help - is a chemistry degree worth it?

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aaa120701
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i am a former medicine student having been forced to study it but now i am reapplying for what i want to do. i am wondering about if a chemistry degree is worth it in terms of careers and job prospects - i really enjoy studying chemistry, having read some undergraduate material and am about to apply for it at Cambridge (phys natsci), manchester, nottingham, bristol and york. however, the prospects seem a little disappointing. i've considered physics and engineering however due to starting medicine i don't have further maths, plus i feel like i can't give up chemistry as a subject. is the chemical industry worth getting into?
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Student-95
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Depends what you mean by 'worth it'. Chemists don't typically get paid very well but the degree is pretty flexible so you could always go into something else.

You don't need further maths for engineering but if you love studying chemistry then that would probably be the better choice.
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Joinedup
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Are you open to non-chemistry careers after

e.g. accountancy, teaching, generic management gradschemes etc.
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aaa120701
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Are you open to non-chemistry careers after

e.g. accountancy, teaching, generic management gradschemes etc.
yeah I'm looking into investment banking, management consultancy as an option. I really enjoying studying chemistry, it's just the career prospects seem a little disappointing in the chemical industry, namely bc of the pay compared to other careers like engineering. does the degree subject matter all that much with STEM - in that, e.g. could I do an automotive engineers role with a chemistry degree (with some training)? I'm just v confused and frankly a little worried.
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ArtmisKco
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How about medicinal chemistry? Still chemistry but for drugs and stuff. I think there’s jobs in them
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MalcolmX
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what about chemical engineering?
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aaa120701
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(Original post by ArtmisKco)
How about medicinal chemistry? Still chemistry but for drugs and stuff. I think there’s jobs in them
yeah synthetic organic chemistry was something I considered however again the salary is what worries me (around £35-40k, following a PhD), whilst I'd definitely see myself doing the job, it seems a little low.
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aaa120701
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(Original post by MalcolmX)
what about chemical engineering?
can you do e.g. masters in that after a BSc in chemistry?
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Baleroc
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(Original post by aaa120701)
i am a former medicine student having been forced to study it but now i am reapplying for what i want to do. i am wondering about if a chemistry degree is worth it in terms of careers and job prospects - i really enjoy studying chemistry, having read some undergraduate material and am about to apply for it at Cambridge (phys natsci), manchester, nottingham, bristol and york. however, the prospects seem a little disappointing. i've considered physics and engineering however due to starting medicine i don't have further maths, plus i feel like i can't give up chemistry as a subject. is the chemical industry worth getting into?
Is it 'worth' it? That is a highly subjective question.

Is a degree, specifically, in Chemistry, worth 40k+ in debt to pay off over 30 years?

Think of a degree as a way to 'fast track' you to the job you want in three years. If the job you want to do requires a chemistry degree, and you are certain this is the field you want to go down, then take the degree to fast track you there.

On the other hand, if you decide not to obtain a chemistry related job, then no, it's not worth obtaining 40k worth of debt. You could look at other routes, such as apprenticeships, or perhaps volunteer in a chemist, if that's possible.
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rimstone
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The answer is NO! unless you want to do a master or PhD. I'm a recent grad and have done yr in the field as an industry yr.

Chemistry field is small ( they mostly want ppl with master min and at best 20% of chem grad's end up in the field), underpaid (compared to other fields esp for how hard and time consuming it is) and requires a lot of academic work. You also don't learn may if any transferable skills in chem, all it does it show you have good memory retention and critical thinking ect ect. The great thing about a chem degree is the fact you can use it to get into many fields and grad programs once you've graduated, it opens a ton of options and is a highly valued degree. But you could have also done that with a much easier Bio degree/ other stem degree ( maybe even with a non stem degree).

either way the truth of the matter is, if you don't plan to do a master of PHD is mostly isnt worth it due to how hard it is and lack of payment once you've gone through all that effort ( compared to other degrees ). I would recommend an easier degree/ one with transferable skills ( BMS/ comp sci/ engineering ) or one that pays well ( comp sci ), chemistry is a dying underpaid field and as much as teacher ect push its, it really isn't a great field to get into unless you really enjoy it or plan to take it to a PHD.
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aaa120701
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(Original post by rimstone)
The answer is NO! unless you want to do a master or PhD. I'm a recent grad and have done yr in the field as an industry yr.

Chemistry field is small ( they mostly want ppl with master min and at best 20% of chem grad's end up in the field), underpaid (compared to other fields esp for how hard and time consuming it is) and requires a lot of academic work. You also don't learn may if any transferable skills in chem, all it does it show you have good memory retention and critical thinking ect ect. The great thing about a chem degree is the fact you can use it to get into many fields and grad programs once you've graduated, it opens a ton of options and is a highly valued degree. But you could have also done that with a much easier Bio degree/ other stem degree ( maybe even with a non stem degree).

either way the truth of the matter is, if you don't plan to do a master of PHD is mostly isnt worth it due to how hard it is and lack of payment once you've gone through all that effort ( compared to other degrees ). I would recommend an easier degree/ one with transferable skills ( BMS/ comp sci/ engineering ) or one that pays well ( comp sci ), chemistry is a dying underpaid field and as much as teacher ect push its, it really isn't a great field to get into unless you really enjoy it or plan to take it to a PHD.
ah right :/ unfortunately this is a little disheartening to hear. where did you graduate from if you don't mind answering?
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rimstone
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(Original post by aaa120701)
ah right :/ unfortunately this is a little disheartening to hear. where did you graduate from if you don't mind answering?
I can understand that I just wish I had that info before investing 4 years into it ( Best stem to take just at Bsc lvl IMO is comp sci, comp sci is just so well paid and a constantly growing field, unlike many traditional stems, if you want money and have decent critical thinking Comp Sci is the way to go! barring those BMS, enginerring, chem enginerring ( which isnt chem and barly relates, contry to what other would claim ) and some others are also alright ). Not sure if it's really relevant but I've just grad from Leeds with a 2:1 and a yr in the field, even with that, lacking a master means I can barely get into a field barring being an underpaid backroom boy. When I explained my lack of interest to do a master to my industry and academic mentors they were somewhat confused since to get anywhere in the field ( barring being a lowly tech or lab assistant ect ), even with an industry yr, a master is needed ( or a **** ton of underpaid exp).

Chem and traditional science are honestly not worth it, they push you academically but don't offer great jobs at the end like other degrees ( esp those with transferable skills), which are easier and less time-consuming. Like i said, i would only recommend Chem if you enjoy it ( and who does ? ) or want to do a master atleast.
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