Careers Related to Chemistry
Published on by

Caltech topped the 2014 college league tables

In high school, you can choose classes that help you to explore your academic and career interests. You have probably been advised to take a chemistry class to satisfy the core science requirement, but have you wondered why it is important to learn chemistry? The answer is quite simple – learning chemistry can help you better understand the physical world. Chemistry is a fascinating field of study that relates to physics, biology, mathematics, and other scientific subjects. In fact, many aspects of our daily lives involve chemistry, such as food, clothing, health, energy, and clean air, water, and soil.

Studying chemistry can also put you in an excellent position to choose from a variety of interesting and rewarding careers. A degree in chemistry provides not only a strong foundation for advanced education, like pursing graduate or professional degrees, but also the analytical training required for jobs in industries, public sector, and government agencies. Here, I would like to share some of my experiences and discuss a few careers options related to chemistry:

1. Medicine
If you are interested in pursuing medical school, chemistry will be an excellent college major. A chemistry background facilitates your learning in the compositions of in drugs, biochemical processes in our bodies, and complex interactions between drugs/supplements and our bodies. Chemistry is also a great choice for students who plan careers in other health professions such as pharmacy, dentistry, and optometry.

2. Pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceutical chemists focus on the discovery, development, and formulation of drugs. They conduct research to create the new drug molecules and other related products, and do a comprehensive chemical analysis to ensure that they are effective and safe. With recent advancement in technology, they also utilize computer software for drug design and model the various effects of drugs.

3. Food Chemistry
Food scientists usually have a natural interest in science, chemistry, and food. They apply their scientific knowledge to study the physical and chemical properties of food and its ingredients; evaluate the nutritional value, color, flavor, and texture of food; and regulate the food manufacturing process. Many also work on developing new food products and establishing alternative food production and manufacturing methods.

4. Forensic Science
Forensic scientists apply a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines to matters of law and emphasize on metrology and validation. Working in a laboratory setting, they examine trace evident collected from the crime scene by using different analytical techniques and instruments, and identify unknown substances. They are often employee of local, state, or federal government.

5. Environmental Chemistry
Environment scientists study the impact of human activities on the chemical processes occurred in the environment. They regularly analyze the collected samples (water, air, soil) to evaluate presence of pollutants or toxic substances, design production systems that reduce pollution, and develop strategies that efficiently dispose waste.

Above is only a short list of careers associated with chemistry. Chemistry is a central science, and mastering chemistry will allow you to strengthen your logical and analytical skills for problem solving. Hence, if you are interested in science, you should definitely consider chemistry as your college major.

By Cheryl Leung , ThinkTank Learning Admissions Senior Consultant and Academic Counselor