to do. Do you want design key equipment (mixers, blenders, heat exchangers, etc.), design food and drink plants, or supervise the operation of food and drink plants? A chemical engineering degree would be suitable for all three options. So, you need to ask yourself what role you wish to play in the sector and let that guide your decision.
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UoB - Engineering and Physical Sciences
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Hi

I'm a fourth year chemical engineer and UoB and I'm currently on placement at a major food and drinks company doing Research and development. I really enjoy it and find the work very fullfilling so I fully reccomend chem eng with respects to that!

I think alot of people on the student room tend to be a bit disgruntled and negative, I have really enjoyed my degree and all of my friends who wanted placements have got them, implying that perhaps chem eng is still pretty in demand and a great degree to do.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask

Thanks

Harry
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emduck
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Hi there,


Most people who get placements, get a job when they graduate. I have obtained a placement starting this summer, and I know numerous other people who have as well. Thing is, there are plenty of people who change their mind and decide they don't want to do a placement, it isn't necessarily that they are hard to find. I personally luckily got a placement after one interview, but I had 5 more interviews lined up, with some more applications I cancelled.

The main thing to consider is that you do need to be employable to get a placement, you can't just go in and expect to get a job with just a 1st in your degree, as many people have that. It is important to do extracurriculars, such as participating in societies. Even a job over the summer can make you stand out. Companies prefer students who have something on the side and a 2.1, than someone who can just study and get 1st. Online, it appears so negative, purely because people who are doing well are less likely to talk about their successes, and people who are negative, will complain all over. The job market is competitive, but there are still plenty of jobs and opportunities.

If you want to know where I got interviews for, I will list some: Rolls-Royce, Deloitte, Sellafield, TOTAL Lindsey Oil Refinery, Mondelez International and Civil Service Analytics. I was selective as well, I could have applied to far more companies. I only went to one of these interviews and got a placement. I wouldn't say I am an outstanding student either, or that I have done a great deal. I did some mentoring in my second year, help out at open days and am part of the art society. My extracurriculars take barely any of my time away, but they do help with an application.

Main thing for chemical engineering is to know what you are getting into, it is not, I repeat, it is not, chemistry. It is the design of process equipment, like reactors, heat exchangers, looking at mass and heat transfer, fluid flows. It is not really like anything you have studied at school, but I would say it a combination of physical chemistry, physics and maths. Some people go into this degree expecting it is an easy way to make a lot of money in a job. It is not, no engineering degree is easy. But if you succeed, the benefits are good, as you are employable in many industries, not just chemical engineering ones.

EDIT: This is not a brag post, I don't actually tell most people where I got interviews, this was just to give you an idea.
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trapking
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21allthebestx
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(Original post by Ade9000)
Hi there.

I'm currently working as an engineer in the food and drink sector, been doing so for nearly 2 years. Also, I studied chemical engineering.

In regards to your queries about food and drink, I would say it is a pretty stable sector. Whether or not it is best to study chemical engineering for it depends on what you want to do. Do you want design key equipment (mixers, blenders, heat exchangers, etc.), design food and drink plants, or supervise the operation of food and drink plants? A chemical engineering degree would be suitable for all three options. So, you need to ask yourself what role you wish to play in the sector and let that guide your decision.
I’m not good at designing so possibly the supervision sector
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