- Studying: 39%
- Employed in graduate job: 31%
- Employed in non-graduate job: 14%
- Unemployed: 10%
- Average graduate salary: £20,712
- Average non-graduate salary: £15,651
Studying chemistry allows you to develop a range of both subject-specific and transferable skills valued by employers. As well as gaining knowledge in traditional fields of chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical and analytical), most chemistry degrees now also include modules in interdisciplinary areas (chemical biology and physics) and some may include modules in applied chemistry (medicinal, environmental). This gives a good balance of scientific knowledge, both specialist and general.
Consider the skills developed on your course as well as through your other activities, such as paid work, volunteering, family responsibilities, sport, membership of societies, leadership roles, etc. Think about how these can be used as evidence of your skills and personal attributes. Then you can start to market and sell who you really are, identify what you may be lacking and consider how to improve your profile.
View the best universities for chemistry degrees.
Research shows that in 2010, six months after graduation, around 41% of chemistry graduates were in employment. A further 44% were in full-time further study or combining further study with work.
A degree in chemistry provides you with the skills to pursue a career in a wide range of sectors. For example, around a quarter of those in full-time work chose to pursue careers in scientific research-related roles. Other popular areas of work included other technical occupations, business and finance, commercial, industrial and public sector management and education.
Where are the jobs?
Main employers are in the chemical and related industries such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, petrochemicals, toiletries, plastics and polymers.
Other key employers include:
- the food and drink industry;
- utilities and energy research;
- health and medical organisations;
- scientific research organisations and agencies
Jobs directly related to your degree
Studying for a degree in chemistry will qualify you for jobs such as:
- Analytical chemist
- Clinical biochemist
- Forensic scientist
- Research scientist (physical sciences)
- Chemical engineer
- Science writer
Jobs where your degree would be useful
You could also use your chemistry degree in positions such as:
- Patent attorney
- Environmental consultant
- Secondary school teacher, further education lecturer, or higher education lecturer
- Chartered certified accountant
Although some of the jobs listed here might not be first jobs for many graduates, they are among the many realistic possibilities with your degree, provided you can demonstrate you have the attributes employers are looking for. Bear in mind that it's not just your degree discipline that determines your options. Remember that many graduate vacancies don't specify particular degree disciplines, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
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