A Chemistry Degree allows you to have a deeper understanding of matter, right down to the molecular level. You’ll learn how matter is structured, what it’s made of, and what its properties are. You’ll be able to predict how something will react or change when it interacts with another or if you change the conditions such as the temperature. In partnership with physics and the bio sciences, chemistry is one of the main aspects of science.
If you are thinking about majoring in Chemistry, you’ll need more than just good grades in high school chemistry. Good grades in math and physics will help as well.
What Can You Do with a Chemistry Degree?
According to recent research studies, those with a chemistry degree are among the highest earners in the work force, regardless of the industry they work in. That’s because even if you don’t work in a chemistry-related field, the skills you develop are those which a lot of employers look for. These skills include the ability to analyze complex data and the ability to pay close attention even to the smallest details.
Many Chemistry graduates, however, unsurprisingly gravitate towards occupations related to chemistry. Most of these jobs involve research, but these can be found in many industries. When you consider just how many companies use chemicals—healthcare organizations such as pharmaceutical companies and hospitals, manufacturers of various drinks and food items—you’ll realize that you have many opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. Defense contractors use chemists, as well, and so do police organizations when they conduct criminal investigations.
You can of course, end up teaching chemistry in school, or become a researcher in a chemistry department in college. You can also become a journalist specializing in chemistry and other science topics.
However, it must be mentioned that competition for the best jobs in chemistry can be fierce, and because of that many of those who hold a Chemistry degree will specialize and pursue advanced training. Some go into medicine, while others will narrow their focus towards a Master’s or a PhD. While you can specialize during your undergraduate program by using your electives, this may not suffice when you consider the training undergone by other Chemistry graduates.
Your specialization may overlap with other fields. Common specializations include medicinal chemistry (which involve synthesizing the chemicals found in the human body), biochemistry (where you’ll study the chemical processes inside living things), and chemical engineering (where you try to change a chemical substance into something more useful).
What Are the Best Schools to Get a Chemistry Degree?
If you want to get the best jobs in chemistry, you need to get into the best universities for this particular study. Fortunately, the best universities in the US are world-class. Here are the US universities which offer the best training, with their corresponding world ranking in parenthesis:
1. (1) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2. (2) University of California, Berkeley
3. (4) Harvard University
4. (5) Stanford University
5. (8) California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
6. (10) University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
7. (14) Northwestern University
8. (17) Yale University
9. (21) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
10. (24) University of Texas at Austin