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Chemistry as a career in a recession

(9 Posts)
Gamble66 Mon 13-Jul-20 18:25:41

Son looking at uni courses - is strong in all his a levels Chemistry, physics, geography and drama.
As he didn't take maths physics/engineering doesnt look the best path so hes looking to Chemistry.
Any chemists around with an opinion on it as a long term career path, especially with the probable recession around the corner. He's not teaching material.
Thanks

OP’s posts: |
blossomsarepretty Mon 13-Jul-20 19:02:54

I think chemistry is always a good choice, especially if he can get a place in a good university. Pretty much everyone i studied with ended up with chemistry-related jobs, and many have had amazing international careers. A few ended up doing teaching, some in academicia, and some changed fields ie. went into finance or accounting or similar, but even for them the chemistry degree was useful.

workshyfop Mon 13-Jul-20 19:07:34

Chemistry graduates are in demand in the pharmaceutical industry. As PP says it can also lead to a career in finance/accountancy. Or anything where a numerate degree is required.

TotallyKerplunked Mon 13-Jul-20 19:27:35

I'm a chemist. There are lots of pharmaceutical companies across the country to work in. I've never had trouble finding a job in 20 years.

The pay for new graduates can be pretty low and after 10 years and working in research I was only on £25k in the SE. After moving out of the SE the most I've earned is £20k (as a laboratory manager).

I have mixed views, yes there are jobs but the pay is lacking, I love chemistry though.

leafeater Mon 13-Jul-20 19:35:27

What about geology? That would fit with his choices?

blossomsarepretty Mon 13-Jul-20 19:36:10

@TotallyKerplunked that's pretty low. You're right the starting salary isn't great but think there are plenty of opportunities, and especially if you willing to work abroad the pay can be pretty good.
I am no longer in research but in an office-based role and I'm pretty pleased with my salary.

BikeRunSki Mon 13-Jul-20 19:46:40

Geology would fit brilliantly with his A lev choices and it has given me a great career. Geology alone may need an MSc to specialise into employment, but there are so many career paths out there - engineering geology/geotechnics might be a struggle without Maths (although I know plenty of geotechnical folk who don’t have Maths), reservoir basin mapping, GIS, oil exploratory stuff, alternative energy stuff, geophysics, palaeontology,seismology, catchment/coastal/countryside management, natural hazards/disaster management, museum curation, academia, geomorphology.

BigGlasses Mon 13-Jul-20 23:33:48

I did a chemistry degree. It’s pretty flexible. Out of my friends from uni we have gone into academia, accountancy, patent law, teaching, nursing home manager, chemical sales, finance, pharmaceutical industry, water industry, offshore oil and gas industry, brewing, tax inspector. Some of them are very well paid. Most are reasonably paid (£40-50k after 20 years)

TotallyKerplunked Tue 14-Jul-20 00:27:34

@blossomsarepretty yep pretty low pay given all the experience I have but I like being a lab monkey, if you move into the management side that is where the money is, also a lot of pharmaceutical companies have shift patterns so you can boost the pay by £9k.

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