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Author Topic: 24 with an English BA but decided to be a chemist  (Read 4136 times)

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willcoq

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24 with an English BA but decided to be a chemist
« on: July 06, 2010, 07:58:45 PM »

So I got my BA in English in 2008, and after a stint as a technical writer at a soap manufacturing plant followed by a year teaching English in Korea, I've decided I want to be a chemist.

I've read that getting a Master's is kind of pointless so most people go straight from a BA to PHD.

Unfortunately, I have only a year of high school chemistry worth of knowledge, most of it forgotten. However, the passion is strong. I picked up an Organic Chem textbook, and I've been reading that, doing the problems, studying, and whatnot. I have a few areas of interest with chemistry, so I'm hoping some more education will focus my pursuit. I could see myself doing research into the way different chemicals interact with the brain, developing better drugs for various illnesses, both physical and mental. I was split on chemistry and physics, but chose chemistry, so I'm also interested in the physical applications as well, though to a lesser degree. With my background in English and writing, it's almost guaranteed that once I have some knowledge about chemistry, I'll be blogging about not only my own research but developments in the world of chemistry.

So what do I do? Go back to university and get a BS in Chemistry, and then work from there? Or can I dive right in by pursuing a Master's?

P.S. Are online degrees feasible in this field?
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JGK

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Re: 24 with an English BA but decided to be a chemist
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2010, 10:11:01 AM »

Unless you go back to Uni for the BSc in Chem, I doubt very much if you'll get into an MSc chem course given the competition from those with formal chem qualifications.

I did an MSc in analytical chem in the 90s and even with my BSc in Biochem the Uni was reluctant to offer me a place on the (part time) course. Since then the competition for places has got even hotter.
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Doc Oc

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Re: 24 with an English BA but decided to be a chemist
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2010, 12:50:18 PM »

Agree with JGK and will add that online degrees in just about any field aren't worth the paper they're printed on, they're scams and will leave you in debt with no improvement in your job prospects.
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willcoq

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Re: 24 with an English BA but decided to be a chemist
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2010, 03:06:32 PM »

There's a difference between an online degree from an online university and an online degree from an offline university.

Thanks JGK for the advice. After I get my BSc, do you recommend going straight for a PhD or doing a MSc first?
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Biopolmonkey

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Re: 24 with an English BA but decided to be a chemist
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 02:57:56 AM »

I would like to add that I don't think an online qualification in chemistry (from any institution) would be worthwhile, because lab time is so essential.
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JGK

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Re: 24 with an English BA but decided to be a chemist
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 09:29:01 AM »

There's a difference between an online degree from an online university and an online degree from an offline university.

Thanks JGK for the advice. After I get my BSc, do you recommend going straight for a PhD or doing a MSc first?

To be honest It depends on how you feel once you get past each milestone. Many PhD programs include an MSc Award part way through.

Personally I did a BSc in Biochem then, as my career went more and more into the analytical chem field I did a MSC in An. Chem to obtain a relevant qualification (through the company I worked for). I never thought of doing a PhD , mainly as I would never have qualified for the funding in the UK and I wanted a permanent job not a continung cycle of Post doc positions.
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yg7s7

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Re: 24 with an English BA but decided to be a chemist
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2010, 04:38:12 AM »

I know someone who graduated with music major but went back to college to get another degree in chemistry. Now she's a Ph.D graduate student so I think all it takes is your passion and interest.
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zeoblade

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Re: 24 with an English BA but decided to be a chemist
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2010, 03:18:52 PM »

Find a job, check what qualifications are legally needed, do what is necessary for that employer to employ you. Be more focused and target something and do the effort you need to hit bull's eye. Otherwise you'll keep changing your mind and never get your career started.

Somethings you need to go to university to get a certified piece of paper for. Somethings you don't need to like out of interest so you don't need that piece of paper. I just buy the books and learn myself.
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